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How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb is U2 at their most 'rock', raw and uncompromising, a record of dirty great riffs overlaid with Bono's impassioned and heartfelt wail.
'Vertigo' kicks off, on a mighty wall of sound, punk-pop with a smoldering muscular groove - more massive rock follows in the shape of 'All Because of You' and 'City of Blinding Lights', all driven by a band that never sounded so vibrant and assured.
Hot on the heels of the back-to-basics All That You Can't Leave Behind, How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb is a celebration of all that is perfect about U2; big guitars, gigantic rhythms and chest-beating songs delivered by the most outrageously self-assured front man in rock.
The combination is the most satisfying record of the band's long and distinguished career. All of U2 lies bare here, rising rock, intelligence, passion and warmth, it's music that sounds comfortable in its own skin, unfettered by time or tradition, just four men with their hearts on their sleeves doing what they do best, making music that's totally irresistible.
Bono: "It started out to be a rock 'n' roll album, pure and simple. We were very excited that Edge wasn't sitting at the piano or twiddling a piece of technology, because he is one of the great guitarists. Halfway through, we got bored, because it turns out you can only go so far with rifferama. We wanted more dimension. Now you've got punk rock starting points that go through Phil Spectorland, turn right at Tim Buckley, end up in alleyways and open onto other vistas and cityscapes and rooftops and skies. It's songwriting by accident, by a punk band that wants to play Bach."