You're exactly right, Exile. U2 is a 40+ year-old band begging for relevance and not acting their age at all. Songs like Song For Someone are pathetic and sad attempts at hits. Songs that sound immature and childish. Why is that? Because that is the demographic that U2 are trying desperately trying to reach out to-- children. Why they won't wisen up and accept that chart success is pretty much impossible to reach at this point is beyond me.
Look at Radiohead, for example. Mature group that makes music for themselves and their fans. They're smart enough to realize that they won't ever be as popular as they were 15+ years ago and don't even bother themselves with the charts anymore. You can't force yourself to make a certain genre of music and expect success. It's okay to experiment with other genres, like U2 did with club/dance in the 90s, for example, but working strictly from a formula is not going to result in genuine artistic expression. That's why many fans have issue with U2's recent attempts at pop music with tracks like Crazy Tonight, etc... none of it sounds genuine or "real" anymore.
I'm not trying to say that U2 is a band of dumb people. Bono is a very smart man. Edge is a very smart man. Adam and Larry are very smart men. It's time that U2 grew up and embraced this opportunity in life to create music for fun and for themselves. What other bands have existed for such a long time and with the same lineup? Very few of them do stick together, and even fewer continue to make records... even if U2 only make them bidecenially (if that's even a word). Bono and Co. are finically set for life and have no other reasons to create music other than for themselves, fans, and their legacy. In the autumn of their careers, and potentially their lives, why don't they just loosen up and record music for the fun of it? Do you think that Larry started this group with the goal in mind to appease millions of young teenagers? Absolutely not. U2 started this band with the goal in mind to be different and unique. Why did this attitude towards music change so suddenly?
There is nothing genuine to The Best Thing. Nothing feels truly heartfelt about Every Breaking Wave. Even the "emotion-driven" Iris sounds watered-down and weak due to overproduction and overpolish... but that's a different conservation. All of this ties together, doesn't it?