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'We want 2009 to be our year' says Bono

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U2 have announced that they are pushing back the release date of their highly-anticipated follow-up to 2004's 'How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb'.

The band, who are currently recording in the south of France, were expected to release the new album later this year, but frontman Bono said that the band are on a creative roll and don't want to stop prematurely.

"We've hit a rich songwriting vein," Bono said in a statement on U2's website. "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?"

Bono added: "It's been maddening...there have been injuries and recoveries, no babies born that I know of, but this one is nearly ready for the new year of 2009."

The band said that they are choosing from 50 to 60 tracks they've written during sessions in Morocco, Dublin and France, and that they believe the new album will be a departure for the band.

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

"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'."

The legendary singer, also known for his activism work, added: "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."

--By our Los Angeles staff.
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