Key Points:

In only their third album, War, the Irish band U2 have produced a classic.

"And the battle's just begun, there's many lost, but tell me who has won? The trenches dug within our hearts - and the mothers, brothers, sisters torn apart."

U2 turn to war and in their casual, simplistic style cut the flesh with their comment.

The band has gone through a type of metamorphosis - shedding some their old style for a more contrasting sound. They have matured.

Popular romantics they could be - but this album (unlike others) is not riddled with love songs.

In Seconds U2 say "it takes a second to say goodbye - from the east to the west you do or die - like a thief in the night you can see the world by candlelight."

Sunday Bloody Sunday is an unsubtle, uncompromising song. It has no ulterior motive but, like most of the other songs on the album, it carries a clear-cut message.

U2 take pot shots at society before the apocalypse.

Society has always been a target for the band. Their ambiguous name, U2, was used so the band could be elusive of definition.

In their early performances they were confronted by punks, mods and skinheads - "little cliques in a permissive society," as the band tagged them.

U2 have kept their style unique and have never been dragged into any one stereotype.

U2's previous two albums, Boy and October although not as good as War, were the foundation for this album.

The sounds has been carried through and the lyrics have become more precise.

So U2 have set out to make a big statement on a subject close to the Irishmen's hearts - and they have succeeded.