Library Rock's Backpages

U2: All That You Can't Leave Behind

James Hunter, Rolling Stone, 26 October 2000

U2'S TENTH STUDIO album and third masterpiece, All That You Can't Leave Behind, is all about the simple melding of craft and song. Their first masterpiece, 1987's The Joshua Tree, imagined cathedrals of ecstasy; their second, 1991's Achtung Baby, banged around fleabag hotels of agony. But on All That You Can't Leave Behind, U2 distil two decades of music-making into the illusion of effortlessness usually only possible from veterans. The album represents the most uninterrupted collection of strong melodies U2 have ever mounted, a record where tunefulness plays as central a role as on any Backstreet Boys hit. "I'm just trying to find a decent melody," Bono sings with soulful patience in 'Stuck in a Moment You Can't Get Out Of', "a song that I can sing in my own company."

Total word count of piece: 731


Becoming a member is easy. Membership gives you access to all the thousands of articles in the library.

Click here to go to Subscribe page.

Click here for academic and other group subscriptions.