Re: U2 looseness/Differerence JT and popmart

John J. Hlavaty ([email protected])
Fri, 17 Jul 1998 03:46:57 -0400

"rob okorn" <[email protected]> wrote:
>Pop's accessible sounds are closer to formulaic than anything else.
>Throughout the popmart tour there would be posts like 'hey Miami is alot
>better live than I thought', no kidding, guess why, because it's also
>one of the loosest Pop tracks, it doesn't have the soaring melodies and
>formula hoos or tame production of the other tracks.
>I suppose the people who see the validity in any of my arguments will
>keep them to themselves while the less objective will churn out
>expletives or other lingo of that ilk in a more tamer light.

Forgive me, but I must laugh at your condenscending
and presumptuous tone. Just because one disagrees with
you hardly means that the person is doing nothing more
than regurgitating what others have stated. For if that
were true, the same could be said for you. You are not
the first to complain about U2's current direction. Having
been a WIRE member since 1994, I have seen this basic
argument repeated numerous times.

That said, you do have many valid points, but it seems
you are overly biased for the JT era U2. You then seem to presume
that those who contradict you must be overly biased for the new U2.
This is not necessarily true. I think those who present an opposing
view are doing just that and nothing more. These are comments from
people who appreciate ALL eras of U2's music equally.

Your above comment regarding U2's writing style has
a valid point - but I would assert that this style began
FAR, FAR earlier than with "POP". Even many music critics
agree that JT is an album full of "grandiose, stadium anthemic" music.
This is not to say that JT is a poor album by any means.
Rather, the comment merely reflects the truth - that
U2 essentially "write big".

This writing style essentially began with "War" which produced
catchy, anthemic and inspirational songs like "Sunday Bloody Sunday"
and "New Year's Day". U2 know how to write music
that appeals to the masses - they have been doing this for
15 years. To suddenly declare "POP" as formulaic is quite
short-sighted. "POP" is no more formulaic than any other
U2 album and I would argue that the somewhat experimental
nature of "POP" combined with its diversity of sounds make
it LESS formulaic or "stadium-filling" than U2's past albums.
Songs like "Pride", "Desire" and "Mysterious Ways" have
incredible hooks which made them hits. Slow love songs like
"With or Without You" and "One" are virtually guaranteed
to be hits in the U.S. (as are all slow love songs). "POP",
however, doesn't have this "catch" song or this traditional
slow love song. "Staring at the Sun" is the closest "POP"
came to a catchy song and even that wasn't nearly as "pop"
as "Desire" or "Mysterious Ways".

"POP" is more reminiscent of "Zooropa" to me - an album
that came out slightly ahead of its time. Despite the fact
that "Zooropa" went double Platinum in the U.S. in 9 weeks,
most U2 fans really didn't like this album back in 1993.
But by the time 1996 came around, suddenly I saw
a change in attitude. Fans that "attacked" "Zooropa" years
earlier were now stating how much they enjoyed that album.
Other artists starting making music that resembled the themes/sounds
on "Zooropa". With "POP", it seems that U2 again are
just a bit ahead of their time. In a few years, we may
see more groups combining techno with rock (as opposed to
just one or the other).

I can appreciate the fact that you may not like "POP"
as much as other U2 albums. However, I do feel that if
you want us to take you seriously, you must show those
who present an opposing view the same respect.

Just a thought...



This archive was generated by hypermail 2.0b2 on Fri Jul 17 1998 - 00:49:31 PDT