September 3, 2008 16:31

U2 compare new album to 'Achtung Baby'

Bono says band have 'hit a rich songwriting vein'

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U2 spoken out about how the writing and recording is going for what will be their 12th studio album - the follow-up to 2004's 'How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb'.

The band are currently working on their first record in over four years in southern France and say that fans should expect songs early 2009. They said that fans can expect a similar leap from their last record as when they went from classic rock on 1987's 'The Joshua Tree' to the harder-edged 'Achtung Baby' (though 'Rattle And Hum', which was half live, half new material, was released in between).

Frontman Bono said: "We've hit a rich songwriting vein. It gets a bit dark down here but looks like we've found diamonds not coal. I thought a while back we might have the album wrapped by now, but why come up above ground now if there's more priceless stuff to be found?"

Speaking on U2.com, Bono added that the new record will be a return to the band's more iconic albums.

"It's a brand new chapter for us," he said. "Everyone we've played the tracks to has said that musically it feels like another departure.

"The last two records were very personal, with a kind of three-piece at their heart, the primary colours of rock - bass, guitars and drum. But what we're about now is of the same order as the transition that took us from 'The Joshua Tree' to 'Achtung Baby' (released in 1991).

Bono added that his band won't leave the studio until they believe have made their best ever album.

"We know we have to emerge soon," he said, "but we know that people don't want another U2 album unless it is our best ever album. It has to be our most innovative, our most challenging, or what's the point?"

But it sounds like fans won't have to wait too long, and U2 are planning to get some new music out in early 2009.

Bono said: "Early next year people will be able to start hearing what we've been doing. We want 2009 to be our year, so we're going to start making an impression very early on."

The band are also expected to start a world tour in the summer.

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