Poll

So folks which is better and why....Let's have a good clean 'Fight' keep those punches above the belt - let's get it on!

Pop
ATYCLB

Voting closes: August 24, 2017, 10:53:30 AM

Author Topic: Pop v ATYCLB  (Read 2184 times)

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Offline World71R

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Re: Pop v ATYCLB
« Reply #30 on: August 11, 2017, 12:43:06 AM »
Pop, just because it's a much more consistent album with some great experimentation and songs on it. ATYCLB has a great start but drops off quite a bit towards the end with some pretty MOR tracks (Grace, Peace on Earth) in the second half.

I like the feeling of ATYCLB for how its back-to-basics and very soulful with an awakened spirit, but Pop is dark and electronically-tinged with gritty soul that centers around the theme of a man (specifically, Bono) trying to find his place in an ever-changing World. That's very interesting and unique from other U2 works that gives Pop more depth than ATYCLB.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2017, 12:46:14 AM by World71R »

Offline Blueyedboy

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Re: Pop v ATYCLB
« Reply #31 on: August 11, 2017, 02:17:10 AM »
POP all day long, but I do get the feeling ATYCLB gets the brunt of bad feelings due to it being the album that followed POP rather than it being a terrible album.

Having said that, ATYCLB did signal the steady decline of my fandom, it was the first time I had stopped listening to an album before the tour ended and I didn't buy all the singles.

I maintain that U2 deserved to have another day in the sun and ATYCLB provided them with that, but it remains a frustration that it came hot on the heels of the most intriguing (if not commercially successful) period of their career, pretty much applying the brakes to their progressive trajectory.
If AB is the sound of 4 men chopping down TJT, then ATYCLB is the sound of a band taking off their dancing shoes and slipping into something more comfortable. 

ATYCLB wasn't the problem, the thought process that produced it was. I think it was exactly the type of album they intended to produce and was executed and promoted perfectly. It just came at a time when the band had so much more to offer and explore.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2017, 02:19:50 AM by Blueyedboy »

Offline DoYouFeelLoved

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Re: Pop v ATYCLB
« Reply #32 on: August 11, 2017, 04:21:46 AM »
I reckon this thread has a subtle humouristic intent, but I truly believe they're both great for different reasons.

Offline howyousawtheworld

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Re: Pop v ATYCLB
« Reply #33 on: August 11, 2017, 05:22:45 AM »
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You see already the ATYCLB votes are silent....4-2 early doors to Pop but not a single pro ATYCLB comment...

Come on 'Behinders' speak up loud and proud!

Okay, I'll put myself up to be lamb to the slaughter of the Pop fanatics.  I don’t dislike Pop but I voted ATYCLB.  ATYCLB is a record full of great songs and with the exception of Stuck in a Moment and Elevation, the songs sound distinctly like U2, and not generic “MOR” as some would like us to believe.  The production has more innovation to it than many would have us believe – does anyone think Brian Eno would allow the band to put out plod?  It is an excellently executed record on which U2 succeed in producing just the kind of record they wanted to make.  They toured it in the relatively intimate space of arenas and it was a good era for the band.

Pop has quality material on it but is ultimately a disappointment.  People like to believe the band were being radical when they made it, and no doubt Bono is at his deepest on the lyrics, but musically, they compromised themselves too much.  On the one hand they’re trying to sound young and hip, in touch with the yoof - i.e. trying to make it sound like an Orbital or Prodigy record - and being millionaire 30-somethings living cloistered lives in mansions far away from what “the street” this is rather embarrassing.  On the other they want to reach a mass audience so get cold feet about being too electronic, and put some standard rock songs like Staring at the Sun and If God Will Send His Angels on it.  Not all the band seemed comfortable trying to make this album (I think Larry has been particularly vocal about this) and the tensions don’t make for a great record.  It is also a bleak affair.  One of the special things about U2 is that they take us through dark and difficult emotions but come out the other side with love and hope triumphing.  On Pop despair wins, and there are plenty of bands that do despair way better than U2.

In terms of pure songwriting ATYCLB is a better record.  If U2 hadn’t compromised with Pop and tried to put the material into conventional rock structures it may have been a much better record.  Mofo and Miami are two songs where the artistic vision wins through and are highlights.  I also adore If You Wear That Velvet Dress, which is intense and beautiful.  Too much of the rest of it doesn’t work for me: Do You Feel Loved starts with a decent grove but climaxes in a boring chorus, as does Last Night on Earth.  Wake Up Dead Man is a really simple idea and a boring song.

Pop isn’t a bad record but it’s far from being one of U2’s best.


Since when were the likes of electronic/techno dance acts like Orbital and co music for 'the streets'? I suppose the likes of Karl Hyde and Rick Smith from Underworld should live in perpetual embarrassment now that both are multi millionaires yet still churning out terrific electronic albums that still resonate with dance culture with Underworld. Heck, the likes of Underworld were older than U2 were in Pop when they were making chart smashing hits like Born Slippy and Second Toughest in the Infants. How's that for getting in touch with the 'yoof'?

The only regret is that U2 didn't go far enough down that territory and make 10/11 tracks that were all as deep into that techno, electronic spirit of Mofo. Regardless the end result, while partly compromised, is still mightily more satisfying in it's ambition, sound and theme than any record they put out after it.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2017, 05:43:35 AM by howyousawtheworld »

Offline Johnny Feathers

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Re: Pop v ATYCLB
« Reply #34 on: August 11, 2017, 07:08:53 AM »
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You see already the ATYCLB votes are silent....4-2 early doors to Pop but not a single pro ATYCLB comment...

Come on 'Behinders' speak up loud and proud!

Okay, I'll put myself up to be lamb to the slaughter of the Pop fanatics.  I don’t dislike Pop but I voted ATYCLB.  ATYCLB is a record full of great songs and with the exception of Stuck in a Moment and Elevation, the songs sound distinctly like U2, and not generic “MOR” as some would like us to believe.  The production has more innovation to it than many would have us believe – does anyone think Brian Eno would allow the band to put out plod?  It is an excellently executed record on which U2 succeed in producing just the kind of record they wanted to make.  They toured it in the relatively intimate space of arenas and it was a good era for the band.

Pop has quality material on it but is ultimately a disappointment.  People like to believe the band were being radical when they made it, and no doubt Bono is at his deepest on the lyrics, but musically, they compromised themselves too much.  On the one hand they’re trying to sound young and hip, in touch with the yoof - i.e. trying to make it sound like an Orbital or Prodigy record - and being millionaire 30-somethings living cloistered lives in mansions far away from what “the street” this is rather embarrassing.  On the other they want to reach a mass audience so get cold feet about being too electronic, and put some standard rock songs like Staring at the Sun and If God Will Send His Angels on it.  Not all the band seemed comfortable trying to make this album (I think Larry has been particularly vocal about this) and the tensions don’t make for a great record.  It is also a bleak affair.  One of the special things about U2 is that they take us through dark and difficult emotions but come out the other side with love and hope triumphing.  On Pop despair wins, and there are plenty of bands that do despair way better than U2.

In terms of pure songwriting ATYCLB is a better record.  If U2 hadn’t compromised with Pop and tried to put the material into conventional rock structures it may have been a much better record.  Mofo and Miami are two songs where the artistic vision wins through and are highlights.  I also adore If You Wear That Velvet Dress, which is intense and beautiful.  Too much of the rest of it doesn’t work for me: Do You Feel Loved starts with a decent grove but climaxes in a boring chorus, as does Last Night on Earth.  Wake Up Dead Man is a really simple idea and a boring song.

Pop isn’t a bad record but it’s far from being one of U2’s best.


Since when were the likes of electronic/techno dance acts like Orbital and co music for 'the streets'? I suppose the likes of Karl Hyde and Rick Smith from Underworld should live in perpetual embarrassment now that both are multi millionaires yet still churning out terrific electronic albums that still resonate with dance culture with Underworld. Heck, the likes of Underworld were older than U2 were in Pop when they were making chart smashing hits like Born Slippy and Second Toughest in the Infants. How's that for getting in touch with the 'yoof'?

The only regret is that U2 didn't go far enough down that territory and make 10/11 tracks that were all as deep into that techno, electronic spirit of Mofo. Regardless the end result, while partly compromised, is still mightily more satisfying in it's ambition, sound and theme than any record they put out after it.

I will say, I think the criticism of U2 adopting "youth culture" while Underworld themselves were older stems from the fact that Underworld simply were electronic artists.  U2, for as talented and as genre-hopping as they were, weren't.  So they suddenly cut their hair, hire Howie B., and put beats on their album.  For folks already into electronic music, that can come off as posing.  It needn't matter, and I still greatly enjoyed the results--I thought they almost should have done a double album, one disc of "rock" stuff, and another disc as a remix of the whole album.  But I understand the criticism some had at the time.

Offline Allhorizonbomb

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Re: Pop v ATYCLB
« Reply #35 on: August 11, 2017, 07:22:21 AM »
Pop has some good songs, but from a pure production standpoint ALYCLB is a far superior album. U2 should just rerecord all the other songs that they didn't on Best of 1990 and release a rerecorded Pop as a whole.

Offline riffraff

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Re: Pop v ATYCLB
« Reply #36 on: August 11, 2017, 08:05:54 AM »
After reading this thread, I decided to workout to ATYCLB this morning. Such a lovely album...so many musical paths that they follow on this. Not the true energy I need for exercise, but a lovely listen anyway. Admittedly...I still prefer the raw sound of POP, but ATYCLB is well worth the time spent listening.

Offline Neil Young, man!

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Re: Pop v ATYCLB
« Reply #37 on: August 11, 2017, 08:45:47 AM »
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Might as well go for it:

Discotheque - 7 out of 10
Do you feel loved - 5
Mofo - 8
If God... - 7
Staring at the sun - 8
Last night - 6
Gone - 7
Miami - 5
Playboy - 5
Velvet - 7
Please - 8
Wake up - 5

Beautiful day - 6
Stuck - 7
Elevation - 6
Walk on - 8
Kite - 10
In a little while - 9
Wild honey - 6
Peace on earth - 5
When I look at the world - 6
New York - 6
Grace - 3
Ground beneath (to make it an even 12 tracks) - 7

Totals - Pop = 78 ATYCLB = 79

ATYCLB just sneaks it for me - the triple whammy of walk on/kite/in a little while just about makes up for a disappointing second side.
This is an interesting way of doing it, probably the 'right' way. I tend to think more about the whole feel of the album than the sum of the parts. Which is why instinctively I would have voted Pop. Hard to compare the albums though, very different feel. ATYCLB is...more mature. Like comparing The XX and Van Morrison? Both albums have aged well though in my humblest opinion. I happen to love Wake up dead man by the way! It warrants its own thread An Tha!

Offline JFW

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Re: Pop v ATYCLB
« Reply #38 on: August 11, 2017, 08:47:49 AM »
I voted for Pop. I can spin Pop 5 times per month and not getting bored. ATYCLB could be played once in a half year or so.

But it feels a bit wrong. A few years ago ATYCLB made me think 'they're pretty good'. While the '90s album were a 'meh' to me. But after a while Pop and Zooropa made me a definitely a fan. So I wouldn't be a fan without ATYCLB.

Offline achtungx

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Re: Pop v ATYCLB
« Reply #39 on: August 11, 2017, 10:27:09 AM »
Definitely Pop over ATYCLB.

I'm not Anti-ATYCLB. Pop came out sophomore year of college. Popmart Pittsburgh was my first U2 show. Even though they didn't connect with the youth, especially in the US, as they would've liked to (kind of hard to see the tweeners getting into a pop summer song that uses the word "intransigence" in it), they were at least trying to be vital. ATYCLB is when they first started feeling, well, old to me. Some great songs, but not a world changing album. I blame 9/11 and U2's return to relevance in its aftermath for confirming to them that the Dad rock of "Bomb" was the correct course of action to take. They went safe (even reusing the Elevation stage concept) and have yet to look back.

Offline WookieeWarrior10

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Re: Pop v ATYCLB
« Reply #40 on: August 11, 2017, 10:47:29 AM »
By the way, what about ATYCLB's production is superior to that of Pop's anyway? Pop is a far more creatively and interestingly put together album, especially from a production standpoint (e.g. The muffled engine-like drum pattern in Miami, Bono's distorted vocals on Wake Up Dead Man, practically the entirity of the three opening tracks, etc.).

All That You Can't Leave Behind was even the start of U2 burying the rhythm section in their mixes. Nothing is memorable about that album's production, it's pretty average... not horrible, but not spectacular.

Offline codeguy

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Re: Pop v ATYCLB
« Reply #41 on: August 11, 2017, 11:32:56 AM »
For me:

Discotheque - 5 out of 10
Do you feel loved - 6
Mofo - 10
If God... - 6
Staring at the sun - 8
Last night - 7
Gone - 10
Miami - 6
Playboy - 4
Velvet - 8
Please - 9
Wake up - 9

Beautiful day - 7
Stuck - 6
Elevation - 8
Walk on - 9
Kite - 10
In a little while - 10
Wild honey - 7
Peace on earth - 6
When I look at the world - 5
New York - 4
Grace - 4
Ground beneath (to make it an even 12 tracks) - 7

POP 88/120
ATYCLB 83/120

Of course, if you asked me to compare to AB:

Zoo Station - 10
EBTTRT - 8
One - 10
UTEOTW - 10
Wild horses - 6
So Cruel - 10
The Fly - 10
Mysterious Ways - 9
TTTYAATW - 7
Ultraviolet - 8
Acrobat - 9
Love is Blindness - 10

107/120 Blows them all away

Offline Johnny Feathers

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Re: Pop v ATYCLB
« Reply #42 on: August 11, 2017, 12:50:03 PM »
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By the way, what about ATYCLB's production is superior to that of Pop's anyway? Pop is a far more creatively and interestingly put together album, especially from a production standpoint (e.g. The muffled engine-like drum pattern in Miami, Bono's distorted vocals on Wake Up Dead Man, practically the entirity of the three opening tracks, etc.).

All That You Can't Leave Behind was even the start of U2 burying the rhythm section in their mixes. Nothing is memorable about that album's production, it's pretty average... not horrible, but not spectacular.

I agree.  ATYCLB is one of the flattest-sounding albums I've ever heard.  I remember even wondering what had happened to Eno/Lanois's magic on it.

Offline WookieeWarrior10

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Re: Pop v ATYCLB
« Reply #43 on: August 11, 2017, 03:38:37 PM »
I'll give that a go as well...

Pop

Discotheque - 10
Do You Feel Loved - 10
Mofo - 10
If God Will Send His Angels - 6.5
Staring at the Sun - 8
Last Night On Earth - 8
Gone - 8.5
Miami - 9
The Playboy Mansion - 7
If You Wear That Velvet Dress - 8.5
Please - 10
Wake Up Dead Man - 9

Pop Total: 104.5

All That You Can't Leave Behind

Beautiful Day - 4
Stuck in a Moment You Can't Get Out Of - 1
Elevation - 1
Walk On - 3.5
Kite - 8
In a Little While - 6.5
Wild Honey - 1
Peace on Earth - 4
When I Look At the World - 3
New York - 7.5
Grace - 5 (I literally cannot remember this track so I'll just give it a 5)
The Ground Beneath Her Feet - 7.5

All That You Can't Leave Behind Total: 52

Offline Smee

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Re: Pop v ATYCLB
« Reply #44 on: August 11, 2017, 05:05:37 PM »
Neither albums are top of my faves list. Of the 2 albums, i would have to say that Pop is the more enjoyable album. Thats not to say ATYCLB ISNT enjoyable. I will still happily listen to it all the way through