This Special Limited Edition includes:
CD - 12 new songs including the single "Vertigo"
DVD - 'U2 and three songs', a documentary and five performances from U2 HQ
A 48 page book featuring illustrations, paintings and photography by U2.
Twenty-five years and 120 million albums after U2 formed in Dublin, the band's original lineup remains intact. So, too, does its ability to pack stadiums and create albums that are both thought provoking and musically powerful.
How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb is the quartet's latest example of U2's musical evolution, and die-hard fans will be thrilled to hear some of the band's classic sound shining through on the disc. It sports some of the polished pop that we've heard in recent efforts, but also hearkens back to albums like The Joshua Tree.
The rousing "Vertigo" opens the album, and was the obvious choice for the disc's first single. It is an energetic musical celebration set in the jungle-like atmosphere of a nightclub. Driven by a pumping and exuberant riff, it perfectly re-creates both the excitement and hollowness of the experience, and Bono gratefully flees the environment to return to a less desperate place.
"Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own" is a sincere ballad that is exactly what the title implies -- a song about reaching out to others in a time of need. It's a beautifully written reminder that no one gets on this planet without some help, and there's no shame in reaching out to others while you're here.
Relationships get the U2 once-over on "A Man and a Woman," which looks at the problems as well as the pleasure of love and romance. Yes, every relationship has its troubles, the song acknowledges, but without the love of a companion, life somehow seems less full.
Bono's contemplation of life's journey fills much of this album, and his song "One Step Closer" is based on his father's struggle with terminal cancer. It is a touching and thoughtful approach to mortality, and it doesn't come from a place of grief so much as a place of acceptance and curiosity. The church-organ feel to the intro only underscores the solemn tone of the lyrics.
From the end of life, the album quickly progresses to the joy of birth with "Original of the Species." The song celebrates the dawning of life, enjoying the innocence of a child and passing along a few pointers on how to best navigate life's sometimes-treacherous waters.
In true U2 form, the album concludes with "Yahweh," a drawn-out and serious one-sided conversation with God. The song doesn't come to any major conclusions -- it may, in fact raise a few questions -- but it's a very human statement of faith and doubt.
U2 has managed to sell millions of albums by keeping the message simple and keeping the music consistently ambitious. Once again, these two components collide on How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb, and it makes for a magnificent explosion of talent.