Ok. So I didn't really start listing to much u2 until the "Pop" album. Their most artsy, darkest, and least liked album. I loved that album and have become a huge fan of U2 since then. Now, onto the album review. Don't get me wrong, I've heard better versions of some of the songs on here (e.g. the single version or live version of Walk On, or the live version of Elevation), but overall this is another masterpiece.
Anyone saying that u2 is aging or "losing it" is probably sitting around wishing for the Joshua Tree days to come back. Nothing wrong with that, I mean, the Joshua Tree is incredible. But really, there is really nothing to criticize here. There are always multiple versions of u2 songs (from every album), and occasionally non-album versions are slightly better than album versions. Basically though, every song on this album is great.
ATYCLB kinda goes in 3 cycles to me... the first 4 songs kinda kick the album off in full gear, very upbeat for the most part (Beautiful Day, Elevation, Stuck in a moment, Walk On). "Stuck in a Moment" being the mellowest of the four. The next few songs are great as well, but more mellow and acoustic-y (Kite, Wild Honey, and In A Little While). Then, "New York" spices things back up a bit and the last few songs (Grace, Peace on Earth, and When I Look At The World) kinda settle into some sort of religious feeling that Bono often conveys in his lyrics. Personally, I like the first four and last four songs of the album the best, but most of my friends who are more pop-oriented like the middle few. hm.
Great album. Great tour. Probably the best album that came out in 2000. 5 stars easy. Older u2 fans may not like it as much as some of their prior work, but honestly, this album is just as strong as anything they've ever done. Don't get stuck in a rut. Give this album a chance, and u2 will again prove themselves the greatest band on Earth.