So… What do I think about the new U2 album? I don’t want to give my verdict too soon; the reasons why will be made clear. I thought instead I would relate some quick, and some not so quick, thoughts about U2’s discography up to this point. I know in my heart none of you will have lived a full, rich life without reading my opinions on a bunch of old records.
The plan was to skip over the 80s output, but the plan changed when my last post got away from me–it was supposed to be the intro to this post. That happens every time I make a plan. I promise to keep this part short.
Boy: Young band makes exciting record.
October: Difficult second album.
War: U2 starts to fufill potential.
The Unforgettable Fire: Not exactly what the fans were expecting, but excellent none the less.
The Joshua Tree: Seriously? You have to ask?
Rattle and Hum: Better than the film.
From this point on I will not go in strict chronological order. Why? I’m funky like that.
Achtung Baby: It was love at first listen and that love has grown over the years. Like most U2 albums, this one has been talked to death so I’ll move along.
All That You Can’t Leave Behind: Prior to release, this record was touted as a return to the original sound and the next logical step after The Unforgettable Fire. At first, I didn’t get it. I liked it, but not as much as I felt I should. It wasn’t until I saw the Elevation Tour the first time that I saw the light, and everything suddenly made sense.
How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb: Oh how I loved this album… The first three or four times I listened to it. It was at this point I came to the conclusion it should have been called: More Stuff That You Can’t Leave Behind. In all fairness, I haven’t listened to it in a while; my opinion may have changed.
Zooropa: I have never considered Zooropa to a proper album; it comes across as a collection of B-Sides and half finished leftovers. It doesn’t flow like an album, or even a well made mixtape. With the exception of “The Wanderer,” you could put it on shuffle and most people would never know the difference.
Pop: If Zooropa was leftovers, Pop was a undercooked meal. this is what happens when you book the tour before you complete the record. Pop is far more album-like than Zooropa, but what they have in common is that a group of good to good-ish songs does not an album make. If Achtung Baby was, to quote Bono, “The sound of four men chopping down the Joshua Tree,” then Pop was the sound of four men jumping off a tall building and working it out on the way down.
No Line on the Horizon: This one is going to require a post of its own. I apologize in advance.