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U2 Ready to explode

Rock legend U2 returns to the frontlines with its new album How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb next month. DARYL GOH gets a sneak preview of the most anticipated rock release of the year.

Early warning signs indicate that U2 is set to take out the year with a bang with its new album How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb, scheduled for worldwide release on Nov. 22. This forthcoming new U2 offering follows the 11-million selling, Grammy-winning All That You Can't Leave Behind nearly four years ago and expectations are high for U2 to take the music scene by the scruff of the neck.

"How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb is going to be massive. Everything is in place -– an album sounding like a classic in the making, the anticipation and of course, a great band to take it out on tour. Next year, U2 celebrates 25 years on Island -– it's been that long since Boy and we've got a catalogue campaign to run with the new album, so expect a lot of U2 about," said Chris Dwyer, Island Records senior international marketing manager, during a regional media preview of U2's How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb album in Singapore last week.

Expectations are high for U2's new album, How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb. Security has been tight for U2's new material. Dwyer, flown in from London, was assigned specifically to introduce How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb to the media in Asia, Australia and New Zealand after a promo trek in the United States.

So is this new U2 album really worth the major fuss -– taken around the world by hand and so closely guarded?

For a band that has been kicking around for over 25 years and been responsible for some of the most crucial rock recordings of its time and beyond, you have to hand it to U2 for turning up with a new album loaded with heart and purpose.

Certainly, U2 cannot afford a weak record and it's good to note that the band is fired up to the task. More than anything, How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb feels unmistakably U2. Driven heavily by rock guitars, sparks do ignite with the first single "Vertigo" (due out on Nov. 8) breaking loose with Bono's impatient "unos, dos, tres, catorce" punk rock kickstart while guitarist the Edge revisits his adolescent Motorhead fancies and charges down the blistering riffs like a bloodied bull.

It's the heaviest, spikiest and snappiest U2 single in ages (barely over three minutes). Suitably rock 'n' roll vogue, "Vertigo" flares up like a power station explosion, and those awesome garage guitars should pull a White Stripes fan or two.

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