U2's last three albums are okay. Not bad, but not great, either. The problem is, I don't find much replay value in them like I do with 1980-1997's records, with some exception for NLOTH. I used to feel that for Pop, but Pop sounds great now for some odd and unknown reason. The last three albums seem very linear to me.
It cannot be denied that U2 are a lot shyer than they once were. And I am going to say it again: yes, I think it is because of Pop's reception. U2 were so focused on evolving as a group during the 90's, but then after Pop, U2 went back to their rock roots. Which is okay, I do like 'Stuck'. It's my favorite song from ATYCLB.
The problem with me is, I think U2 are shy. I do. U2 were rolling with their conventional sound throughout the 80's, but when the 90's came around, they needed to change or else they wouldn't last long. They went bold and got fortune. But it just doesn't seem like that through 2000-2009.
I've said it before and I will say it again: Fortune favors the bold.
U2 need to remain that. It is the only thing that I think will bring U2 back to the position Bono is looking for. Look at Gone ("Oh boy, here we go"), it was a monster on Pop and it was washed to be friendlier on the Best Of. I don't like that with any of their music. I want them to stick to their guns and go and stay bold. That's just me.
I still think the age and maturity thing is ridiculous. The guys are in a rock band. They aren't doctors or lawyers. They shouldn't have to 'grow up' or be 'professional'. They found a job for each other that allows them to be kids and have fun, even today. That is something I think many of us wish we had. Hell, I do.
It's a new decade, and that is like a new year for a band like U2. I don't really believe in many sayings, but I do hold to my guns when I say "Fortune Favors the Bold".