The Next U2 Album = The Last U2 Album?

Jam! Showbiz by Paul Cantin (1999-10-26)

Senior Reporter, JAM! Showbiz

In the wake of his heavy involvement in last weekend’s NetAid charity concert, U2 singer Bono has been dropping hints about the group’s nearly-completed new album — and even hinted it could be U2’s swansong.

In a series of interviews, Bono has said the new record, due in the middle of the new year or possibly March, is being co-produced at their Dublin studio by Brian Eno and Hamilton-native Daniel Lanois, the same production team that first worked with the band on “The Unforgettable Fire.”

He’s impressed with the songs so far, but Bono told USA Today they need to keep working and record a final song “that forces you to go on the road.”

And speaking with Heat magazine, the singer even suggested that he has been contemplating the group’s demise.

“I don’t want it to be our last record but it feels like if it was, that would be OK,” he was quoted as saying.

“We would put it out this year, only anything out this year, come 2 January is gonna feel like it’s a thousand years old, so we’re holding out until next year,” the magazine quoted Bono.

Song titles mentioned include “Kite,” a gospel song called “In A Little While,” a “summer song” called “Sun The Moon And The Stars” and “Stuck In A Moment You Can’t Get Out Of” which he described as “just the most
extraordinary song about a friend of mine who died,” but denied the person in question was INXS singer Michael Hutchence.

“It’s really simple and its the most raw record – it’s just wide open emotionally,” he told Heat.

“We’ve got to the point where it doesn’t matter if we push out the borders of embarrassment. There’s no fireworks on it. It’s just a really intimate record played by a rock ‘n’ roll band.”

He described the album to USA Today as “not plastic. It’s not silk. It’s heavier than that …It’s titanium soul.

“It’s like a Beatles record, in that every song feels like a single. They’re tunes rather than just ideas. There’s no storytelling or artifice,” Bono told the paper.

After the heavy experimentation with technology and dance textures on recent releases, the new album will be a return to the organic approach of musicians simply playing together, and he told BBC’s Radio1 that less-is-more attitude could be extended to their live work.

“I don’t want to play the huge venues again. When we go out I’d like to play indoors if at all possible. I think we owe that to the people who’ve been following us around,” he told Radio1.

“The music is like an escape from numbers,” he said, referring to his work with the Jubilee 2000 third-world debt relief effort.

“It’s notes of a different kind, and we’re just making beautiful soul songs at the moment. I can’t wait to get back to my day job.”

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