Quick Review (LP): How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb by U2

How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb
Interscope; 2004

My Rating: B- (60/100)

Best Tracks: "Vertigo", "Miracle Drug", "Sometimes You Can’t Make It On Your Own", "Crumbs From Your Table", "Original of the Species"

U2 falls in line with The Current State of Rock And Roll™.


  • "Vertigo", while overplayed, is one helluva rock and roll track.
  • "Unos, dos, tres, catorce…" Goofy/catchy.
  • Brilliant guitar work by The Edge. Between his guitar and the backing vocals on the bridge, “Vertigo” sounds like something from their post-punk days.
  • I think "Miracle Drug" is pretty great. Again, something very reminiscent about their 80’s heyday in this.
  • "Sometimes You Can’t Make It On Your Own" has one of the band’s best melodies. When Edge’s echoed guitar comes in, that track just rises above.
  • "And it’s you when I look in the mirror/And it’s you when I don’t pick up the phone/Sometimes you can’t make it on your own."
  • Bono wrote that one as a tribute to his late father, and sang it at his funeral. Moving.
  • Never been crazy about "Love and Peace or Else." Sub-standard.
  • I gotta say, I love "City of Blinding Lights", but it has been tainted for me by Obama’s messianic entrance at the DNC back in 2008. I hate it when politicians co-opt tracks. Always cheapens them. (That’s a bi-partisan sentiment, BTW).
  • "All Because of You" is a big ol’ rock song. It’s a bit generic, but definitely rocks out.
  • Never been crazy about "A Man and a Woman." Sort of sounds like something Bryan Adams would’ve done.
  • "Crumbs From Your Table" finds Bono at his preachiest, but it’s a decent cut nonetheless. Nice reference too.
  • "One Step Closer" recalls their work on ATYCLB. A little more soulful than the rest of the album. Again, apparently a tribute of sorts to Bono’s late father.
  • "Original of the Species" contains another classic Edge guitar riff at the chorus.
  • "Some things you shouldn’t get too good at it/Like smiling, crying, and celebrity/Some people got way too much confidence baby…"
  • Unfortunately, "Yahweh" closes things out with a thud. The song is frustratingly formulaic and stands in the bottom tier of U2 tracks.
  • Lillywhite produced this one, which probably has to do with it being so reminiscent of the band’s early work. (He produced the band’s first 3 albums).
  • HTDAAB contains some of U2’s choicest work, and there is a humdinger of a potential concept therein. Unfortunately there’s a good bit of mediocrity throughout as well, 3 or 4 tracks that are really nothing more than filler and come off as U2 aping themselves. Brilliant at moments, but disappointing as a whole.

Cohesion (4/5)
Concept (4/5)
Consequence (4/5)
Consistency (3/5)
Songs (4/5)

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