All That You Can't Leave Behind



January 14th, 2005 | 101 replies

Release Date: 2000 | Tracklist

The Band: Bono (Vocals)
The Edge (Guitar)
Adam Clayton (Bass)
Larry Mullen (Drums)

Released: 2000 (Island)

This album, released in 2000 marked in many people's eyes U2's return to doing what they do best; making songs that seem designed to be played on a stadium tour. Following the changes in their music that took place in the 1990s on albums such as Achtung Baby and Zooropa, this re-inforced them as being,in the words of Bono, "The biggest rock band in the world". The album has so far sold around 7 million copies worldwide.

1. Beautiful Day-This was the first single taken from the album, with a classic U2 feel to it, and a chorus that seems designed to get the crowd going. The Edge's guitar stands out in this track for me, as do some moments when the music basically fades out and you are only left with Bono's vocals. It's a very happy song, that seems, sterotypically, designed to be played on a summer's day when all seems right with the world. 4.5/5

2. Stuck In a Moment-after the opening blast of Beautiful Day, this song is quieter, and far more relaxed, with Bono singing about independence and freedom to act as you choose, "I am not afraid of anything in this world". This is a fairly simple song, and one of those on the album where you become aware of Bono's outstanding quality as a lyricist, but also as a vocalist. If Beautiful Day is designed to get the crowd going, then this is one for them to get their lighters out in. 4/5

3. Elevation-Although the album version of this is good, the remix is better in my opinion, as it is louder with more energy. Having said that, this version exudes energy, from The Edge's opening guitar, to Bono's joyous "Woo-Hoo's" to introduce the song and at other moments in it. This is a live favourite, which again succeeds in geeing the crowd up. The relatively nonsensical lyrics also help this in a bizzare way. 4.5/5

4. Walk On-This may well be my favourite song in the album. From Bono's spoken intro to it, to a truly majestic guitar part by The Edge, this song gives off the majesty that U2 do arguably better than any other band. The lyrics to this are again outstanding, and I believe that it was dedicated to New York firefighters in the aftermath of 9/11, which tells you quite a bit about the song. This is probably most similar to their earlier work. 5/5

5. Kite-For some reason this song took me a while to get into, possibly because of it's placement after Walk On. More wonderful lyrics by Bono, with the band providing a great example of just backing up their singer, seemingly effortlessly. I'm giving this 4.5/5. because although it's a fairly generic U2 track, I still love it.

6. In A Little While-The drums are more apparent on this song than before, as is the bass, for the first time on the album in my opinion. It's not loud by any means though, with a trademark Bono vocal. A nice song, without anything particularly noteworthy going on for me. 3.5/5

7. Wild Honey-This song features Edge on an acoustic guitar (I think), with it having a more airy feel to it than previous songs, possibly due to the fact that it is a rather straightforward love song. Like the previous track, while it is a good song, it doesn't fully show the range of U2's abilities for me. 3.5/5

8. Peace On Earth-Well, after the vague break in the album, the band are back to their best here, in my opinion. More brilliant lyrics from Bono, although some people could find them a bit corny in their simplicity. It's where his political beliefs really shine through though, which adds a more emotional air to the track. It's a very slow song, which greatly adds to his near pleas for peace to finally break out. 5/5

9. When I look at the World-A good song, with again, nothing overly exceptional going on. Bono uses his vocal range to good effect again, with some nice guitar effects going on in the background. 3.5/5 again.

10. New York-This is another highlight of the album for me, with a relatively long intro going on before Bono starts almost describing the feel and atmosphere of New York in a quiet, muted way. That's before the chorus dramatically kicks in, which is one of the loudest moments on the album. A standout track. 5/5

11. Grace-A good song, although you can't help feeling that they could have ended the album with something a little stronger I guess. It starts with a very understated intro again, before Bono starts crooning over the soft guitar part. 3.5/5

Although the album has several tracks which aren't actually brilliant, there isn't a bad song on here, in my opinion. If you like Bono's style of singing, and his emotive lyrics, then this is something that I can definitely recommend, and to me it marks some of U2's most consistently fine work. Hopefully the new album will be out later this year, and if it progresses from this, I'll be a happy man. Overall, this gets 3.5/5, falling just short of a truly great U2 album.

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user ratings (897)
other reviews of this album
The Door Mouse (5)

FriendofTheDevil70 (4.5)
No political references on this, just a perfect mix of imagery and atmosphere, all onto one disc, an...

Comments:Add a Comment 
August 2nd 2004


Good review :thumb:

I personally can't stand this album, but I do like U2.

August 2nd 2004


This is U2's best album by far. Great review. New York and Beautiful day are *great* songs.

August 3rd 2004


Woah, someone besides me did a U2 review :p

Good review, I would have given it about a 3.8 though.

August 3rd 2004


Well...someone has to do a U2 review other that you I guess!! :p. Bartender-This is apparently number 139 on The Rolling Stone list, so should probably be in orange on the list. ;). Thanks.

August 22nd 2004


Good review, although I personnaly don't like too much this album, it lacks movement.

August 23rd 2004


Walk On is a brilliant song. I bought this on tape back when it came out but my tape has long been chewed up now meaning all I have remaining is a few mp3s off the album. From what I remember I thought it got pretty weak around the end the first 5 songs being the albums best. Beautiful Day and Walk On are the two highlights.


August 23rd 2004


I think this is U2's best album to date... The best tracks on this gem are;

'Walk On' and 'Kite'

Kite is a touching song Bono wrote about his father at the time of his death.

August 2nd 2005


Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah he didn't write it about his father at the time of his death since, you know, he wasn't dead yet and all.

Maybe you're thinking about Sometimes You Can't Make it blah blah. Hmm.

This is a half amazing album half crap album. The second half drags terribly, but the first side is class all the way. It's adult music, but it's decent all the same.

October 12th 2005


Album Rating: 4.5

Hmm I really like In A Little While of this album

well it's a good album U2 are great

October 12th 2005


their earlier stuff was better becuz all the songs on this kind of sound the same after a few listens

October 12th 2005


Album Rating: 4.0

I love this album. This album, along with Rubber Soul and Revolver with The Beatles, was one of the first cds I bought that I still listen to now. It's not as good nor as original as their older stuff, but it's still great music. I used to skip through a couple of songs on the 2nd half, but they've all grown on me a lot. Their kind of relaxing and I enjoy listening to them, but they are still a little weaker than the 1st half tracks.

I think Grace is the worst song on the cd, and I'd probably give the cd a 4.5 if they closed the cd with a good song. Having lived in New York, I love that song, the imagery and mood of that song are perfect for describing the city.

October 13th 2005


Album Rating: 3.5

A good album, 3.5 I reckon. A welcome return to form.

Gotta love The Edge.

I think if you put together U2's very best songs you would have the greatest greatest hits ever (I think the two they released were a little meh)

Two-Headed Boy
December 19th 2005


Album Rating: 2.0

this is actually a great album, better than anything they made in the 90's except Achtung Baby

December 22nd 2005


Album Rating: 3.5

You got to love what u2 has done for music, sensations. This album is one of their best, i cant get over how you only gave beautiful day a 4.5 lol!!! thats a classic man, it will never be forgotten, a definite 5 man. GOod review tho.

April 23rd 2006


Album Rating: 5.0

not the best album, but great. I can't go to the airport without thinking about this album.

::Walk On::

April 23rd 2006


most overrated band in the world anyone?

April 23rd 2006


Nope, they still rule.
Along with The Joshua Tree and Achtung Baby, this is their third classic album.
I remember when this came out, Walk On made feel so fucking good inside.
Now I'm old and burnt out. Bah. Stupid world. Time for some Venom.

April 23rd 2006


Album Rating: 4.5

And the live version of Walk On is so perfect, it's one of the best setclosers around

April 23rd 2006


Yeah. Being a guitarist, I know how technically simple the solo in it is, but it still gets me in front of a mirror with my flying v every time...

April 24th 2006


Album Rating: 5.0

this is probably their 2nd best album next to achtung baby.

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