I would argue that U2 is the only true successor to The Beatles' throne. Sure, U2 isn't as exciting as Zeppelin or as heavy as Sabbath or as yearning as Springsteen or as bald as Phil Collins, but there isn't another band out there (other than The Beatles) who perfectly balance everything that makes rock so incredible. They are one of the very few rock groups to successfully reinvent themselves, and they might be the only band to do it more than once.
Pop would've been stronger if a song or two had been removed ("The Playboy Mansion" is the worst offender), and it didn't capture the energy of American club culture nearly as well as Achtung Baby captured the excitement of European dance music. With that said, the album is far better than critics make it out to be. Songs like "Mofo," "Gone," and "Miami" have an incredible amount of energy, while "Staring at the Sun" and "Do You Feel Loved" are good pop songs.
The highlight of Pop comes in the last three tracks, though. "If You Wear That Velvet Dress" nails the darkness of temptation, "Please" reeks of desperate prayers for a fragile peace, and "Wake Up Dead Man" is probably the most hopelessly hopeful song I've ever heard. These three songs alone make Pop an essential album for anyone who truly loves rock music.
When you strip the booklet to its barest elements, it's nothing more than lyrics, credits, and photos. But this is U2 at the point in their career where everything they did was larger than life, and the booklet reflects it. The jacket is printed on a silver background (which makes the grey text occasionally difficult to read), and the entire package screams out with loud colors. It's very well-done, but it mimics many of the design elements of electronic dance music of the time, making it less original than it could have been.
Listen if you like: the dancey side of U2, but especially listen if you like the songs that end U2 albums. If you like "Exit" or "Love is Blindness" or "40," the last three tracks on Pop will be right up your alley.
If it were food, it'd be: a fresh fruit smoothie at an after-hours dance club. You might be drinking it because you're dehydrated from drugs or alcohol, or you might be drinking it because it's 6am and you've been sober all night, but either way it's refreshing and revitalizing.