Monday, 27 October 2008

2000 October - All That You Can't Leave Behind

This album was released on 30th October. I wrote down my honest first impressions song by song, so here goes!

Beautiful Day - A good album opener, not typical of the album as a whole. It starts slowly and then rocks. Very U2 and catchy.

Stuck in a Moment You Can't Get Out Of - Initially did not capture me musically, though lyrically I found it very moving. Sad yet inspiring, there is hope and light at the end of the tunnel. On subsequent listenings it really grew on me and is a song that I really love now and it has helped me through difficult times.

Elevation - Wasn't sure about this at first and still not a favourite - some of Bono's oddest lyrics, "mole in a hole" erm, yeah..... On first hearing thought it must be the opener for the next tour and it was.

Walk On - Loved this from the first hearing, pure U2. Very emotive, powerful, send shivers up the spine. Again very inspiring, gives strength in times of need, my favourite from the album on first listen and still is to this day.

Kite - Really touched me. Bono has said this is about his children and his housekeeper who died. It's a very personal song, very touching. Later it clearly was also about Bono's father, who unbeknown to us at the time, was suffering from terminal cancer. I related to it so much because at that time my mother was also terminally ill, and I was dealing with that painful reality.

In a Little While - Didn't care for this song on first listen. It seemed to be a "filler" to me and never grew on me.

Wild Honey - A surprise, very un-U2, more Beatlesque. Joyous, upbeat, liked it initially but quickly tired of it, and never listen to it now.

Peace on Earth - Bono said this was about the Omagh bombing. Very sad, all sung on one level, no crescendo. Strangely for U2 it is without hope, after the cheery abandon of Wild Honey the sadness hits you all the more.

When I Look at the World - Struck me as a heartfelt appeal to God, a crisis of faith, a common U2 theme over the years. Bono's voice quite hoarse in this one. Not one of my favourites then or now.

New York - This has been a popular song with many people, but I didn't like it much. New Yorkers say it paints a true picture of the city. I did like Edge's guitar work in this song. it seems to be about a tussle between temptation and responsibility lyrically.

Grace - A song about God's grace and forgiveness. To be honest, to me, this was the weakest song on the album and again lyrically I wasn't impressed, "Grace, it's the name of a girl" erm, yes Bono so it is!

The Ground Beneath Her Feet - A pleasant song, but somehow it did not seem to fit on this album, it felt - to me - kind of shoved on at the end.

All in all I felt this was a good album, but definitely not a great one. U2 needed to have a relatively "safe" album after the mistakes of Pop. I liked it, but at the same time it didn't blow my mind and it didn't challenge me and i was a little disappointed about that.

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