At its best, U2’s latest album has the band both pushing forward with a dense, atmospheric sound courtesy of producers Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois—but in other moments, Bono and company are content to lazily rehash their stadium-pop formula, critics say.
- “The album lacks a unified feel,” writes Josh Tyrangiel for Time. “It feels like the work of musicians torn between the comfort of the present and the lure of one last run into the adventurous past.”
- “Five of the 11 tracks sound as fresh as anything U2 has done in a decade,” writes Greg Kot for the Chicago Tribune. “The rest isn’t nearly that good. But at least the band is trying to reconnect with the sense of yearning and mystery that once made it special.”
- J. Freedom du Lac hails the album as “a textural triumph—a thickly layered soundscape in which the overall feel of the music is more important than Bono's words themselves,” he writes for the Washington Post.