On its past three attempts, U2 seemed bent on trying to invent a new sound, not only for the band, but one that would influence rock & roll in general. With "All That You Can't Leave Behind," Bono and his bandmates have put aside the sonic experimentation, opting this time out to create songs fans can simply enjoy. "Stuck in a Moment You Can't Get Out Of" is a prime example -- no tricks, just a simple, disarming melody. It's one of the most charming tunes the band has ever recorded. Or consider "Elevation," which hints at electronics while focusing on the forceful guitar textures and hooks.
"Wild Honey" offers a new twist with its breezy k.d. lang-ish feel. The tender balled "In a Little While" gets a lift from Bono's grainy and intimate vocal. But for the most part, "Behind" will be familiar to fans who've climbed "The Joshua Tree" or lit "The Unforgettable Fire." U2 may well remind fans why --for a time they --were widely considered the best band in rock & roll.