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U2: Achtung Baby

Mat Snow, MOJO, October 2000

WITH EACH new U2 album there has been a growing buzz of anticipation, a sense of event stoked by the way the band has stamped each new offering with the imprimatur of Resounding Significance. The governing theme — if not "concept" — of War was, well, war; The Unforgettable Fire, the shadow of the bomb; The Joshua Tree, the ghosts of absent friends; and Rattle And Hum, the ancestral voices of rock itself. But the very title Achtung Baby strives for lack of significance and — just as insignificantly — the sleeve itself is not the usual single cinematic image of heroic import but rather a grid of snapshots evoking, if a little cleanly, the slapdash glory that was Robert Frank's artwork for the Stones' Exile On Main Street.

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