From the Vault...



© Island Records

Year of Release: 1997

track listing
  • Discotheque
  • Do You Feel Loved
  • Mofo
  • If God Will Send
    His Angels
  • Staring At The Sun
  • Last Night On Earth
  • Gone
  • Miami
  • The Playboy Mansion
  • If You Wear
    That Velvet Dress
  • Please
  • Wake Up Dead Man

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    This week, back in March of 1997, U2 achieved their fifth #1 album of their career, with Pop. It was a change in music for the band, as Techno music was being a popular trend in the music scene. Most critics wrote off this album as an album to forget. Sure, it's a different "sound" - Techno. But in reality, as you listen to Pop, the entire set of songs are not considered a "true" Techno album.

    Take the opening track (and the one song that received the most airplay) "Discotheque," and "Do You Feel Loved" -- they basically sound the same, but are they Techno tracks? Not really, they probably could have fit on another album, Zooropa.

    Which brings us to the next track, "Mofo." With it's high energetic beats, is sounds like Club Music, and yes, it definitely has a Techno sound. Then comes "If God Will Send His Angels," a song that is just totally opposite of Techno. It's a soft sounding track, and regards to the Christian faith of Jesus and sending His Angels. Again, is this Techno? Definitely NOT. "Staring At The Sun" is U2's answer song to the band Oasis' song "Wonderwall." And again, this is not a Techno track, it kind of sounds like The Cure's "Just Like Heaven" before it kicks into another (I would say as the title of this album is) Pop-sounding U2; as this track probably could have fit on their Achtung Baby release.

    "Last Night On Earth" is another good "Pop-sounding" track, as it has a somewhat moody atmosphere, not Techno at all. "Gone" is almost psychedelic or even psychedelic/progressive. Again, not Techno. "Miami" is different too, quite catchy. Techo? No. "The Playboy Mansion" is another pleasant, laid back Pop-sounding track. "If You Wear That Velvet Dress" is another "moody" track, another "different" song, normally heard from U2. "Different" and "Moody" can also be said for "Please." "Way Different" is for "Wake Up Dead Man" -- I'm still trying to define what kind of music this is ... Is it Pop? No. Something from Psychedelia? Maybe. Rock? Yes, maybe Pink Floyd-ish. Techo? No.

    Everyone was expecting this album to be all-Techno. Not the case - If you really want to classify any of the songs here as Techno, they would be the first 3 tracks: "Discotheque," "Do You Feel Loved" and (definite) "Mofo." The title of the album, though, does seem to fit. There are a lot of Pop-sounding tracks here, and not to confuse U2's sound with their previous albums that they released. Pop may have been written off as one of the band's weaker albums, but I tend to disagree. There are some good songs here. And, I think when U2 announced that they were going to try something different by creating Techno-driven songs, it through their fans and critics way off. Basically, Techno music is not for everyone. Yet the "techno" songs here on Pop are listenable, yet it still does not fit the traditional sound that everyone loves best from U2.

    Give U2 credit for trying something new. It just may have been more interesting to here more techno-driven songs on here. But maybe the band knew that creating an all-Techno album would definitely drive some of their fans away. (Take the band Journey for instance: Their band members came from Santana, and they continued their sound in the Santana style. Steve Perry came along, and it angered the Santana/Journey fans away. Yet, Steve Perry MADE Journey, and although the band snubbed Perry's request to wait awhile to rejoin them, after he was taking care of his ill health. Journey's replacement singers sounded like Steve Perry, but never regained the Steve Perry/Journey success it was had.) Maybe U2 could do a complete turnaround, and record a Country album? Hey, if it worked for Darius Rucker of Hootie & The Blowfish...

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    Previous Review: #1350
    Mary Hopkin--Post Card
    Next Review: #1352
    The Eagles--On The Border