U2 - Pop

Sunday 1st June 1997
U2 - Pop
U2 - Pop

RATING 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 17281-23798
LABEL: Island 2105243342

Reviewed by Mike Rimmer

Question. Does the continual re-invention of U2 make them genius musical chameleons or charlatans desperately struggling to stay in fashion? Whichever, the editor of a British Christian monthly recently saw this release as one of the most significant releases of the year (Purlease!). A new U2 album is exciting but hardly the portentous happening it was in the '80s! If you've heard the hit singles, you'll have begun to get an idea of what this sounds like. In places dark and dense, rock, trip hop and dance influences meld together to create a stark new U2 sound. Sheer musical brilliance. This album is destined to set the theological cat among the pigeons as the "are they? aren't they?" camps debate the spiritual references. There was a time when it felt that U2 were capable of invading the culture, communicating the deep reality of an encounter with God. Imagine how it could have been! They should have been the band to create a new model, a new approach to mixing passionate, open eyed faith and powerful music. Instead they left fans with more unanswered questions or a buzz from the live gig that lasted as far as the stadium car park. Sadly, cynicism seems to have bitten deeply, in "If God Will Send His Angels" Bono sings, "Jesus never let me down/You know Jesus used to show me the score/Then they put Jesus in show business/Now it's hard to get in the door." Yet some of this feels so passionately heartfelt, in "Wake Up Dead Man" it feels as though Bono is crying out for personal revival. "If there's an order in this disorder/Is it like a tape recorder/Can we rewind it just once more?" Bono, redemption brings more than just one chance and 'Pop''s questions have an answer in lives fully surrendered.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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