Author Topic: U2's Most Polarising Album.  (Read 5100 times)

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Offline an tha

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U2's Most Polarising Album.
« on: April 25, 2016, 03:25:04 AM »
Is......?

For my money it has to be Pop - there are people (like myself) who consider it right up there at the very top of the tree in the bands cannon....but then as evidenced by the poll currently running about u2's worst album (albeit a very small sample) where it is running in the bottom 2 or 3 popularity wise, there are people who see it as the nadir of the bands output...

That small poll and my personal opinion aside - it does to me seem to really divide the fan base like no other and very rarely seems to attract indifference.

It seems to be hated, adored but never ignored and I feel that here and in general it is the bands most polarising album...the one that seems to spark off the strongest feelings at opposite ends of the spectrum.

What say you? Is it Pop that polarises the most or another album?
« Last Edit: April 25, 2016, 03:27:08 AM by an tha »



Offline BalconyTV

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Re: U2's Most Polarising Album.
« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2016, 06:40:38 AM »
I love Pop. And to be honest, with each passing year, it seems more fans come to it. So not sure I can say it is that polarizing anymore.

I'd say No Line is the new Pop in that sense. I think No Line is a great and under-rated album. Got reviewed well. Has an interesting sound. But people hate it.

Although on this forum, I think hate breeds hate.

For example ATYCLB. Perhaps thats the most polarising now. People claim to hate it. But come on, really? It has a lot going for it. Sure its a tad bland, and has weak moments... but it still have things in its favor.

Offline il_capo

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Re: U2's Most Polarising Album.
« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2016, 07:13:07 AM »
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... It seems to be hated, adored but never ignored


The band quite happily ignore it.  Maybe that's the real gripe here - you imagine that there's an army of fans out there who hate the album when in reality its only a certain number of people who resent the fact that the band no longer play material off it, who create this straw man of the "anti-Pop" U2 fan? 

I can't say I saw half as many U2 fans complain that Discotheque or SATS weren't played on the last couple of tours, as I witnessed Kate Bush fans crying over the omission of Wuthering Heights at her shows a couple of years back.  Maybe the fact that fans aren't complaining *enough* is the compelling evidence that they're polarised against the album? 

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Re: U2's Most Polarising Album.
« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2016, 08:08:11 AM »
ATYCLB. The "masterpiece" word gets thrown around at this album by a few, but it's as milquetoast as it gets. And it contains some of U2's all time worst album tracks. Elevation, Stuck, Wild Honey, Grace, Peace on Earth. In the worst album poll it's right up there as a contender for worst, yet it gets a lot of love too. It's the epitome of everything that's bad about U2 and was the sound of retreat. Produced by Sir Robin. The vision of a turtle sticking it's head back in the shell.

Offline tom_b1807

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Re: U2's Most Polarising Album.
« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2016, 10:42:11 AM »
I don't see how anyone can actually hate an album, either love or like an album or just ignore it. As for polarising, there definately seems to be an anti-ATYCLB contingent but rarely see anything hateful posted about Pop.

Offline SlyDanner

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Re: U2's Most Polarising Album.
« Reply #5 on: April 25, 2016, 10:45:51 AM »
Probably makes sense to distinguish what is polarizing to the general music public versus the manic fans on this forum. 

For the general public, you could make a case that SOI was the most polarizing simply because of the release controversy.  Add in the ever-present Bono and his advocacy, and a lot, I mean a lot, of people want nothing to do with this band anymore.

For the hard cores, not sure... Pop, Behind, Bomb and NLOTH all are contenders in their own unique ways.


Offline acrobat62

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Re: U2's Most Polarising Album.
« Reply #6 on: April 25, 2016, 10:52:16 AM »
One could make the case for RnH too as when it came out, especially the movie (can you disconnect the two) how self indulgent and pompous it was at the time.

Offline an tha

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Re: U2's Most Polarising Album.
« Reply #7 on: April 25, 2016, 10:56:45 AM »
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... It seems to be hated, adored but never ignored


The band quite happily ignore it.  Maybe that's the real gripe here - you imagine that there's an army of fans out there who hate the album when in reality its only a certain number of people who resent the fact that the band no longer play material off it, who create this straw man of the "anti-Pop" U2 fan? 

I can't say I saw half as many U2 fans complain that Discotheque or SATS weren't played on the last couple of tours, as I witnessed Kate Bush fans crying over the omission of Wuthering Heights at her shows a couple of years back.  Maybe the fact that fans aren't complaining *enough* is the compelling evidence that they're polarised against the album?

You really do seem to look for a barney at times when there isn't one - it is that love hate relationship of ours i think  :).......it was a question with me providing my answer.

Feel free to provide your own rather than look for a barney with me over mine though  :D

There is no 'gripe' as you put it....

That said you raise an interesting point that maybe the general public are either meh about Pop or simply don't really know about it....that is a discussion point on it's own but maybe if it isn't well known or most people are meh about it then it isn't their most polarising - that of course is hard to 'prove'....i suppose for the purposes of this thread it is probably best to stick to judging by the impression we hold from our interactions here and anywhere else we may engage with other fans...

From what i have read i stand by my original suggestion that it is Pop - I am interested in what you think it is (if you believe there is one)

Keep in mind polarising means opposite emotions/opinion -  to cause people to adopt extreme opposing positions: to polarise opinion......you only seem to have focused on perceived dislike or making a point out of me perceiving  some dislike.....the reason i nominated Pop was because it is the album that i see the most extreme emotions for - namely the most vocal love and the most vocal criticism although not always here, here it seems to get silently killed like picking up the 2nd most votes in a worst album poll (along with behind and bomb) so therefore the most polarising taking into account those opposite views and how strong they are.

It seems to be the album the critics either laud or write off the most - again the opposite ends of the spectrum...
« Last Edit: April 25, 2016, 11:10:53 AM by an tha »

Offline Thunder Peel

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Re: U2's Most Polarising Album.
« Reply #8 on: April 25, 2016, 11:01:46 AM »
I'd actually wager that October is the most polarizing. People either love it or hate it, whereas records like Pop and NLOTH tend to have more varied opinions.

Offline an tha

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Re: U2's Most Polarising Album.
« Reply #9 on: April 25, 2016, 11:11:59 AM »
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I'd actually wager that October is the most polarizing. People either love it or hate it, whereas records like Pop and NLOTH tend to have more varied opinions.

You may be on to something here and you certainly have got the point of the question nailed on.

Offline ShankAsu

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Re: U2's Most Polarising Album.
« Reply #10 on: April 25, 2016, 11:39:58 AM »
There's a few albums I think could be considered polarizing starting with R&H, and including ATYCLB, and SOI.  Pop was generally viewed as a disappointment but it didn't polarize fans.  ATYCLB definitely has two camps and really is where the shift is made to those who like the new millennium U2 and those who don't.  SOI obviously because of the way it was released polarized a lot of people. 
Someone mentioned October, but on a second album I don't know that is possible.  I would have thought Zooropa would be a bit polarizing as it took the new sound of AB to a different level, but it seems most of the fans were willing to follow.
And before it gets brought up, the Original Soundtracks 1 album doesn't qualify as its a Passengers album not U2  :P
« Last Edit: April 25, 2016, 12:00:38 PM by ShankAsu »

Offline emalvick

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Re: U2's Most Polarising Album.
« Reply #11 on: April 25, 2016, 11:53:14 AM »
I suppose the question is polarizing by few.  I think of Polarizing as something that a fair amount of people feel strongly from both sides of the spectrum (either like or dislike). 

With that in mind, I think ATYCLB might be that.  There are a lot of people that think it's fantastic with love for Beautiful Day, Stuck in a Moment, Elevation, etc... then there are a lot that don't like it.  Perhaps many of us that resent that the album is considered U2's best by some  (probably newer fans).  It represents more of a split between pre 2000's U2 fans and those that began being fans with ATYCLB. 

I never had the feeling that fans really hate Pop that much.  I think it was more polarizing to the media.  I suppose a commercial lack of success didn't help, but I don't hear people really say they hate the album.  Heck, I was never much of a fan of the album, and it would always be near the bottom of my favorites list, but I respected it.  The songs are fantastic; most of my problems with it were with production.  This is now where I find myself with SOI, interestingly. 

Offline redrunningred

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Re: U2's Most Polarising Album.
« Reply #12 on: April 25, 2016, 11:55:47 AM »
Yeah pop was really more polarizing to the mainstream music world, most hardcore fans are it up. I would say ATYCLB.

Offline codeguy

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Re: U2's Most Polarising Album.
« Reply #13 on: April 25, 2016, 12:48:55 PM »
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Is......?

For my money it has to be Pop - there are people (like myself) who consider it right up there at the very top of the tree in the bands cannon....but then as evidenced by the poll currently running about u2's worst album (albeit a very small sample) where it is running in the bottom 2 or 3 popularity wise, there are people who see it as the nadir of the bands output...

That small poll and my personal opinion aside - it does to me seem to really divide the fan base like no other and very rarely seems to attract indifference.

It seems to be hated, adored but never ignored and I feel that here and in general it is the bands most polarising album...the one that seems to spark off the strongest feelings at opposite ends of the spectrum.

What say you? Is it Pop that polarises the most or another album?

POP, for me, was the album that ended the experimental era for U2. They had previously loved the idea of unique concept albums, sometimes awesome works like Unforgettable Fire, Joshua tree, Achtung Baby, Passengers, Zooropa. Sometimes not so great - Rattle and Hum, POP.

Since POP, U2 has pivoted. When they get experimental, they pull themselves back. Hence the mediocrity of the early 00's work, the pull-back from NLOTH's originally more experimental sound and the rejection of the Rick Rubin and Songs of Ascent albums. All of that second guessing started with the ridicule they got from POP.

As for the album itself, it's not their worst. MOFO, Please, Wake up dead man, Gone and Velvet Dress are great songs. However, I think the album has a lot of mediocre work on it. Discotheque is awful, If god would send his angels is tepid, Last Night on Earth and Do you feel loved are ok, staring at the sun is weak, Miami and Playboy Mansion are meh. If I compare it to Zooropa and Achtung, Baby, I can't rate it.

Offline Blueyedboy

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Re: U2's Most Polarising Album.
« Reply #14 on: April 25, 2016, 02:33:55 PM »
I can't add any more to the party, Pop and ATYCLB are the albums that start the most feuds on these pages so I've got to go with them. However, I will throw R&H into the mix on the basis that it can be loved and hated by the same listener. Somewhere in there is a decent 7 - 8 track album that lost its way.