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1 rating: 5.0
An album by U2

The final album of U2's early period, before the group broadened its sonic palette and lyrical vision,Waris a brilliantly conflicted album, sounding martial and majestic while its very purpose is to tear down false idols propped up by politics. "Sunday … see full wiki

1 review about War

"All's Fair in Love and 'War'"

  • Sep 18, 2006
U2 started a string of masterpieces with 'War' their first brilliant album from their early years. While 'Boy' and 'October' are excellent and reinvented the wheel of pop music, 'War' is more accomplished and varied musically and is conceptually sound. The raw power of their early years is harnessed on this album as well as an expertise the two predecesors lacked. There are really two sides to the album: One could be called "War;" the other could be called "Love," but they are both intertwined throughout.

Passion is U2's hallmark, and they certainly jump-start the album well enough with their celtic-laced political anthem "Sunday Bloody Sunday". Consisting of basically a mixed band of Irish Catholic and Protestant band members, Bono, their talking head, sings such scathing lines as "We eat and drink while tomorrow they die," and "...to blame the victory Jesus won...on you." "Seconds," continues the flow with a folk-rock beginning that melts into haunting images accompanied by ethereal sounds. Containing the admonition that "They're doing the atomic bomb/Hoping you will join along," Bono and The Edge end singing,..."Say, goodbye; say, goodbye; say, goodbye!" Then, if the drama and tension weren't enough, they play "New Year's Day," a brilliant and mesmerizing song with shimmering piano and the pulsating electric current of Edge's guitar. It is a beautiful and haunting rock song done in the first person for Poland's then-exiled solidarity members. Following is "Like a Song..." one of the best on the album. With great thrusts of fast-forward power, Bono sings a stinging lament for the older Irish generation who don't leave hope for the younger. At the end of the "War" side, "Drowning Man" is the first of their brilliant portraits of someone torn by the horrors of war. The harrowing dimension of a refugee is expertly captured by the music and words. They cover most of the major conflicts well on half a C.D. Then, the second half starts with a make love not war notion by saying the Irish Civil War is making beautiful women defect to America. At this point, Bono couldn't sing "America" with enough scathing force. "Two Hearts Beat as One" demonstrates that "Refugee" is just a transitional song, but the spare lyrics and the cyclical pattern of The Edge's guitar (which give one the sound image of the early flying machines before the Wright Brothers triumphed) a fine thrust of music. It is pretty bottom line about love. "Red Light" addresses unrequited love with a jazzy accompaniment that gives the album a scope previous efforts lacked. "Surrender" is beautiful, and "'40,'" based on Psalm 40, is a celestial send-off that foreshadows the advent of their next work, 'The Unforgettable Fire'.

'War' is a brilliant beginning masterpiece for U2. It is characteristic of what experience would bring for them in a string of albums up to and including 'Achtung Baby,' in '91. It is a ten year stretch that changed the face of music, even while providing passion for often disturbing material.

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Label: Island
Artist: U2
Release Date: June 15, 1990

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""All's Fair in Love and 'War'""
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