All That You Can’t Leave Behind


U2? You remember them, don’t you? They made some rather good records, way back when, before the high-tech rot set in and Bono pranced around in a devil’s mask. Well, this new record isn’t on the par of The Joshua Tree, or even Rattle and Hum, for that matter, but it surely is more enjoyable than Achtung Baby and that other piece of crap from that time period. Opening with “Beautiful Day,” it’s evident quickly that the Edge has found his echo units again, and the song sounds like what we remember a U2 song to sound like, except softer. In fact, the entire album is so subdued (probably in large part to the production team of Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois) that it’s hard to imagine hearing the songs in a large arena — which is a good thing, since we’ve all had quite enough of the “Zoo TV”-type spectacle, thank you very much. These songs are more personal and intimate without being preachy. In fact, until you get to the last page of the liner notes with all the different causes Bono wants you to assist, you don’t hear an overtly political moment. All the songs seem to be about relationships at first listen, and it’s only on repeated hearings that the songs begin to relate to issues larger than two people — or as the Clash liked to say, “politics with a small p.” While U2 will most likely never command the attention they once did, or write a song as brilliant and menacing as “With or Without You,” All That You Can’t Leave Behind is a welcomed, and well-named, return to form.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Recently on Ink 19...

  • Metallica: The $24.95 Book
    Metallica: The $24.95 Book

    From an underground band that pioneered the thrash metal sound, to arguably the biggest rock act in the new millennium, Metallica has had a long and tumultuous history. Ben Apatoff scours a myriad of sources to catalog this history in his new book.

  • Araceli Lemos
    Araceli Lemos

    Shortly after AFI Fest 2021 wrapped, Generoso spoke at length with director, Araceli Lemos about her award-winning and potent feature debut, Holy Emy. Lemos’s film uses elements of body horror in her story about the exoticization of two Filipina sisters living in Greece and how that exploitation creates a distance between them.

  • Southern Accents 55
    Southern Accents 55

    A woofin’ good time with cuts from Hank Williams, Muddy Waters, Delta Moon and more from KMRD 96.9, Madrid, New Mexico!

  • Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead
    Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead

    Absurdism with a healthy dose of air conditioning.

  • Mixtape 172 :: My Old Bassist
    Mixtape 172 :: My Old Bassist

    Like pre-teens throwing every liquid into the kitchen blender and daring each other to drink the results, Woody and Jeremy fuse all manner of sounds legitimate and profane into some murky concoction that tastes surprisingly good.

  • Demons/Demons 2
    Demons/Demons 2

    Synapse Films reissues Lamberto Bava’s epic ’80s gore-filled movies Demons and Demons 2 in beautiful new editions.

  • Sylvie Courvoisier and Mary Halvorson
    Sylvie Courvoisier and Mary Halvorson

    Searching for the Disappearing Hour (Pyroclastic Records). Review by Bob Pomeroy.

  • Payal Kapadia
    Payal Kapadia

    Earlier this year, director Payal Kapadia was awarded the Oeil d’or (Golden Eye) for best documentary at the 74th Cannes Film Festival for her debut feature, A Night of Knowing Nothing. Lily and Generoso interviewed Kapadia about her poignant film, which employs a hybrid-fiction technique to provide a personal view of the student protests that engulfed Indian colleges and universities during the previous decade.

  • Roger’s and Hammerstein’s Cinderella
    Roger’s and Hammerstein’s Cinderella

    A classic children’s tale re-imagined by America’s greatest composers.

  • Taraka

    Welcome to Paradise Lost (Rage Peace). Review by Bob Pomeroy.

From the Archives