Friday, July 5, 2013

HERE BEGAN THE WEIRD YEARS, THE IRONIC YEARS, THE TACKY EVEN FOR THEM YEARS, THE FLIRTING AWKWARDLY WITH DANCE MUSIC YEARS, THE DARK YEARS, AND/OR THE SUCKY YEARS: U2's Zooropa was released twenty years ago today: "Yes, 20 years on, Zooropa is a weird blip best understood as a portent of the burps that followed, a mega-band dipping a big toe into murky art-rock waters before belly-flopping completely with Pop and its subsequent crass, costly, cred-depleting tour misadventures."

Anyone care to defend it?


  1. Germane reading material:,96223/

  2. I remember feeling like this album came a bit too hot on the heels of Achtung Baby, as though U2 felt like they now knew how they wanted to make records and wanted to go about making them as quickly and as soon as possible, but you can't follow Achtung Baby — not with a stylistically similar album — and not expect people to compare it unfavorably to the perfectly measured and structured effort before it. I don't think this album is bad, just not as good as Achtung. It gets a bum rap that it only half-deserves.

  3. Randy3:05 PM

    I still love Zooropa. It's looser than Achtung Baby, and less satisfying, of course. But I think it works well in the context of how and when it was made... it's very much a "let's just record some things while we're touring!" album, like REM's terrific New Adventures in Hi-Fi.

    Also, remember that in the two decades since Zooropa, U2 has released ONLY FOUR ALBUMS. I worry that Edge's obsessive-compulsive knob-twiddling and the band's desire for perfection can strip too much of the spontaneity and creativity from their music. (And I say this as a big fan of No Line on the Horizon.) Every U2 album since Zooropa was designed to be a Serious Artistic Statement; Zooropa, for good and bad (but mostly good) is a lot more casual and fun.

  4. Joseph Finn5:11 PM

    Nope. I choose to ignore Zooropa and Pop and skip right to the excellent All That You Can't Leave Behind. Like ignoring that Up ever happened in the Peter Gabriel canon.