"Lookin' for a sound that's gonna drown out the world": resolving musical emotional ambiguity in U2's POPVision

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Semantic ambiguity complicates finding desired information. Additionally, the same music elicits different emotions in different people, which makes it difficult to find music online that meets our emotional desires. I operationalise this as “musical emotional ambiguity.” U2’s musical emotional ambiguity is especially complex, as any fan can attest. In this presentation, I will disambiguate the emotion of U2’s PopVision using multimodal analysis of music, lyrics, videos, and live concerts from Achtung Baby, Zooropa, and Pop, 1990s world events, interviews, reviews, paraphernalia, and fandom discussions. Can we agree on how PopVision and its artefacts make us feel?
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 13 Jun 2018
EventThe U2 Conference - Belfast, United Kingdom
Duration: 13 Jun 201815 Jun 2018


ConferenceThe U2 Conference
CountryUnited Kingdom


  • semantic ambiguity
  • information retrieval
  • emotions
  • U2
  • PopVision
  • Zooropa
  • Pop
  • Achtung Baby
  • popular music

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