INTERVIEWS, REVIEWS & RELATED ARTICLES
College Music Journal NOVEMBER 10, 2000 - by Steve Ciabattoni
U2: ACHTUNG BABY
With a lot less hype, but with as much anticipation as Use Your Illusion I and II, U2 releases Achtung Baby, an eerie, adventurous and powerful pop record. In a way it's the prettiest, most polished disc U2 has recorded, but it's also the weirdest - full of wild beats, blown level guitar noise and other experiments (maybe Eno forced them to listen to hours of Stockhausen while they were taping in Berlin). The result, thanks to Lanois, Eno and Lillywhite, is the union of the beautiful moodiness of The Unforgettable Fire with the bratty attitude of Boy. It was worth waiting three years to hear The Edge tackle more sounds, from even spacier rhythm chords to downright funky jams. On Tryin' To Throw Your Arms Around The World, Bono sings the lines with such pure phrasing that you're convinced he's finally caught hold of those black soul muses he's been chasing for a decade. And with near-industrial vocals on Zoo Station, you can hear he's not just satisfied with crooning. Even Adam Clayton's bass playing wakes up to go on the attack and stands in front of tracks like Acrobat and Mysterious Ways. Like R.E.M.'s latest, Achtung Baby should dispel any notion that popularity and maturity has made them "uncool." Danke Schön Baby: All the above plus Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses, One, So Cruel and The Fly.