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Achtung Baby

Alternative Rock and Pop album by U2

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"One" Techno Masterpiece!

  • Sep 9, 2006
  • by
'Achtung' has to rate as one of two of the best albums by U2. It ranks with 'Joshua Tree,' which has more variety, even if 'Achtung' gratifies the listener with more immediacy. U2 reinvents their own sound wheel with the help of Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois, once again, but with "Flood" added to the helm. The lyrics cover the gamut of love realized and unrealized with the fluency and passion of their best work.

Their skill and repertoire are furthered on this outing. "One" matches the anguish and passion of "With or Without You," but takes it to a sermon on the street addressing "sisters...brothers". The cyclical sound of Edge's guitar pattern make the song a winning canticle. Fast forward they really deliver with the meaty "The End of the World," which is really more apocalyptic romantically than anything else. "Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses" also tugs at unrequited romance with splendid poetry and musical development. If the techno hypnosis weren't apparent enough, then the harrowing opener "Zoo Station," (the "Magical Mystery Tour" for them) and the heavy metal "The Fly" truly impress. The lyrics for both are great, especially for the latter. (Again, they are skillful at presenting human rights' victims in serious circumstances.) As true as is necessary, they take on more playful subject matter like the spare, but eloquent "Trying to Throw Your Arms Around the World" and the mesmerizingly beautiful "Ultra Violet". Additionally, they master power pop on the uplifting "Even Better Than the Real Thing" and the funky "Mysterious Ways". They end their magnum opus with a stark and shimmering piece of dark somnamulism with "Love is Darkness".

If you haven't discovered 'Achtung Baby' yet, you have missed out on one of their bravest adventures. One of their best songs is "All I Want Is You," (from 'Rattle and Hum') a foreshadowing to this album in theme only. It indicated that when shaking through subject matter, love comes out on top.

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More Achtung Baby reviews
review by . September 19, 2003
posted in Music Matters
This is a terrific album from U2, with almost every song being memorable and well crafted. This is an album with lots of poetic, emotional songs, with both introspection and observations about society in general. Most importantly, though, the songs are musically memorable, with both Bono and Edge's guitar singing on tracks like Mysterious Ways, One, Trying To Throw Your Arms Around The World, & Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses. Other excellent tracks include The Fly, Ultraviolet, & So Cruel. Love …
review by . June 20, 2003
posted in Music Matters
Pros: Too many to list     Cons: "Mysterious Ways" is too short     The Bottom Line: Best record ever made. It's that simple. A must-own even if you hate U2.     Recently, U2’s The Joshua Tree was voted by a panel of critics as the greatest record of all time. The one thing I can say for those critics is, at least they got the band right. I take nothing away from the magnificent Joshua Tree in this review, but we all know what idiots …
review by . December 27, 2001
,Achtung Baby is U2's CD that has made me change my attitude towards the band. The rhythms and special effects are extremely creative especially on Zoo Station, Mysterious Ways, and So Cruel.  Furthermore, One is truly a beautiful emotional song. Definitely one of U2's all time best songs based on the lyrics, vocals, and effects. Love Is Blindness is another captivating piece. Love the piano accompanyment and the guitar soling at the end is just awesome. Its certainly a team effort on …
About the reviewer
John L. Peterson ()
Ranked #99
I am a substitute teacher who enjoysonline reviewing. Skiing is my favorite pastime; weight training and health are my obsessions;and music and movies feed my psyche. Books are a treasure and a pleasure … more
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About this album


"I'm ready / Ready for what's next," Bono announces at the outset ofAchtung Baby, the album that proved the so-called "band of the '80s" was capable of blazing into the '90s by replacing its flag-waving arena-rock stance with screaming synths, clubby rhythms, and industrial skronk. The group advances its sound without losing accessibility on "Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses," "Even Better Than the Real Thing," and "Mysterious Ways," while pushing the envelope a bit more on "The Fly," "Zoo Station," and "Acrobat." The moody ballad "One" is arguably the finest song the band has produced, full of sorrow, compassion, and hope all at the same time.--Daniel Durchholz
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Label: Island
Artist: U2
Genre: Alternative Rock, Pop
Release Date: November 19, 1991

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