U2 planned to record a new EP before launching the European leg of their ambitious Zoo TV tour in 1993, but the EP quickly turned into the full-length album Zooropa. Picking up where Achtung Baby left off, Zooropa delves heavily into U2's newfound affection for experimental music and dance clubs. While the title track marries those inclinations to the anthems of The Joshua Tree, most of the record is far more daring than its predecessor. While that occasionally means it's unfocused and meandering, it also results in a number of wonderful moments, like the quiet menace of "Daddy's Gonna Pay for Your Crashed Car," and the space-age German disco of "Lemon," the Edge's droning mantra "Numb," and the gentle, heartbroken "Stay (Faraway, So Close!)," one of U2's very best love songs. As the album winds to a close, it drifts off track, yet the best moments of Zooropa rank among U2's most inspired and rewarding music.
by Stephen Thomas Erlewine