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Last modified 26.11.02021

The Joshua Tree U2

Album review by André Dack, Frederick O'Brien, and Andrew Bridge


With assistance from Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois, U2 achieved a vast and powerful sound that crucially stopped itself from treading into the territory of the overly bombastic; here we experience the band without the excruciating self-indulgence that turns listeners away from their more recent works.

The Joshua Tree may not be my favourite U2 album, but it is their most refined, and I certainly wouldn’t dispute the claim of it being the definitive U2 record to exist in a rather eventful discography.

8 out of 10

Favourite tracks // Where the Streets Have No Name ­With or Without You ­Bullet the Blue Sky


The Joshua Tree is a towering work. With gusto it embarks on a journey over the American horizon, conveying beautifully all the chaste heartache that seems to entail. It’s an epic poem of sorts, and I’m not sure anyone could have performed it as well as Bono does. It has its grandiose moments, but for the most part the album sounds superb. Gets better with each listen, too, which is always a welcome quality.

8 out of 10

Favourite tracks // Bullet the Blue Sky ­Trip Through Your Wires ­With or Without You


This was my first real listen to a U2 album and I came in with pretty mixed impressions; The Joshua Tree improved those. While some of the more anthemic tracks passed me by, the instrumentation and song writing that goes with it is really interesting and shows a nice range without being inconsistent. Eno makes his mark alongside the others that produced the album too.

I can certainly see how this has influenced others and the impact it had to those that listened to it on its release. With all that in mind, I still don’t connect with this album as much as many do, but I’ll certainly be returning to it.

6 out of 10

Favourite tracks // With or Without You ­Bullet the Blue Sky ­Exit