U2 Achtung Baby (Island)

The U2 Catalog

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U2

Achtung Baby (Island)

It's impossible for me to be objective about Achtung Baby. So much of my early experience with the album is directly linked to the hormonal roller coaster of being in high school; I didn't fully appreciate its musical depth and emotional potency until years afterward. Songs that once prompted me to hit the skip button, like "Even Better Than the Real Thing" and "Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses," now number among my favorites. Others, like the distantly mournful piano figure of "So Cruel" or exhilarating rush of "The Fly," have long been among my first choices of places to turn for both solace and invigoration. Larry Mullen Jr.'s seismic turn on "Until the End of the World," Edge's morose guitar on "Love Is Blindness," and the conga-laced funk of "Mysterious Ways" are but three instances where U2 has never sounded better -- the rumbling forge where the band shaped its new identity. Plus, when you're falling in love for the first time, "One" isn't a bad song to mark the occasion.

****.5

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