U2’s new album How to Dismantle a Nuclear Bomb has surfaced in full MP3 format here. The first single “Vertigo” has been in heavy rotation in 30-second TV spots here in the USA, hawking the Apple iPod. Apple has even gone so far as to design a special, “U2 edition” iPod. The black + red edition comes preloaded with the band’s new album, and is laser-inscribed with each member’s signature on the back:
The MP3s are CD-quality rips, and upon first spin it could be easily argued that the band has spent too much time listening to Coldplay and gospel music. All traces of Achtung Baby‘s sardonic, uberpolitical and brooding tones have been wiped clean in these new tracks, and the hipsmart experiments of Zooropa and Pop are clearly over. I’m mystified by the album’s idiosynchratic title, as whatever that was left to “dismantle” after 2001’s radio-and-Jesus friendly All That You Can’t Leave Behind has clearly been swept into the figurative dustbin. This is an album that will undoubtedly catch heavy attention–and do so immediately–on VH1 and in commuter SUVs.