I like the best 3 weeks in the studio quote. That gives me a bit of hope about the new album and makes me happy that they're apparently actually working on the new CD. I'm really looking forward to whatever they come up with and to the next tour, whenever that happens.
But the looking for the perfect pop song quote? That makes me think they're still wayyyyy too worried about "relevance" i.e. putting out an album of songs that will be well-received by radio i.e. putting out an album of predictable garbage. I don't doubt that every U2 album starts out great (as Bono has said in past quotes), but the continual revisions and production changes typically results in an album that is less than great (just look at Crazy Tonight as an example of what too much production can do to a song).
Edge, Adam and Larry have all struck me as rather sensible people. Surely they must know that this focus on "relevance" is ridiculous and that, realistically speaking, U2 stands no chance at ever having the radio hits they had in the 80s/90s again, right? If they do see it as most fans see it, and U2 is really a democracy where everyone's opinion is just as important, why the hell can't they tell Bono to stfu and focus on making great music again, regardless of its "relevance"?
Don't get me wrong, I love Bono--but I think he's being a bit ridiculous with this. As great of a band as U2 is, they're simply too old for pop radio today. Even if the Beatles had stuck together, even they would not be able to get #1 hits on the radio today. It is what it is. It's far better for U2 to focus on putting out quality music rather than trying to put out something they "think" will do well on the radio. I think Bono needs to call up his buddy Springsteen and get a little advice on how to handle songwriting/albums at this stage of U2's career.