U2’s Pop is a critically hated album. It’s a sad, depressing , angry, odd album. It’s the best and worst of the 90’s. Pulsating drums, electronica, and seriously, depressing depressing lyrics.
There’s a trilogy of albums put out in the 90’s by U2, that almost sound like a breakup with their religion, and with the music that got them to where they were. It started with Achtung Baby, boiled over into Zooropa, and finally came to a head in Pop.
And can you blame them? The religious right all but called them a bunch of fuck ups for even daring to say With or Without You, because you know, Jesus is the only thing you need. So what better way to prove them right? Let’s make an album(s) about their bullshit and hypocrisy. Let’s shove it right down their throats. Let’s make a god damned statement.
This is Pop. It’s an ironic and loud look at the hypocrisy of modern life, modern america, modern church. It’s a call out to those lost, and disillusioned, to say, “Hey, you’re not the only one out here, enjoying it all, and why shouldn’t we?”
There were some pretty big late 90’s hit to come out of this album, If God Would Send His Angels, The Playboy Mansion, the uberhit Staring at the Sun, but my personal favorite, is Please.
Please always brings a lump to my throat. It’s a bitter and impassioned plea to those very hypocrites this album (and the ones before it) were written for. It’s an honest and biting look at the world as it is. Those on their knees, are sometimes the furthest thing from love we can think of.
Pop is not a perfect album, but it’s not a perfect world. Maybe that’s what U2 was going for.