Most bands would see No Line on the Horizon as a hugely successful album. It sold millions of copies and the supporting tour was the single biggest tour of all time. But U2 aren't most bands. It didn't generate any real hit singles, and they saw the sales as highly disappointing. (In hindsight, "Get On Your Boots" shouldn't have been the first single.) The fact it hit right around the time Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark was going through just about the worst press beating in Broadway history didn't help matters. Even in the midst of a sold-out stadium tour, U2 seemed like they were in free-fall. In the past, U2 have responded to a "failure" by "dreaming it all up again." That meant the club-ready sounds of Achtung Baby after the rootsy Rattle and Hum, and it meant the back to basics approach of All That You Can't Leave Behind after the electronic sounds of Pop.
This time around, it seems like their move is to dump their longtime producing team of Daniel Lanois, Brian Eno and Steve Lillywhite in favor of Brian "Danger Mouse" Burton. He helped the Black Keys score huge hits in a market that has very little interest in rock & roll, and U2 clearly hope he can use that same magic on them. U2 has been working feverishly on this material ever since the 360 tour ended in the summer of 2011, and not a single note has leaked out. Nobody knows what it sounds like. When asked about the project, Bono merely says, "U2's gotta do something very special to have a reason to exist right now." We're excited to hear what they come up with.