U2TOURFANS Weekend News Wrap Up

In the nothing new column U2 have revealed that they have begun work on a new album. The follow-up to 2009’s ‘No Line On The Horizon’, the as-yet-untitled album is set to be “really special”.

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“We are working on a lot of new songs,” The Edge told EW.com. “Some of them are really, really happy. We’re convinced that we have something really special.”

Adding that the band have been working on material in-between legs of their world tour, the guitarist revealed a little more about the making of the album. “We are experimenting with a lot of different arrangements, and electronic is one of the things we are playing with,” he explained. “But there are other songs that are very traditional, almost folk. In some ways, that’s the thing we haven’t figured out yet, is where this album is going to end up.”

Meanwhile, U2 frontman Bono has recorded a new song with Jay-Z, to help raise money for those affected by the recent earthquakes in Haiti.

Sometimes you can’t make it on your own, especially in the midst of a catastrophe. Enter U2 and Jay-Z.

The Edge announced Wednesday that he and bandmates Bono, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen Jr. joined forces with Hova last week to write and record a quickie charity song that will benefit relief efforts in earthquake-ravaged Haiti.

The guitarist told an Irish radio station that producer Swizz Beats contacted him and said he and Jay-Z “wanted to do something for Haiti.”

“So Bono came up with the phrase on the phone and last night we were here, we wrote a song, finished, recorded, and sent it back to them,” said Edge. “So that might be the next thing you hear from us.”

 Celebrities were rampant for “Hope for Haiti” as were musicians, all with the intention of inspiring folks to donate a few bucks to their brethren in the disaster-ridden country. When it comes to the latter, their were many highlights — Springsteen performing “We Shall Overcome”, Jennifer Hudson tackling “Let it Be”, and Dave Matthews joining Neil Young for “Alone and Forsaken” are a few examples. But easily the exciting of them all was the much-anticipated collaboration between U2 and Jay-Z.

Bono wrote the hook for “Stranded” — his new Haiti benefit single with Jay-Z and Rihanna, which is subtitled either “Haiti Mon Amour” or “Haiti Mi Amore” — while on the phone with producer Swizz Beatz. “The idea of the song is ‘We’re not gonna leave you stranded’ and that’s what the chorus is,” Swizz Beatz tells Rolling Stone. “So me and Bono started going back and forth with ideas, and he was like, ‘You know this word stranded keeps standing out to me’ and I asked him to sing it, and he put me on hold ’cause he’s recording the ideas on a Dictaphone — so he did it there and then on the phone.”

Swizz Beatz got the song started by sending simultaneous texts to Jay-Z and Bono — but when they both called, he accidentally hung up on Jay while trying to conference them. After three hours of phone tag, they all agreed to the project, which came together in geographically scattered sessions, with extra production work by the Edge. “I knew that Jay would be able to tell a story, and that Bono would be able to sing and bring it home. The last component that I added was Rihanna, and she’s kinda like the angel that’s on the track, softening it up and giving it that caring feeling, because this hook is so powerful.”

As it so turns out, the track, titled “Stranded (Haiti Mon Amour)”, also features Rihanna, primarily hears Hova in command, and, in the end, it totally lives up to the expectations! Lyrically, the selection is emotionally raw, musically, it’s incredibly catchy. Overall, it’s a song of hope that is neither too cheesy, nor full of itself — it’s “Stranded (Haiti Mon Amour)” that does the talking, not its massive star power.

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