Top critical review
5 people found this helpful
on 8 December 2006
This is an album of 3 halves, clearly. The good bits, the bland bits and the bits that are left over!
What am I on about?
It depends if you're a U2 purist, a U2 nutter, or someone who just likes some U2 songs.
Whichever you are, there are some stock truths that should be considered when reviewing their work. 1. Their work is high-quality band-oriented stuff. 2. In Bono, they have an obscenely good vocalist. 3. Some of their stuff is overblown and pompous.
For me, "Pop" is the sound of their bubble bursting a bit. Having done 'irony' over the course of 2 terrific albums, out came this mish-mash. "Discotheque" is terrific, camp nonsense. "Mofo" has a great synth motif running through it. But the album feels bloated, sagging under its own expectations of itself. The guitars are like annoying bees in places, really grating on the ears - so much so that they may just as well have used synths. And I couldn't see why they bothered to process the songs so much.
Perhaps if the production had been a bit more stripped down, the songs could have breathed a bit easier, but as it is, they sound overblown, like eating the extra 3 biscuits that, whilst delicious on the way down, leave you with a stomach ache afterwards.
I don't play the album much. That speaks to me. It says 3 out of 5, tops. One for each half, if you see what I mean! And I wish I hadn't bothered buying it at full price, after the heady euphoria that was Achtung Baby and Zooropa.
Ah well, it's an interesting document of a great band at a hiatus, treading water whilst they wondered where to go next.
Worth a listen, but only just.