I've never understood why ATYCLB is considered "back to basics". While the sound is more stripped down than some of their previous work, most of the tracks still feature synths, strings, and other production flourishes. It feels like a healthy balance between the big anthems of the 80s and the multi-layered colors of their 90s output.
It's a special record to me and it's accompanied me on some amazing and scary journeys, although the same can be said for all their work. The first six tracks are stellar and one of the strongest sides of any U2 album. The second half isn't quite as strong but I love the diversity, from the playfulness of "Wild Honey" to the energetic "New York" and the pensive "When I Look at the World". I also think "Grace" is one of their most underrated tunes: beautiful, delicate, and calming, it's one of my favorites on the record.
Overall, I think it's a strong album. It holds a special place for me and features some of my favorite U2 tracks from the 2000s.