NEW YORK (AFP) – U2 was set Wednesday to start releasing music from its latest album, months after deciding to go back to the studio and rethink its tone following Donald Trump’s shock election.
The Irish rock legends said that “The Blackout,” a track off their 14th studio album “Songs of Experience,” would come out later Wednesday.
The track, however, will not be considered the lead single from the album. That will be “You’re the Best Thing About Me,” which U2 said in social media posts would come out on September 6.
“Songs of Experience,” whose release date has not been announced, is a sequel with apparently grown-up themes to 2014’s “Songs of Innocence,” which reflected heavily on frontman Bono’s childhood in suburban Dublin.
The latest album is set for a more conventional release after U2 acknowledged its strategy backfired in 2014 when Apple, as part of a product promotion, sent “Songs of Innocence” to all one-half billion iTunes accounts around the world — whether users wanted to hear U2 or not.
The band, known for its advocacy of civil rights, said it completed most of “Songs of Experience” last year but decided to return to work after Trump stunned the world by winning the White House.
“Most of it was written in the early part of 2016, and now, as I think you’d agree, the world is a different place,” guitarist The Edge told Rolling Stone earlier this year.
“It’s like a pendulum has suddenly just taken a huge swing in the other direction,” he said.
Bono, in a separate interview with the magazine, said that U2 was also trying to cut down the size of the album and saw a value in returning to the studio to fine-tune its performance.
U2 is releasing the new songs as the band tours North America to mark the 30th anniversary of “The Joshua Tree,” generally considered its definitive album.
“The Joshua Tree” reached into the roots of both Irish and American music and took on a political edge, with Bono addressing political violence and US support for Latin American dictatorships under Ronald Reagan.
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