Sound — 8
U2 have been playing together for over 20 years and are still producing some awesome music. Their most recent tracks ("Electrical Storm" and "The Hands that Built America") aside, this album is the newest thing they have released. Kicking off with the high-pitched, high-powered hit "Beautiful Day" and soaring through to end with the worshipful, dark and powerful "Ground Beneath Her Feet," the variation of styles and tonality combined with the excellent musicianship makes this album so great. Although the texturing is fairly simple (pretty much everyone playing all the time), the songs are some of the most beautiful and melodic U2 have ever written. This album does not quite match "The Joshua Tree," but it certainly does not disappoint.
Lyrics — 10
I have always considered U2 to be the second best lyricists ever (Bob Dylan is still first), and they haven't failed me yet. Love, disappointment, freedom, every day life and world peace are all featured and some wonderfully touching poetic moments are to be found in almost every song. Bono have a wonderful voice, and sings the lyrics with the same passion as they were written with. He pushes his voice to the limits in several songs, but always manages to hit those high notes.
Overall Impression — 8
To be frank, this is not U2's best ever album. However, it is certainly up near the top, and beats the best albums of many bands way into the ground. My personal favourites are "Walk On," "Kite" and "The Ground Beneath Her Feet," but many famous songs are featured including "Beautiful Day," "Stck in a Moment You Can't Get Out Of," and "Elevation."