Sound — 8
As soon as the opening track, "Beautiful Day", begins to play, you know that the album's going to be something special, which it is. The Edge uses a mix of beautiful chord sequences and guitar effects to transport you to this whole other world that only U2 could create. It may sound like being on drugs at first, but trust me it's all good. There's not a truely bad track on here, sound wise, but "Wild Honey" sounds a bit like the sound-track for some kid's show, set in a garden somewhere. "New York" isn't too fantastic either, as it just sound like it's their to add extra time to the album (it is, after all, 5:30 long!). The best tracks, by far, have to be "Stuck In A Moment You Can't Get Out Of" and "Beautiful Day", obviously, but the tracks that don't get the credit they deserve should be up there too, like "The Ground Beneath Her Feet" and "Walk On".
Lyrics — 9
Bono has really pushed his boundries with this record, both vocally and through his writing ability. I don't think that there's any other singer out there who can replicate his vocals, though I'm sure that many have tried. His melody and harmony with the music in tracks like "Kite" and "In A Little While" is really quite phenomenal. It's the vocals on an album like this that you just can't re-create. Alot of people rip Bono for his vocals, and for his ranting on about the world, but I think that his vocals are amazing, and I agree about the ranting.
Overall Impression — 8
I love the tracks that are listenable on this album, but some of the tracks annoy me after a while ("New York", "Grace"). The singles on here ("Beautiful Day", "Stuck In A Moment You Can't Get Out Of" and "Elevation") were released for all the right reasons - because they were clear hits right from the start. This is probobly my favourite U2 album, along-side with "How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb" and "Achtung Baby!". What it lacks in riffs and guitar master-class, it makes up for in melody and precision of writing.