1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Lovers, The Misunderstood, and Me
Please, my friends, don't heed the hype and don't listen to the band. POP is brilliant, painful, powerful, angry, angsty, and more heartbreakingly human than any U2 album since Boy. They've come down off their pillar of just-short-of-godly genius to roll in the mire with us mere mortals. It hurts, but in a good way.
Published on July 1 2003 by zoovox
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Lovers, The Misunderstood, and Me,
This review is from: Pop (Jpn) (W/1 Bonus Track) (Audio CD)Please, my friends, don't heed the hype and don't listen to the band. POP is brilliant, painful, powerful, angry, angsty, and more heartbreakingly human than any U2 album since Boy. They've come down off their pillar of just-short-of-godly genius to roll in the mire with us mere mortals. It hurts, but in a good way.
4.0 out of 5 stars Awesome album,
This review is from: Pop (Audio CD)This album rocks and is highly under appreciated. I am a U2 fan from the 80's and this is just a newer U2 album. They always tried new things, look at Achtung Baby and remember the first time you heard it and then Zooropa and same thing so people remember who you're dealing with, a band that does nothing by the rules. And why does no one ever mention Wake Up Dead Man....awesome tune.
4.0 out of 5 stars Even when they're "bad", they're good,
This review is from: 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.
5.0 out of 5 stars Rejected For All The Wrong Reasons,
By A Customer
This review is from: 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.
5.0 out of 5 stars Languid, Pulsing, Throbbing, Rock-Tech.,
This review is from: 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.
1.0 out of 5 stars Lame attempt by U2,
This review is from: Pop (Audio CD)U2 tried a new direction with POP, and it failed. I am very strong U2 fan, and this is by far the worst album they ever recorded. Past experiments by U2 have mostly suceeded, such as Achtung Baby and Zooropa. But I have listened to POP several times, and it still just doesn't sink in. No matter how many times I give it a try, it always comes up empty. Save your money and concentrate on Boy, War, Unforgettable Fire, Joshua Tree and Achtung Baby. POP is a very forgettable recording.
5.0 out of 5 stars Best album since Joshua Tree,
This review is from: Pop (Audio CD)This is an album that hit the pop market with a totally new sound and look, as they also did with the Joshua Tree, though the sentiment here is vastly different. For some reason, it didn't do too well in the market--instead, everybody went for the much worse "All that you can take with you", or whatever its called. Strange, because this album is as good if not better than Joshua Tree. Musically, its at a level of sophistication greater than anything they've ever done--yet they make all that complexity work just right. They spent more time on this than any other album, and it shows. Fine work.
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Album,
This review is from: 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.
4.0 out of 5 stars Unusual U2 album mixes slow stuff with techno,
This review is from: 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!
4.0 out of 5 stars Extremely Strong Album,
This review is from: Pop (Audio CD)Though many of U2's fence sitting fans jumped ship for this album, they may want to take another look at U2's artistic stab at the lighter side. In fact, this album really does stack favorably to it's more heralded immediate siblings. The younger, All that you can't leave behind, is a fantastic back to basics tug on the reigns but it is not the album that Pop is. the older, Zooropa is also fine but a little too directionally challenged for my liking. Is Pop another Actung or Joshua Tree? No, but nothing ever will be. Enjoy Pop for all of it's own personal greatness. You won't regret it
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