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Old 03-24-2009, 06:02 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Somber photography can also make one look more douchey, but at the time U2 were "superheroes." If they pulled that stunt today we'd all laugh at them, like how they titled their second album this decade "How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb." That's an inspired title, but we all scoffed. So the predominant perception at the time allowed them to get away with the photography, which in turn made the album seem more mysterious, and everyone loves mystery, hence the reason why some people thought Achtung Baby had too much flash. I thought that the raw photography was perfect for the era.
Yeah, I like the photography too and it suits the album well, but I also like the photography on the cover of Achtung Baby a lot.
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Old 03-24-2009, 06:03 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I'm totally with you about Zooropa and I actually think the lack of direction is the best thing about that album. They really seem like that were having fun recording it and had a real anything goes attitude about it. I think that translates into one of their most energetic and interesting albums.
I think the first half up to and including "Stay (Faraway, So Close!)" is fairly interesting. The title track with it's oscillating synths and slightly nonsensical lyrics, Babyface the straightforward pop song, the very different Numb and the slightly crazy Lemon. Stay is also nice and slightly more reminiscent of their earlier stuff ..

.. However, Daddy's Gonna Pay for Your Crashed Car and the rest is a bit of a bore I think!

edit :

Might be worth mentioning that they really were monsters of stadium rock at this time in the early 90s. The Zoo TV tour was rather extraordinairy!
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Old 03-24-2009, 06:12 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I think the first half up to and including "Stay (Faraway, So Close!)" is fairly interesting. The title track with it's oscillating synths and slightly nonsensical lyrics, Babyface the straightforward pop song, the very different Numb and the slightly crazy Lemon. Stay is also nice and slightly more reminiscent of their earlier stuff ..

.. However, Daddy's Gonna Pay for Your Crashed Car and the rest is a bit of a bore I think!

edit :

Might be worth mentioning that they really were monsters of stadium rock at this time in the early 90s. The Zoo TV tour was rather extraordinairy!
I like the whole thing, but I agree with you that side one is stronger than side two (can you tell I own this one on tape?). The only song that doesn't really do it for me is "The Wanderer". Johnny Cash is fine but they made that boring, farty-sounding keyboard so high in the mix that I wish I had access to the master tapes so I could just fix it.
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Old 03-24-2009, 06:17 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I think the first half up to and including "Stay (Faraway, So Close!)" is fairly interesting. The title track with it's oscillating synths and slightly nonsensical lyrics, Babyface the straightforward pop song, the very different Numb and the slightly crazy Lemon. Stay is also nice and slightly more reminiscent of their earlier stuff ..

.. However, Daddy's Gonna Pay for Your Crashed Car and the rest is a bit of a bore I think!

edit :

Might be worth mentioning that they really were monsters of stadium rock at this time in the early 90s. The Zoo TV tour was rather extraordinairy!
I might just mention a few things about the Zoo TV tour when I review Zooropa, only because it's one of those things you have to SEE to get. I agree that it was freaking extraordinary.
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Old 03-24-2009, 06:18 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I like the whole thing, but I agree with you that side one is stronger than side two (can you tell I own this one on tape?). The only song that doesn't really do it for me is "The Wanderer". Johnny Cash is fine but they made that boring, farty-sounding keyboard so high in the mix that I wish I had access to the master tapes so I could just fix it.
Hah! I agree .. The Wanderer song is a bit of a curiosity. A wild stab in the dark maybe.
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Old 03-26-2009, 06:52 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Zooropa [Island; 1993]



Things started going awry when Zooropa hit store shelves in 1993. As the most direct presentation of the sound U2 was inspired by when they reinvented themselves, Zooropa is only surprising in how different it sounds compared to any U2 album that came before, including Achtung Baby. It’s got more dance, techno and electronica than Achtung Baby, which was also influenced by the dance/techno scene, but alas it was more a product of alternative rock. Zooropa is also their most incoherent statement since 1981’s October, the circumstances under which it was created allowing U2 a free pass not renewable here. Truth is, Zooropa should have remained an EP – it would have been a great EP if it was made up entirely by the first half of the album’s current playlist. But the band was riding high in 1993 and Zooropa ended up a full length album that coincidentally did very well considering its lackluster self, but that’s mostly due to how popular U2 were at the time.

As the album it is, Zooropa does have some good moments, namely when “Zooropa,” “Numb,” “Lemon,” and “Stay (Faraway So Close!)” are cued. Some close listeners might appreciate the more relaxed second half, namely “Some Days are Better Than Others” and “Dirty Day,” but that’s too forgiving a thing to say.

Some might call U2 circa Zooropa spontenous, you know, because they decided to convert an EP into an LP, but spontenous U2 is Bono jumping off stage and dancing with a fan; spontenous U2 is the band reinventing themselves with Achtung Baby and creating something that was actually very good. Zooropa is U2 testing their luck and popularity, something they will do again, next time very, very unsuccessfully with Pop.

In all honesty, don’t skip Zooropa entirely, just be ware that the second half has less hits than the first. That first half is probably U2’s last great playlist.

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Old 03-27-2009, 04:09 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Nice review on Zooropa I agree with most of what you write. I also think it should've remained an EP containing essentially the first half.

Before they recorded Pop, they also recorded the very strange album Original Soundtracks 1 with Brian Eno and a guest appearance by the late Luciano Pavarotti. They released the album in 1995 under the pseudonym Passengers, so it usually doesn't come up in their discography .. and rightly so, because if you want to listen to the U2 which is farthest removed from anything else they've ever done, that's the album you should listen to. Still, it did chart in Norway and likely other countries with the song "Miss Sarajevo", giving it some attention.

I don't consider it part of their discography because if they had wanted it to be regarded as such, they wouldn't have released it under the name Passengers. Still, it is definetly a curiosity so some people like to mention it. I reviewed it in my own journal if you wanna have a closer look at my thoughts on it.
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Old 03-27-2009, 08:33 AM   #18 (permalink)
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I'm not sure if I'll review Passengers. I consider it one of those Eno side projects, like how he had a side project with David Byrne of Talking Heads (My Life In The Bush of Ghosts) but it's not a Talking Heads album. I'll read your review before disregarding it altogether, though.
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Old 03-27-2009, 09:48 AM   #19 (permalink)
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I think Atchung Baby is a solid album but I must admit to not hearing any other of their 90's releases.
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Old 03-27-2009, 09:58 AM   #20 (permalink)
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I'm not sure if I'll review Passengers. I consider it one of those Eno side projects, like how he had a side project with David Byrne of Talking Heads (My Life In The Bush of Ghosts) but it's not a Talking Heads album. I'll read your review before disregarding it altogether, though.
I think you're justified in thinking of it as another Brian Eno collaboration .. A lot of it is Brian Eno-esque and little of it if any is U2-esque. Also, aside from a couple of gems, it's not that good!
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