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Pop


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5.0 out of 5 stars Rejected For All The Wrong Reasons
With the massive "ZooTV" tour and record-combo of "Achtung Baby" and "Zooropa" behind them, the attitude as U2 re-convined in 1995 for a work on a new record was decidedly progressive: they would continue to push the envelope as far as they could musically, technologically, and conceptually. Because of technological aspect of it, this was...
Published on June 23 2004

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Don't know how well it will age, but ...
U2 took a giant leap into the unknown void of techno-electro-pop (at this late date I can think of no better description) and came out with "Pop," not one of their most successful albums but an interesting addition to the catalog, nonetheless.
According to many sources, "Pop" was either hurriedly finished or released before U2 were completely done...
Published on Jan. 20 2004 by Daniel A. Marsh


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4.0 out of 5 stars Even when they're "bad", they're good, April 5 2005
Ce commentaire est de: Pop (Audio CD)
So there it is. U2's least-acclaimed album, the only stain in the group's otherwise flawless discography. Many critics and fans were appalled and/or disappointed by U2's will to experiment a more synthetic, electronic sound. Why would they do that? How could U2, one of the world's greatest rock bands (keyword here is rock),operate such a change in their music? Some people perceived Pop as a kind of betrayal of U2's rock roots and as a mere attempt to cash in on the popularity of pop-dance music (when they certainly didn't need it). What the band's fundemental motivations were, I don't know. What I do know, is that unlike many fans and critcs, I absolutely love this album. Sure, it might not be their best, but it's a far cry from being any bad. And while too many people labelled Pop as being too electronica-tinged (which makes you wonder if those people have ever listened to any other song on the album than Discothèque), I believe that it's still has its fair share of rock. Staring at the Sun, for example, is classic U2. But the "unpopularity" of the album didn't seem to affect U2's indestructible reputation, given the incredible success of the PopMart tour that followed. Bono et al. have long been forgiven, thanks to one of the world's most loyal fanbase and the release of All That You Can't Leave Behind, which brought back U2's true rock sound. Anyway, even if they tried, they couldn't make a very bad album.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Rejected For All The Wrong Reasons, June 23 2004
By A Customer
Ce commentaire est de: Pop (Audio CD)
With the massive "ZooTV" tour and record-combo of "Achtung Baby" and "Zooropa" behind them, the attitude as U2 re-convined in 1995 for a work on a new record was decidedly progressive: they would continue to push the envelope as far as they could musically, technologically, and conceptually. Because of technological aspect of it, this was U2's hardest record to produce. It took so long to complete that it went into what was supposed to have been tour rehearsal time(for the new "Popmart Tour", which was to be bigger and more massive than even "ZooTV"). As a result they were not ready when the tour started in Las Vegas. More importantly, the string of critical success that U2 had going back to the late 80s finally came to an end in 1997 when "Pop" was released, as the reviews were very lukewarm, even poor. U2 were disappointed with its sales...and the fact that "Pop" sold 6,000,000 copies should tell you something about their standards.
U2's peak was over, but I will forever hold that this record was unfairly criticized just because it was so different from everything U2 did before it, but that's a staple of U2's career: change. 'Do You Feel Loved', 'If God Will Send His Angels', 'Staring At The Sun', 'Last Night On Earth', 'Gone', 'If You Wear That Velvet Dress', and 'Please' are just great songs. Also standing out is the closer, a song of desperation and despair, 'Wake Up Dead Man'. This album may have seemed about lemons and arches and colors and videos making fun of the village people(the opener, 'Discotheque') and all fun and games on the outside, but in reality the lyrics of this record are the most serious and cynical of U2's career. Not many people realize that 'Staring At The Sun' is a political song, describing how suits and ties can be just as deadly as soldiers with guns. 'Please' is as serious as it gets lyric-wise: "And love is big, bigger than us, but love is not, what you're thinking of".
U2 did a lot to help this record by putting out some great performances of its songs, especially 'Staring At The Sun' and 'Please', including a emotion-high show in Sarajevo, the first rock show their since their war ended. But towards the end of the tour, it became obvious that they had gone as far as they could in the direction started in Berlin in 1990. They felt the need to tone everything down and just be four guys in a band again. This first came to the public's eyes in the form of old songs that hadn't been performed in a long time, showing up in the setlists of the later "Popmart" shows, such as "Sunday Bloody Sunday". The public would soon get a more blatent show of this change of direction, but unfortunately, it would also leave this album in the dust. Vastly underrated and underappreciated, this is still a very good record.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Languid, Pulsing, Throbbing, Rock-Tech., May 24 2004
Ce commentaire est de: Pop (Audio CD)
This CD is brilliant. It is powerful, moving, and intense. Let me tell you why.
Crystal Method is a perfect example of what happens when poor musicians attempt to amalgamate two musical genres. You get a product like, "Legion of Boom," their newest cd, where Wes Borlyn is on guitar and Rahzel is doing vocals. They wish to call it rock-techno, except that it sucks.
Pop is an album for high-energy people, or nights when something big is going to happen. Rushing downtown to hit a club or lounge on a buddy's birthday, on your way to a sick drink off, I don't know . . .
This is the first CD after Larry Mullen went through his modern percussion training in New York, and boy can you tell. While it is true that Edge and Adam became a little aggravated during this albums production, when the songs were heard by the band, all the bizarre hard electronica work of Zooropa paid off.
The only weaknesses of this album are the faded vocals/ weak lyrics on the high-energy songs. This of course does not qualify for a valid criticism, since it is only my opinion, but I felt it necessary to point out at least one thing I found wrong with the album.
All in all, this CD is a wonderful mixture of styles and genres. The down tempo songs have great depth, and the high-energy anthems are sincerely crackling with power. If you enjoy dabbling into electronica, and are open-minded aesthetically you will enjoy this cd.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Album, April 29 2004
Ce commentaire est de: Pop (Audio CD)
I give this album 3 stars, plus 2 extra stars just for the song "Miami." I don't understand the reviewer below who panned this track. To me its one of the hottest tracks I've ever heard, the visceral guitar tone and the way it expresses aggression (and hostility?) after the second verse or so. A bit meaner and it could have been on the Scarface soundtrack. It's almost frustrating the way Edge controls his guitar, never letting it get frenetic and cathartic (with the possible exception of Achtung Baby's "Love is Blindness", the second best U2 song guitar-wise in my opinion). It's one of those songs that I've had in my collection for years but I still haven't fully digested, more for the sound than the lyrics, which are average. I really don't know why I find this song so powerful, but it has stuck with me.
The rest of the album is solid, especially if you are coming to it as a U2 fan, but I don't listen to any of the other songs on a regular basis. The novelty of Mofo and Discotheque wear off after a while, though I recall enjoying them a lot when the album came out. Take my advice and buy the album though, it is an important album.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Unusual U2 album mixes slow stuff with techno, April 20 2004
By 
Dr Jeremy Buddle (Battery Point, Tasmania Australia) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Ce commentaire est de: Pop (Audio CD)
This album was released in March 1997 and marked the four-yearly re-emergence of U2, who are undoubtedly still one of the leading rock bands in the world. Pop continued the group's 90's excursions into the glittery world of urban techno music, but still retained some of their trademark spine-tingling emotional highs. Critics at the time were unconvinced of its merits when comparing it with earlier, classic U2 albums, but I feel it is a strong album worthy of its place in the U2 back catalogue. Despite the muted tones of several tracks such as the despairing Wake Up Dead Man, the quiet If You Wear That Velvet Dress and the languid The Playboy Mansion, this album is best remembered for the ironic disco pastiche of Discotheque - a cheeky drug reference or two spiced up this track, which also exists in the standard array of remix and single-edit versions.
Bono imbues the brooding tune Please with escalating urgency as he addresses the prevaricating politicians stalling on the crucial Northern Ireland peace talks - it's as relevant now in 2004 as it was 7 years ago. Gone has a similar slow intro and escalating dramatic tension as it rises to a memorable chorus, while Miami is a cut-up urban groove that is reminiscent of the Zooropa album's Daddy's Gonna Pay For Your Crashed Car. On a lighter note, there is the innocuous seasonal sentiment of If God Will Send His Angels, which doubled as a Christmas-themed CD single in December 1997, and the catchy shuffle of Do You Feel Loved, which is about the nearest thing to "pop" on this interesting record. The other singles were Staring At The Sun, a great tune that has a memorable chorus, and the dark, murky-sounding vibe of Last Night On Earth. I liked all these songs back in 1997, but the one truly fantastic, indispensible track is Mofo, which I listen to regularly to this day. This is an awesome recording, with one of the best killer riffs you will ever hear, a clattering techno beat, and and achingly-real sentiments from Bono as he sings of the never-ending pain of losing his mother to illness at an early age: "Trying to fill that God-shaped hole..." Buy Pop for this track alone and you won't be disappointed, and for any rock fans who don't already know this record, I suggest grab a copy and enjoy!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Horibly Underated, March 24 2004
By 
GN4|V| (District of Columbiana) - See all my reviews
Ce commentaire est de: Pop (Audio CD)
Most people write this album off as "U2 trying to be a techno band." This is a stupid statement, and if people saw beyond the marketing image of the album and listened to the actual music, they would realise that there is only one song that would really be called techno; track #3, "Mofo", and through the rest of the album it is really just rock with some electronic overlays for effect. Immediately after "Discoteque" and "Mofo", "Staring at the Sun" makes thing undeniably 'rock' and no one in their right mind would call it techno. Then it moves on to "If God Will Send His Angels", which is a new spin on their former more folk oriented style, and then as the album progresses it becomes gradually darker and more downbeat, from the agressive "Miami" to the melancholy "If You Wear That Velvet Dress" and the forlorn "Wake Up Dead Man".
U2 had allready been using electronic elements in their music for years before "Pop", with albums like "Zooropa" and "Actung Baby". Producers like Flood and Brian Eno had helped them use these elements to give the music a more dramatic and intense edge, and in my opinion, it was really evolving U2's music and took it beyond the level of the feel good, folky, arena rock pop songs U2 became famous for in the late 80's, to make something more emotional and complex. This improvement really showed in Achtung Baby, and in Pop they pushed it further and created what I think is the album with the most emotional range and dramatic punch of U2's career.
Unfortunately they decided to slap this "pop" "techno" "discotec" label and look on it, and suddenly everyone wrote U2 off as "selling out" when in reality fan favorites like The Joshua Tree were much more "pop" oriented. The whole "pop" image was probably meant as a sort of sarcastic parody of U2's own sucess, but the joke went right over the public's head and they suddenly saw U2 as "technopop eurotrash".
Now, as a result, we have "All that you Can't Leave Behind" in which U2 recoils from the bad reception of "Pop" by merely rehashing the folky arena rock style that made them famous instead of actually trying to do something new and different. However, perceptive listeners with an open mind can be treated to one of the hidden gems of the popular music industry, and enjoy what is perhaps U2's best work. Give it a chance and you might like it...a lot.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Rich Landscape Of Experimentation., Feb. 11 2004
By 
Robert Blake (Santa Monica, CA, USA) - See all my reviews
Ce commentaire est de: Pop (Audio CD)
7-plus years since it's release, "Pop" can now be seen and appreciated as it what is, an experimental album with some intoxicating rhythms and words. True, this is not U2's best album, and it is fair to say there are moments when the band pushed the envelope to the point where they either had to return to their classic roots (which they did) or risk losing a powerful reputation and fan base. But "Pop" is not some kind of horrible failure, when it comes to club flourishes and the like, it's a good album with a lot of good songs and great playing. Bono proves here he can do dance vocals just as well as rock n' roll ones, just listen to his voice in "Mofo," he sounds like a dance club veteran. The Edge here displays his genius because unlike most of U2's work, he isn't creating basic guitar rock, he's playing rock but somehow masterfully mixes it with dance rhythms and club beats, while still PLAYING! The opener, "Discotheque" is pure fun while "Do You Feel Love" pulsates with electronica but still retains a sense of real emotion. "Mofo" is U2 REALLY pushing it, fans of their classic 80's anthems would never recognize the band by simply listening to this track without knowing who's playing (or at least until Bono's voice appears). But it's an intoxicating, driving number with cryptive lyrics. "If God Will Send His Angels" is a more comfortable return to the U2 mold, beautiful lyrics painted by wonderful melodies and atmosphere. "Staring At The Sun" is another noteworthy moment, it sounds like a hybrid of a 60's song with electronica touches. "Last Night On Earth" is a melodic rocker with a driving chorus. "Gone" is one of the album's best cuts, it does what the band was trying to achieve, it successfully mixes a sense of rock, emotion and dance club identity into one song. However, the new mix of the track found in "The Best Of 1990-2000" is vastly superior. The downers are "Miami," a lazy track that never seems to go anywhere and "If You Wear That Velvet Dress," which is actually a nice song but seems to be lacking in better production (the live version from the Popmart tour is actually better). "Pop" features the biggest band in the world trying out new colors, flavors and costumes with gusto and style. It's not a failure, but you can tell this band is meant for greater material and more soaring music. And eventually they did come back to what makes them special. But for U2 fans wanting a taste of just how far the group is willing to go to try and give us something new, "Pop" is the place to go.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Don't know how well it will age, but ..., Jan. 20 2004
By 
Daniel A. Marsh (Sherman, Texas United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Ce commentaire est de: Pop (Audio CD)
U2 took a giant leap into the unknown void of techno-electro-pop (at this late date I can think of no better description) and came out with "Pop," not one of their most successful albums but an interesting addition to the catalog, nonetheless.
According to many sources, "Pop" was either hurriedly finished or released before U2 were completely done with it. That's sort of hard to believe; the album sounds great, though it does contain a few puzzling dead-ends ("Miami," "Mofo," "Wake Up Dead Man"). This is not the same band that audiences were used to hearing back in the 1980s, which turned off a lot of longtime listeners. But I'm convinced they had to go through this phase -- had to make a record like "Pop" -- if they were to survive and move on. Which is ultimately what they did.
Best cuts: "Discotheque" (overblown, but it still rocks), "Do You Feel Loved" (U2 erotica?), "Staring at the Sun," "If God Will Send His Angels" (underrated), "Last Night on Earth" and "Please."
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3.0 out of 5 stars Actually 3.5 Stars, Jan. 17 2004
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Ce commentaire est de: Pop (Audio CD)
U2's Pop; it's the album that some fans, including myself, tend to want to forget ever happened when you consider the success that U2 has experienced over the years.
Pop is a mockery in more ways than one. The songs themselves, are decently solid yet mixed in a way attempting to explode sonic color into otherwise dark songs. This is where U2 abandons the idea of letting the song be (which they demonstrated in the past as one of their strong-points), instead trying to give it a sound that's not natural to the song. Ironically, the lyrics seem to mock the world (or people of the world) of doing the same thing in life - trying to fill the darkness of life with things that don't naturally fit and fulfill you. Possibly the production of the music was demonstrating what the lyrics were saying. If this was the case, U2 sacrificed good music to prove a point, which leaves the U2 fan disatisfied. Even though the songs are strong in themselves(while ignoring some of the sounds), none can match their previous hits such as "Stay" and many other songs from "Actung Baby" and "The Joshua Tree".
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1.0 out of 5 stars Worst of U2's catalog. Without exception., Sept. 18 2003
By 
El Grande (Fort Wayne, IN) - See all my reviews
Ce commentaire est de: Pop (Audio CD)
As a hard-bitten fan of the band since "Boy" was a new release, veteran of nearly 20 U2 concerts dating back to the "War" tour, owner of over 60 U2 CD's (original releases, singles, remixes, alternate packaging of original releases), 80 vinyl records, all the released DVD's and VHS tapes, and over two-dozen cassettes and singles just for good measure... I've purchased every single one of U2's albums/CD's from "The Unforgettable Fire" onward on the very first day of their release, and only once did I feel like I wasted my morning racing to the local music merchant. Guess when?
ACK!
This is the only U2 album I refuse to listen to ever again... The only tour I've missed in 20 years... The only time I think U2 ever had a serious misstep, and yes, that includes the much-maligned "Rattle and Hum" phase (editorial note: as a pure concert film, primarily from the middle of the DVD onwards, "R&H" has some of the most stirring concert footage ever committed to film, beating "U2 Live in Boston" and even "Under a Blood Red Sky", the latter STILL not on DVD, by a fair margin).
This CD/album is an utter disaster, with only a handful of songs redeeming it from chuck-it-in-the-trash status. "Discotheque" reminds me of nothing more than a sack full of displeased ferrets fighting for a scrap of food!
A general decline of form through the 90's that started with "Zooropa" achieved its' zenith with "Pop", which is practically unlistenable to these ears. Thankfully "ATYCLB" returned the band to a place of prominence, and begat a truly stirring string of live shows that are forever etched into my memory. I travelled across the breadth of this land to see them live on the west coast (in addition to two shows on the right coast), yet wouldn't and didn't travel two dozen miles to see the "Pop Mart" tour out of purest contempt for what they'd perpetrated on the unsuspecting public in the form of their "Pop" CD.
If you really want to start a U2 collection, start anywhere, and I do mean ANYWHERE else. Many regard "October" as U2's poorest effort, but really, it's a true masterpiece in comparison to this horrid collection of mind-numbing nonsensicle overproduction. If only I could erase this travesty from my memory, I would be a much happier man.
But that's just MY opinion. Inexplicably, this CD has achieved an average of four stars (!!!!). I can only suspect mass psychosis on the part of professed U2 "fans". :)
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Pop
Pop by U2 (Audio CD - 1997)
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