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Saturday, August 3, 2013

384 of 1001 Albums: U2's Achtung's Baby

Achtung Baby is one of the most famous albums from U2. You've probably heard some of the bigger hits from the album like "One", which would become the theme for Bono's organization. Regardless of what you think of their personal endeavors they area huge pioneer of music, and they established a lot of the modern sounds you hear today.

History: U2 was recovering from a very disappointing album release in 1988, where fans were not too impressed. In order to refresh their sound they brought on Brian Eno to help with making the album, and began combining elements of alternative rock and electronic music to make their new sound that has with them a while. The sound was inventive and new, especially for music coming into the 90's. The seventh album was almost like a rebirth for the band.


Vocals: It may not be anything that yells in your face, but Bono really does have a set of pipes. Whether he is singing a slow song that sounds more like rock, or an electronic move vibe song it all sounds like he can match the tempo, and make his vocals sound very emotional. He has a lot of emotion, much more than you will from many artist. He is taking on a darker toned album with this one that deals with some highly feeling charged songs that discuss faith, sexuality, and much more.

Instrumentals: The instrumentals are well done in setting the tone as well.  The Edge is a known guitarist, and he really stands out among all the new instruments that are fused into their tune. "Love Is Blindness is one where he seems most somber, but there is still something impacting about the tune. It seems all the additional instruments blend well so you still have that rock tone that drives the tune, but also a lot of emotion.

Recording: Many people have criticized bands for sounding too different on their following albums. If there was anything that U2 was hoping to do with Achtung Baby though was to change up the sound. While what they were doing might have worked for the previous ones it was obvious to them that now they wanted a change, and so did the band as well. Some of the songs do sound a bit dated, and still a little 80's despite the merging into the 90's, but there are many songs on here that sound just as good today as they ever have. "Ultra Violet" is another that just really stands out to me. They created a sound that has became very prominent to many bands.

Achtung Baby sort of paves the way for a new blending of genres to create a style of rock that still works today. It also shows how Brian Eno was able to work with so many types of bands and give them a new perspective with music despite his having been around for a decade. He knows how to transform music. Bono also sings and write lyrics that are easy to relate to for people. He doesn't disguise what he wants to express in his music in this album, and being honest I think helped him connect with the audience again.

Rating 8 of 10.


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