U2 announces new album of 'intimate letters' written as if they were dead

New York - U2 on Wednesday unveiled details of the rock superstars' 14th studio album, describing it as a collection of "intimate letters" written as if they were dead.

The Irish group confirmed that Songs of Experience - a companion of sorts to U2's last album, 2014's Songs of Innocence - will come out on 1 December.

Revealing the track list, U2 said that frontman Bono's lyricism on Songs of Experience was inspired by conversations with Brendan Kennelly, often described as Ireland's greatest living poet.

Kennelly advised the 57-year-old Bono "to 'write as if you're dead,' resulting in a collection of songs in the form of intimate letters to places and people close to the singer's heart - family, friends, fans, himself," the band said in a statement.

U2 has already released two tracks from the album, You're the Best Thing About Me and The Blackout, charging guitar tracks that hark back to the band's heavy sound in the early 1980s and mid-1990s.

U2 also announced a North American tour to support the album that will begin on 2 May in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

The group last week in Brazil wrapped up its latest global tour that marked 30 years since The Joshua Tree, U2's most influential album.

The Joshua Tree explored American and Irish roots music and took an increasingly political stance, with lyrics critical of US Cold War-era interventionism in Latin America.

U2 members previously said they had finished the latest album last year but decided to work on it further after the shock election of President Donald Trump, believing they needed to reflect on the tone.

U2's traditional announcement of the album follows a backlash three years ago over Songs of Innocence, which automatically appeared in the iTunes libraries of all of Apple's half a billion worldwide users.

Intended as a surprise gift to promote the latest iPhone, the album release triggered complaints that U2 had effectively become internet spammers and led Bono to apologise for presuming everyone wanted to hear his music.

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