Rather than have so much negativity in this forum, why can't we just celebrate whatever new output U2 has made.
At this stage in their careers, they don't owe the fans new music. They can bask in retirement and let their money in the bank grow interest.
If U2 choose to relive an era that many missed because they were not born yet in 1987, then I wish U2 well.
If U2 choose to take risks by collaborating with different genre artists whose target market is a different generation, then who are we to be negative and complain?
Let's be positive and always remember that U2 owe us absolutely nothing anymore. And whatever path they choose to take is at their own terms, and is better than retirement.
In reality, U2 are up off their knees and not munching chips in their couches while watching sports channels.
U2 set themselves a very high standard. We - as fans - hold them to that standard, and sometimes we perceive they are not achieving it.
Just because U2 are U2 doesn't give them a free pass to no longer meet the standards they have set themselves and we expect of them.
In business terms, there is often a "Critical Friend" who points out perhaps areas where things might not be perfect. Here we do so not out of being haters, but out of love. We want the band to be great, and occasionally they make decisions that baffle us, or decisions that fall short of their - and our - expectations. Occasionally they release boxsets that are horrendously overpriced for the content and we, as consumers, quite rightly have opinions on those. You can argue we can exercise our opinions by not buying them, but we won't not buy them.
Previous examples include "Best Of's" in 1998,2002, and 2006 that looked - to the outsider - to be slightly desperate attempts to reset themselves as 'legends' after the well documented 1998 crisis of confidence and the 2001, 2004-5 periods of consolidation. If they'd said "We got £50m as long as we agreed to put out 3 Best Of's", nobody would've denied them the payday.
Of course I'm going to buy TJT#30 and see multiple shows on the tour, but that doesn't mean I think U2 are beyond criticism. U2 have slowly become more insular and retrospective over the years, and are in danger of becoming a touring museum, especially if they have only released one record in the past eight years. By navelgazing over their own self-imposed desire for cultural relevance, they have overthought themselves into a corner. A good record shouldn't be delayed by not being politically 'of the time' : good music is timeless and exists outside of the socio-economic circumstances of the year of release. Art should be felt - not thought.
I'd love to celebrate their new output, but 16 songs in 8 years is a poor reward to celebrate.