I knew you'd say that but I included that line anyway.
If you think every track is crap, then I'm not so sure they could do anything to satisfy you at this point.
And again I ask: what band with three decades behind them made better albums than their first and even second decades?
Exactly. I think this is something some of the "haters" just can't wrap their heads around. It's pretty much impossible for any artist with this sort of longevity to make better music in the third/fourth decade than in the first couple. Springsteen hasn't, the Rolling Stones haven't, and even if the Beatles had stuck around as a band, I doubt they would have been able to, either.
As to the issue of not touring often enough, I can see it both ways. I think it's fantastic that Prince, Springsteen and a number of others are committed to touring and recording new music frequently. But I can also see where artists like U2 might need a break. Touring, even with a couple nights off between gigs (or more) can get hard, no matter how nice your accommodations are. Especially when you have a significant other and kids at home. Who really wants to go weeks or months without seeing their kids?
I can't blame U2 for wanting to take a hiatus, especially now that their kids are growing up and they're getting older themselves. With 30+ years of music under their belts and numerous CDs/tours, they deserve a break and deserve to spend time with their families and pursuing other interests should they choose to do so. It doesn't make them terrible musicians to do that, and it doesn't make them any less "dedicated" to music than others who choose to tour more often. It makes them human. If I were in their shoes, even with how much I love music, I'd do the same thing. In fact, I'm surprised they even did as much touring during the 90s as they did, given the fact that their kids were pretty young back then.
Like someone else said, if U2 were to call it a day now, I'd be sad. But ultimately, I'm just glad they've stuck together for as long as they have and have made a lot of really good/great music during that time. Not many artists can say the same.