Sounds like … U2. You don't compare their anthemic modern rock to other artists. You compare other artists to this pioneering Irish bandAt a Glance … there are a few glaring omissions, but overall this is a generous compilation that features plenty of goodies for longtime fans and some of the most important music from the 1990s.

If there was ever an artist I reviewed that needs no introduction, it's U2. You don't have to be a music historian to figure out that the Irish quartet has had a more significant and enduring impact on popular music worldwide than any other artist from the '80s; bands that showed similar promise have either since ended their career or watched their fanbase dwindle with time. It's all too appropriate to rank U2 with the greatest rock bands of all time: The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Who, Pink Floyd, Queen, and Genesis to name a few. Like those bands, U2 has become a benchmark artist with a unique sound to which other acts are compared. They're the "tastes-like-chicken" of anthemic modern rock. As the title explains, The Best of 1990-2000 is the band's second greatest-hits project, chronicling their all-important second decade of music. 1987's The Joshua Tree and 1998's Rattle and Hum may have made the band into worldwide superstars, but it's the second decade that cemented a place for U2 among the rock-and-roll elite – which is ironic, considering they were close to calling it quits before 1991's equally essential Achtung Baby.

Isn't it fascinating then that on top of all that success, U2 has such close ties to the Christian faith? To be clear, they eschew the term "Christian artist," though it certainly applies if you intend the term for any artist with a sincere Christian faith. Lead singer Bono, guitarist The Edge, and drummer Larry Mullen actually joined forces as a band in a small group Bible study, although bassist Adam Clayton isn't a believer. They are, however, among the most respected musicians in the world today, particularly Bono's dynamic, passionate vocals and The Edge's incomparable atmospheric guitars. It surely infuriates many listeners when they try to reconcile the excessive celebrity antics of Bono and the band with their spiritually themed lyrics or their publicized charity work to reduce third-world debt and relieve victims of the AIDS virus in Africa. In his Encyclopedia of Contemporary Christian Music, Mark Allan Powell rightly notes that U2 mentions Jesus (not in vain) more on their 1997 Pop album than releases that same year by Michael W. Smith and Sixpence None the Richer. Say what you will about them (Powell calls them "a Christian band that talks dirty"), U2 is truly something of a paradox, a band rooted in Christian faith that regularly demonstrates genuine humility and generous compassion while also maintaining a rock-star attitude. They've probably had more of an impact on today's Christian music than any band other than The Beatles; numerous Christian artists-ranging from the obvious (Delirious, The Normals, Caedmon's Call) to the surprising (Carolyn Arends, Plus One, Rachael Lampa(!)) refer to The Joshua Tree as having a pivotal influence on their craft.