I’m sure you have heard all the rumors about the new album by now. Seems like one comes out regularly, and AtU2 has collected a lot of them over the years. One of the things that is interesting about their collection is how they are holding on to all the old songs that have been rumored over the years, because as we have regularly seen, some of those are going to come around eventually, whether as themselves in a partially completed state on a twentieth anniversary edition of something, or mixed into a different song, adding just a little bit of themselves to make something completely new.
The rumors that are most current should have the most cachet, but of course we’ve seen that story many times before. Obviously those old rumors were current at one point. But it’s when you get a series of rumors going that they become interesting. No smoke without fire, as they say. If you hear a story of Bono playing a song for a reporter in a car somewhere (and that seems to happen a lot), you may never hear of that song again. But if you hear multiple stories about that song, it might mean a little bit more. And if you see multiple members of the band talking about something, then it might mean a lot.
The biggest trick is deciphering whether they really mean it. Maybe really mean it isn’t the right phrase, because I’m sure they’re not lying, so maybe it should be more whether the story really has meaning. After all, as Bono has said a number of times, he is not very good with dates. When he says the album will be out on such and such a date, you might get excited, but you probably should take it with a pinch of salt. After all, who ever heard of Songs Of Innocence coming out? It was just a few days beforehand that the rumors were starting to fly that they would be playing at the Apple event, and even less time that they would be releasing something. So if Bono says yeah, we’re going to have a new album out by X date, unless that date is next Tuesday, I might not believe it.
Right now I have been anticipating the announcement of the new album, Songs Of Experience, for a while. It seems like the rumors have gone back and forth, there have been several possibilities this year. The latest was that they were going to use the HBO show to announce either the new album or next year’s tour dates, and obviously neither of those things happen. There was a rumor it was going to be released when they were in Dublin. Another that it would be at Christmas. Then there was an early 2016, to coincide with the next leg of the tour in Europe, but the latest on that is no tour and no album. Last thing I think I heard was sometime in the middle of 2016. I’ll believe it when I see it. Or hear it.