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PopEntertainment.com > Reviews > Record Reviews > U2

MUSIC REVIEWS

The Passengers-Original Soundtracks 1 (Island)

Remember when U2 actually recorded songs?  I do, but it's becoming hazy.  Calling themselves the Passengers and giving producer Brian Eno full band member status, this album eases further down the bumpy musical road that led to Zooropa. 

Soundtracks is a group of techno songs that were supposedly used as background music in a bunch of imaginary movies you've never heard of.  Many of the songs are instrumental, others using the vocals of Eno, a man renowned for not singing in other projects he's worked on. 

Few of the tracks even deserve the term song; they're really just sketches.  Even on "Miss Sarjevo," the closest thing to U2 on the disc, Bono does another of his wacky duets.  In 1993 it was Sinatra and Cash; this year it's Pavorotti, of all people.  Note to Bono: eclecticism is great, buddy, but know your range. 

I will give U2 this -- at least they changed the band's name on this vanity production.  Original Soundtracks is only for U2 completists, and frankly most of them will be disappointed, too.  (12/95)

Jay S. Jacobs

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Revised: March 11, 2017.

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U2-Pop (Island)

Now three albums into their flirtation with techno, U2 have finally figured out how to make a consistantly listenable album out of it.

As signified by the album title, the band wants to wallow in the kitsch of modern life. Pop gets of to a bit of a rocky start with the clanky swirling Zooropian single "Discotheque," but things soon get back onto course. The techno aspects of the band's new map click into place with the haunting "Do You Feel Loved?"

Also, unlike Zooropa and The Passengers Original Soundtracks Part 1, U2 and savvy new producer Flood know when to cut back on the electronic theatrics and just make a good song like "Staring At The Sun."

If Bono and company pick on some pretty obvious pop culture targets, like Miami and the Playboy mansion, hasn't their longstanding mistaken belief that they were blazing new trails on crowded roads always been part of U2's charm? (4/97)

Jay S. Jacobs

Copyright 1995-1997 PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved.
Revised: March 11, 2017.