Agreed. I think Eno and Lanois still have potential, but imo it wasn't realised fully on NLOTH (except for a few songs like MoS). Working with new, younger producers is a great idea, so i'm glad they're recording with Danger Mouse and Redone.
But I think that was the band's fault. They wanted something more radio-friendly that what NLOTH was originally going to be. So you can't pin NLOTH's shortcomings solely or even mostly on the producers. In which case I highly doubt that engaging someone more 'relevant' is going to change anything much. We know how stubborn U2 can be; if they want to be radio-relevant at the expense of making truly innovative music, their producer couldn't stop them, as NLOTH amply demonstrates.
That's a very good point, something i'd forgotten about. After all, it was the same producer team that saw u2's dramatic overhaul, from the Joshua tree to Achtung baby. I think new producers will definitely change the 'sound' of the band, even if it is to a limited extent. But yeah, you're right, it's up to the band ultimately.
However, if they are
willing to change their sound, and are open minded enough, i think new producers could encourage that, as they'll be dealing with very foreign ideas (and a new producer might be less passive than an old one, who's 'grown comfortable' with the band). And given the last we've heard from pretty much all band members, they do
seem interested in exploring new sounds.
I think they realised they drained the well dry with the 'classic u2' sound after the (relative) commercial failures of Crazy tonight and Magnificent, which heavily featured that trademark chime. So hopefully they'll be encouraged to offer something new up.