Running to Stand Still?

U2 - How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb - Album Cover

U2’s latest album “How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb”

John Waters’ review of U2’s latest album “How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb” in The Age yesterday is scathing to say the least. It starts of with…

The band’s degeneration from the divine to the treadmill poses the question: why not disband?

and just gets worse.

I have to admit that I was less than impressed when I first listened to the album, BUT I wouldn’t be suggesting that they throw in the towel just yet.

… How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb is in reality a nondescript collection by a band that for nearly two decades has been at the top and is desperate not to slip.

I’ll also admit that there wasn’t much new in the album, and as I listened to it, I quite often heard something which made me think of one of U2’s earlier albums, but I felt this was a positive… while they used elements from their earlier work, it’s something they hadn’t done before. A return to their roots, but still moving forward.

With The Joshua Tree and Achtung Baby, it seemed as if U2 were about to reach out and touch the thing they had existed to divine. Since then, the band seemed to settle for a treadmill of repetition, walking tall but on the spot.

Yes Joshua Tree and Achtung Baby were great albums, but so was All That You Can’t Leave BehindAll That You Can’t Leave Behind was far from being a “White Album” for U2 (John Water believes that “The White Album marked the beginning of the end of the Beatles”).

While I’m not a huge fan of How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb, I’m reluctant to write it off as a failure, or “more of the same”, and I’d definitely not be suggesting that U2 “dismantle themselves”. Even when they’re just average, U2 are still the greatest band around. I just hope we don’t have to wait 4 more years for their next album, and that when it arrives, that it proves John Watters wrong so that he can go and shove his “treadmill” and “White Album” up his ar$e.


  1. hello. please come and be best freinds with me immediately. given, it is the worst record title, ever. but the music is killer. it’s not their best, but it definitely has some wonderful moments. come on haters, take us on! as for why john waters suddenly despises them, i cannot say.

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