Midway through the massive two-and-a-half year "ZooTV" tour, U2 took a break and went into the studio to record some tracks for an EP. One thing led to another, and it turned into a full-length record, "Zooropa". This record goes hand-in-hand with "Achtung Baby", it's in the same vein of musical exploration. Yet, many fans don't appreciate this record because of its less-accessable nature than previous outings. This is a shame, because on this record U2 have managed to create a sound so unique, that perhaps no other band has ever made anything like it before. Perhaps no one ever will. Highlights like the other-worldly 'Lemon', the heartbreaking ballad 'Stay(Faraway, So Close)', the propoganda-satirizing title track 'Zooropa', The Edge's most recent lead-vocal outing, 'Numb', and 'The First Time' create a soundscape that makes you wonder if you're still on Earth. This record is quite relaxing, yet its subject matter is anything but. If "Achtung Baby" was an album about love and relationships and loss, this record is about what happens after that loss, what happens next, how does life go on, whether it be flirting('Babyface'), unrequited love('Stay(Faraway, So Close)'), new love('The First Time'), anger at the party lost('Dirty Day'), struggling with self-image('Zooropa'), or depression('Numb').
"Zooropa", it is my believe, cannot be fully appreciated without "Achtung Baby", and vice versa. They could have been a double album together and it wouldn't have made any difference in how fans think of them. This record is a grower, no question, but once it grows on you, it's as good as any U2 record.