15 November 2004

U2 soon

Only seven more days of waiting.

Tensions between intellect and passion, and between pragmatism and
faith, drive the songs on “How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb”; so do
burly guitar riffs, galvanizing crescendos and fearlessly emotional
vocals. The album easily stands alongside the best work of U2’s career
– “Boy,” “War,” “The Joshua Tree” and “Achtung Baby” – and, song for
song, it’s more consistent than any of them….

U2 is almost alone now among rock bands in its determination to merge
lofty ambition and pop impact. With songs that determinedly blur divine
and earthly love, seeking grace as often as romance, the band doesn’t
pander to vulgar impulses….

As usual, the songs don’t bother with petty topics: Bono sings about
mortality, the meaning of life, social justice, fame, science and the
heroic intimacy of love….

Bono: “To have faith in a time of religious fervor is a worry. And, you know,
I do have faith, and I’m worried about even the subject because of the
sort of fanaticism that is the next-door neighbor of faith. The trick
in the next few years will be not to decry the religious instinct, but
to accept that this is a hugely important part of people’s lives. And
at the same time to be very wary of people who believe that theirs is
the only way. Unilateralism before God is dangerous.”

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