A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that unless Bono gets really angry about something, there's nothing much to worry about on a U2 record. The singer-lyricist still has much to say, but he does so in a way that turns the idea of protest music on its ear. Anger becomes hope, and he shows instead of telling people how to live. The lyrics on this CD deal with positive emotion, wrapped in music that's typically upbeat. Love and relationships are a repeating theme.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
U2 seems to be back from its 1990s diversion into whimsy and irony (let's ignore the big partnership with Apple on their iPods, which may or may not have already make a connection with your kids). While there are some straight guitar riffs that can relate more to today's garage-rock fans, the band manages to do it while getting back to the airy, moody echo of the Edge's best guitar work of the 1980s. While upbeat lyrically, HOW TO DISMANTLE AN ATOMIC BOMB has some stark points here and there -- especially on \"Love and Peace or Else,\" an obvious anti-war, anti-imperialism song, with references to troops digging in. Bono the poet wants listeners to draw their own conclusions on songs like \"Crumbs From Your Table,\" which could reference a bigger point or simply someone worn-out from a relationship. The listener has to think about it.
Is it any good?
Parents who appreciate good music, and want to pass that idea to kids without pushing some old guys on them, could feel comfortable encouraging their kids to listen to this. While some of the '90s stuff wasn't as resonant, U2 is back to a healthy formula of fresh music that can both relate to modern audiences and introduce them to U2's brand sound. It's a very good CD that pushes positive messages. And somehow, 25 years into their career, U2 still comes off as cool.