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4.4 out of 5 stars
64
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 4 March 2015
Just caught up with this album nearly 20 years after its release. Back in the late 80's early 90's U2 were my favourite band. Achtung Baby! caught me completely by surprise and I wasn't too sure about it. Zooropa which followed just turned me off....and I never bought Pop. However recently I have been revisiting my U2 collection; mainly because I have discovered Japanese produced and mastered CDs which do wonders to old classic albums.

I re-bought Achtung Baby!, Rattle And Hum and The Joshua Tree on Japanese CDs and they have never sounded so good. The sound is clear, rich and deep - making the albums sound young and new again. I never liked the production on European/American U2 CDs because they sound flat and tinny. However the Japanese versions are *much* better.

So with that in mind and having read through the reviews here at Amazon I thought I would give Pop a try and Zooropa a second chance. Now get this: about 70% of the soundscape on Pop is below the mid-tone. It is deep and bassy. The sort of sounds that a European/American produced CD would not pick up. However on the Japanese version (such as PHCR-1835) it sounds fantastic. It also really helps that I have a Bose Wave CD player which is really sensitive to bass.

My suspicion is that the great sonic soundscape of Pop falls flat on poorly produced CDs and cheaper CD players. Maybe I'm mistaken; but that is my guess. You need the quality sound for the album to shine through. Having said that the album sounded brilliant to me. It is full of bluesy electronica and rhythmic rock. Sort of like The Stones meets Kraftwerk. Some real original sounds and melodies coming through.

The songs are in the league of Achtung Baby! but with the Zooropa twist to them. Personally I feel this album may be re-evaluated in the future and be recognised for the classic it is.
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on 20 March 2017
excellent
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on 15 January 2014
Not the best to come from this group but is OK. Different to a lot of their other noteworthy work but still a good addition to the collection.
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on 19 October 2000
If the glam rockers of the 1970s could come back now, after the musical changes from the last two decades, someone like Slade would be releasing singles like those on POP. Though to say that the whole album can be generalised like this would be wrong.
The most noticable difference in U2 since their late 1980s albums has been the difference in 'mood' in their songs. Gone were the love songs, and small political messages towards the US, now the band were digging at commercialism and consumerism. Along with this change, Larry Mullen Jr (the U2 Drum machine) has evolved with the times, and this is very noticable on POP - it's U2 to a different beat.
The songs... aha, what was that 'Discotheque' all about? Well, it was OK wasn't it? 'Please', 'God will send his angels', 'staring at the sun'... You've probably heard them. However, 'Miami' and 'Mofo' could be the most experimental songs on there, both with beats to die for and 'sing-a-long-a whatever' lyrical mix.
Basically, some people will be disapointed with the fact that this album, along with Achtung Baby and Zooropa, is not the Joshua Tree. However, it isn't 1987 - so U2 should be commended for their way of making new music, and not the way they don't make the same past successes all over again....
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on 19 November 2011
For me POP is the last special U2 album.After this they just produced ordinary sounding music without that something special that made U2 so,well special.Such a shame because i always looked forward to every new release the band came out with.
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on 2 November 2002
U2 have done it again with this album - tracks such as Discotheque, MOFO....oh forget it!! All of them!!!! Reveal a side not seen from U2 since the ZooRopa tour, their take on disco, dance and the haunting ballard of "If You Wear That Velvet Dress" are riveting to hear and you never tire of them - which for me if youre still listening to an album a few months after it's release then it's good, if youre still listening to the album a few YEARS after it's release then its a classic, which I am and this is!!
The music goes from dancey to electro to a complete change of mood and sees Bono coping very well with the slower and more personal songs in a fashion only U2 do so well.
A must buy even years after its release, you wont be let down unlike "All that you can't leave behind"!!
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on 15 July 2004
U2 are a band that have staked their claim in the rock hall of fame long before this album - so it was always going to be difficult to live up to the hype that success brings. "Pop" is an album that starts of with the class "discotheque" - a song that has an unmistakable riff. From tracks 1-3, the electronic influence come in heavily - but with great success - Track 3 (mofo) a particular good one. However, this album is one of the most introspective yet as well - tracks like "If God will send his angels" and "Velvet dress" are hidden gems that carry so much depth. Well worth investing in - if only to appreciate the endless talent of this brilliant band.
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on 29 November 2012
Achtung Baby felt like an album full of hope and belief in a better world after the fall of communism. Zooropa and the 2 year tour felt like a party where we all got drunk on that hope and belief. By comparison, Pop felt like the hangover after the party where everyone starts to realise that the hope was misplaced and that nothing much has really changed. A great album, nonetheless. It's almost as if the party is carrying on but nobody really believes in it anymore, hence the change of mood.
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on 10 February 2009
Excellent album by U2 and easily one of their best! It's called Pop and many think it's all dance music. As a 19 year old rock music fan who despises pop and dance music I can easily say the whole album is 100% rock and roll.... well maybe 90%! Mofo and Miami are the only real "techno" songs here, but they're even good songs too. Apart from that it's business as usual!

Why nobody bought it is a mystery. Please buy it and get it's sales past double figures!
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on 21 April 2016
"Pop" seemed to burst U2's bubble a little (critically and ultimately commercially, though the record sales & ticket sales would still make most other bands envious). The album didn't seem to get the same positive response that the arguably equally-experimental "Achtung Baby" and "Zooropa" did, but I feel this is unfair. Despite the numerous problems which afflicted its creation (drummer Larry Mullen jnr had back problems and the timeframe was rushed to fit in with the tour schedule) "Pop" is a further progression of their sound through these two and the experimental side-project "Passengers:OST1" where Brian Eno assumed the dominant role. Here, without Eno, they did themselves proud, creating a record of battered humanity and a unique darkness, amid all the drum loops, programming, hip-hop flourishes and treatments, and perhaps it was the sombre, damaged nature of the record that ultimately scared fans away.

Personally I don't feel "Pop" can be bettered in their catalogue at mastering a slow change of mood, from the effervescent opener (the disco-funk of the hedonistic "Discotheque") through to the despairing ballad "Wake Up Dead Man" which finds the narrator bereft of hope at Jesus' absence. The tone darkens throughout, and unlike the exuberant "Achtung Baby" and the quirky, unpredictable "Zooropa" an ominous cloud seems to hang over the LP - even "Discotheque" seems to have a desperate feel to the lyric and Bono's delivery of it. This sense of desperation runs through "Do You Feel Loved", where Clayton's bass pounds the song along, the typical, sweeping U2 power ballads like "Staring At The Sun" and the grim subject matter of songs like "Mofo" (apparently about Bono's late mother) and "Please", where he berates Irish politicians and terrorists for apparently failing at the peace process. Other highlights are the haunting "If You Wear That Velvet Dress" with its Lou Reed-style spoken introduction, "Gone" with the Edge's guitar in the chorus at its most screaming and exhilarating, and the controversial "Miami" with its jagged electronic menace and John Bonham-style drum breaks.
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