LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - U2 just released its first album since 2004 this week, but the Irish rock band is already planning a quickie follow-up for next year.
The new disc will be called "Songs of Ascent," and it will be more mellow than the current album, "No Line on the Horizon," singer Bono says in a cover story in the latest issue of Rolling Stone magazine.
"We're making a kind of heartbreaker, a meditative, reflective piece of work, but not indulgent," the magazine quoted him as saying.
Bono likened the new project to jazz icon John Coltrane's 1964 tour de force "A Love Supreme" -- "which is to say, with that album, I almost take my shoes off to listen to it."
The first single will be called "Every Breaking Wave," a track pulled at the last minute from "No Line on the Horizon," U2's 12th album since 1980.
As with many of it previous recordings, "No Line" was a challenging project, with the quartet spending two years on scattered sessions in five countries with four producers.
"It is now easier and more affordable to record a song than at any other time in the history of recorded music," U2 bass player Adam Clayton told Rolling Stone. "Unless you're U2."
In proclaiming the importance of composing strong hit singles, Bono inadvertently took aim at a legendary rock 'n' roll forerunner by saying U2 has a meandering "Pink Floyd side" that "has to be balanced by fine songwriting."
But the first single, "Get On Your Boots," was roundly derided, and failed to make much of an impression on the charts.
Mainstream critics have generally warmed to the album, although influential music Web site Pitchfork (www.pitchfork.com) described it as "rather pitiful."
Editing by Dan Whitcomb