Which is the better album - Pop or Zooropa? - U2 Feedback

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Old 12-04-2018, 02:12 AM   #1
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Which is the better album - Pop or Zooropa?

They are my 2 favourite U2 albums and I for the life of me can't decide which I like better because they are both effect me equally. I feel like Pop was heavier and has more depth than Zooropa but Zooropa is artistically a more clever album, while Pop contains greater high points than Zooropa (Mofo, Gone, DYFL), however Pop has greater low points (Miami/Playboy Mansion).

How to you even begin to compare the two albums? They are both probably the pinnacle of the band's creativity.
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Old 12-04-2018, 02:58 AM   #2
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Playboy Mansion is not a low point. Love that song. Different style for U2 and they made it work.

Also the snippet tacked onto the end of Streets was epic
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Old 12-04-2018, 03:42 AM   #3
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[QUOTE=AndrewCowley;8286678]Playboy Mansion is not a low point. Love that song. Different style for U2 and they made it work.

I like the Playboy Mansion, and Miami but are they better than Babyface, The First Time, Dirty Day or Numb -
arguably the lower tracks on Zooropa - which are still flipping great?

Personally, I don't think so. Playboy Mansion and Miami are perhaps the weakest across both the albums.
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Old 12-04-2018, 05:05 AM   #4
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A wet turd is better than baby face
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Old 12-04-2018, 06:46 AM   #5
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I celebrate their entire catalogue.
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Old 12-04-2018, 07:49 AM   #6
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Zooropa has more songs that work best in the context of the album but that you probably wouldn't listen to separately (Babyface, Numb, Daddy's Gonna Pay, Some Days, The Wanderer). From start to finish it works.

There's not much I dislike about Pop, except of course that we barely have any live versions of its songs since 2001 that might inspire new perspectives on the studio iterations.
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Old 12-04-2018, 07:58 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Headache in a Suitcase View Post
A wet turd is better than baby face
omg yes

I like Pop more for sentimental reasons but I would say Zooropa is a better album.
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Old 12-04-2018, 09:16 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by devir View Post

How to you even begin to compare the two albums?
Like this:

Zooropa was an EP stretched into a full album (it shows).

POP was the band continuing with electronica and experimentation until they ran out of ideas after the first three songs (it shows).

Still . . . Zooropa hangs together conceptually a bit better.

So Zooropa.
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Old 12-04-2018, 09:22 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Kieran McConville View Post
I celebrate their entire catalogue.
Well said, indeed.

I would have to give Zooropa the edge but not by much....
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Old 12-04-2018, 10:27 AM   #10
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Zooropa, although Pop isn’t that far behind.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kabigon View Post
Zooropa has more songs that work best in the context of the album but that you probably wouldn't listen to separately (Babyface, Numb, Daddy's Gonna Pay, Some Days, The Wanderer). From start to finish it works.
Yep, basically this.
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Old 12-04-2018, 11:36 AM   #11
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I think Zooropa is more focused sonically, but Pop more focused thematically with the lyrics. I disagree with the original poster about Pop having higher high points; Zooropa, Stay, and Lemon are all better than anything on Pop IMO and would all be in my personal Top 10 U2 tracks. But Pop seems to pack more weight as it wraps up, with Please and Wake Up Dead Man making for a considerably more powerful finish than Dirty Day and The Wanderer.

So I really go back and forth. If you asked me which one better represents the creative peak of the band, it’s Zooropa. Yet I feel like I’ve had a more substantial meal when Pop ends, as it has the benefit of being longer and has more good-to-great tracks (I enjoy all the songs on both albums a lot). Maybe the deciding factor is that regardless of how much any of us may love Pop, we know that it was born through a kind of aesthetic compromise that the band didn’t previously practice, that the band was rushing to complete while still scaling back on their initial experimentation. In that sense, Zooropa is a purer work and that might give it the slight advantage—artists on top of the world, pushing the envelope and not giving a fuck how it was going to fit into the mainstream marketplace. The release of Numb as the lead single only underlined that ethos.
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Old 12-04-2018, 02:18 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Headache in a Suitcase View Post
A wet turd is better than baby face
Your kidding right? babyface is a sonic gem, the picture it paints is perfect, it's a song which showcases U2 at the peak of their creativity and experimentation
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Old 12-04-2018, 04:20 PM   #13
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I love Babyface. I never understood the hate it gets here. Is it the music? Lyrics? Subject matter?
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Old 12-04-2018, 04:28 PM   #14
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I like it a lot as well. The rhythm section on it is fantastic.
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Old 12-04-2018, 06:41 PM   #15
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Babyface is pretty much just making fun of porn, right? Given the subject, I feel like it works pretty well.
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Old 12-04-2018, 07:23 PM   #16
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I listen to both of them more often than I listen to Achtung Baby.
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Old 12-04-2018, 08:28 PM   #17
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Your kidding right? babyface is a sonic gem, the picture it paints is perfect, it's a song which showcases U2 at the peak of their creativity and experimentation
I am not.

It's dog shit.
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Old 12-04-2018, 09:24 PM   #18
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Pop is better.
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Old 12-05-2018, 05:33 AM   #19
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Pop has actually dropped a little bit in my esteem in recent years because the album's lack of sonic/musical cohesion makes it a less consistent experience than its predecessors. With Zooropa, I feel like I need to strap in to prepare for a wild ride that takes me where U2 had never gone before for a sustained 50 minutes. With Pop, I feel like they mix some successful gambles (Do You Feel Loved, Mofo, Wake Up Dead Man) and conciliatory measures meant to keep things somewhat familiar (IGWSHA, Staring at the Sun). The album never finds its footing for longer than 3-4 songs in a row, as it's constantly switching gears to encompass the wide range of sounds they were attempting. Bono has some dud lines here and there also, but the good vastly outweighs the bad on that front. He has a lot to say on here, which was one of the last times that was the case.

Meanwhile, the sound and lyricism of Zooropa is perfect. Not all of the songs are perfect, but everything feels of the same eccentric piece. The highs are the highest of their career IMO (Zooropa, Stay and Lemon are all in my top 10) and the relative lows are still fun and engaging. The sound is rich and Bono brings a thoughtful, critical eye to his words and characters. It's a masterpiece, the result of a great band with swagger and full command of their ideas and talents. By the time it wraps up with The Wanderer, I feel like the band has done an incredible job of painting their beautiful sonic landscape, a place full of promise, possibility, coldness and isolation with humanity buried somewhere in the center.
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Old 12-05-2018, 10:22 AM   #20
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Looks like we're very much on the same page. One additional point you made is the erratic nature of the track listing, and correct me if I'm wrong but isn't this the first time there seemed to be some late-in-the-game changes, the start of a recurring trend that has affected every album since? I seem to recall a Bono interview where he mentioned the album originally opening with Mofo and "three dance tracks in a row" or something, but they were worried it might be too shocking to the listener. This is the same band that released Numb as a lead single.

So I think you could alleviate some of your issues if you tried reordering the songs; I had a custom playlist a while back but I don't think I have it anymore (it had Holy Joe, North and South of the River, and I'm Not Your Baby, which probably took it over the standard CD limit).

Of course, you're still left with an unfocused overall sound compared to Zooropa, but it may go down a little smoother.
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