The best thing I read from this article was "U2 are back in the studio with Steve Lillywhite" Surely this means he is one of, if not the only producer on this record? If he has any involvement then this is great news in my opinion, we will see a return to a rawer more rock driven U2 in this record. Lillywhite is one of the "big 3" in terms of U2 producers, this is very very exciting news!
Worth tempering that by remembering Lillywhite was heavily involved in Bomb - so it could be a good thing/could be a bad thing.
Lillywhite has been involved in many great albums, and of course some turkeys too, but who hasn't? Was the problem with Bomb the production, or the material? I certainly won't blame him for the quality of the songs on October - clearly there was a lack of material ready for that album and the problem - if there is one - isn't the production. Killers' Battle Born is awful, and the production is overblown (perhaps the only way to disguise how thin and boring the songs were). I think we can all agree he's a better choice than Tedder.
As i said - could be a good thing, could be a bad thing....the biggest 'unknown' is assuming there is a rock edge to the work is whether the band and his ear for what makes a good rock song has got any better or not of late.
None of us will know until we hear the material and then of course we will have differing opinions.....it is the nature of the beast.
Personally I am not a big fan of Lillywhite generally but recognise he has done some good stuff and been involved in some of u2's better work as well as some of their worst...and I am unsure he has done anything decent in recent times for the artists he has worked with....
That said I am not one for putting massive stock in the producers role - it is material first for me - but of course production matters.
I'd prefer they were working with a more forward thinking type/a type with more of a record for producing more sonically interesting stuff but as I said until we hear it we just don't know do we - Adam Clayton's comments made reccently could be seen as encouraging where he suggests the removal of fat and too much polish...
As for The Killers - well anyone producing them is literally tasked with polishing turds and as we know that is a thankless task.