Bono said that the band's aim with All That You Can't Leave Behind was to simply make a great rock album, and take away all of the layers of crap which had been assosciated with some of their previous work. The title "all that you can't leave behind" suggests that they have reached a stage in their careers where they have only brought with them what they have had to, and left the rest back somewhere between pop and the new album. Pure rock and roll, there are very few synthesisers or sounds on the album not made by Bono, the Edge, Adam or Larry, and I think that is sort of representative of their reaching this new peak.
Also, interestingly, the symbols assosciated with the album give hints as to what each song is about. The suitcase, containing a heart is supposed to be what u2 have brought with the on their musical journey, and the symbol for Beautiful Day, a rocket orbiting the earth, probably suggests the musical peak, which they feel that they have reached.
Ben Smee BenSmee300hotmail.com ( 6:th of February 2002)