U2’s next album is “Songs of Ascent”, coming soon.

I’m actually more excited about hearing *this* album, due to Bono’s description (which, as most U2 fans know, usually isn’t, um, precise):

U2 just released its first album since 2004 this week, but the Irish rock band is already planning a quickie follow-up for next year.

The new disc will be called “Songs of Ascent,” and it will be more mellow than the current album, “No Line on the Horizon,” singer Bono says in a cover story in the latest issue of Rolling Stone magazine.

And in the Rolling Stone article:

True to form, Bono already has a plan for the first single from the band’s next album. RS uncovered details of that project, described as “a sister release to No Line on the Horizon, a Zooropa to its Achtung Baby,” which could arrive within the year.

Bono already knows the title — Songs of Ascent — and the first single, a surging anthem called “Every Breaking Wave” that was left off No Line at the last minute. Songs of Ascent will be quieter than No Line; in many ways, it’s that ghost album of hymns and Sufi singing. “We’re making a kind of heartbreaker, a meditative, reflective piece of work, but not indulgent,” Bono says. “It will all have a clear mood, like Kind of Blue. Or A Love Supreme would be a point of reference, for the space it occupies in people’s lives, which is to say, with that album, I almost take my shoes off to listen to it.”

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  • James Vella Clark

    i started listening to the album today. Magnificent is definitely what U2 is all about, a couple of other songs like “i’ll go crazy….” and Fez…perhaps i need to listen to them more but they do nothing to me…i don’t know if it’s my impression but in this album, The Edge is really taking centre stage….there’s too much of him and the guitars are too loud at times….in some songs, it also feels that they are trying ‘too hard’ to make some musical statement…
    Having had these last three albums like a re-invention of U2, an album like POP became more significant and special…but nothing will ever beat achtung baby and the dark aura that surrounds it

  • I am glad you gave it some more listens.

  • Okay, after listening to No Line on the Horizon a bit more, I concede that I was being a bit hard on it. It’s not bad. It’s definitely better than All That You Can’t Leave Behind and How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb (which both have their moments), but at the same time, I can’t get on the bandwagon of folks acting like it’s some kind of masterpiece. If anything, the inclusion of “Get on Your Boots” disqualifies it from that honor, as no self-respecting man should ever sing the line “sexy boots.” The other songs range from decent to very good…more for the lyrics and arrangements than for the melodies, though. Too many of the hooks, both guitar and vocal, start off strong before The Edge throws in some odd chord change and ruins the momentum. There’s nothing truly remarkable here. It’s just very listenable.

    I guess that my main problem with the album is that it’s rather un-epic for a band who is clearly capable of being epic, and who kinda promised an epic offering this time around.

  • Pedastal = Pedestal

  • I’m not sure if it’s fair to bemoan a U2 album as not being up to par with The Joshua Tree. Considering that album is on a million music critics “Best Album Ever” lists, it’s a little unrealistic to expect them to do it more than once…even though they have (Achtung Baby). I should preface this by saying U2 haven’t been knocked off my favorite band pedastal for a little over 20 years, but this album is pretty darn good. One of their better efforts in a catalogue consisting almost entirely of better efforts.

  • Music to remove shoes by -that’s an original conceit!

  • The songs I’ve heard are really somewhere in between. The main problem for me is that the melodies just don’t have that transcendent quality present on The Joshua Tree. I’ve never been a huge U2 fan, though, except in the case of that late-80’s masterpiece.

  • I love the new album, but I can’t wait for this. And in my opinion they ARE in With or Without You mode for at least half of NLOTH. The Get on Your Boots dance-party is kind of like a break in the middle.

  • That definitely sounds more interesting. I’ve always liked U2 much better when they’re in “With or Without You” mode, rather than when they’re trying to make funky dance-party rock a la “Get on Your Boots” or “Mysterious Ways”. As you can probably tell, I’m not at all impressed with the stuff I’ve heard from the latest disc.