Unexpected musical pairings are unexpected only because of who ends up working together; the reasons why are fairly well known at this point. The U2/Danger Mouse pairing, for example, seems to fit the well-worn narrative of “older band trying to reboot their image and reach younger fans calls on the services of hip, contemporary hitmaker.” But I’m just guessing here, really. Whatever the actual reasons, Danger Mouse is producing U2’s next record, a fact illuminated by Bono in a recent interview with Australia’s The Age. The singer stated:
“We have about 12 songs with him. At the moment that looks like the album we will put out next, because it's just happening so easily."
While it’s true that it seems like there is a lot of potential for things to go wrong, it’s also true that Danger Mouse is very talented, that U2 were once a very innovative band and that stranger bedfellows have produced unpredictably good outcomes. However, by the same token, it is also true that “club” remixes and Marvel comics as musical theater seem like questionable inspirations. Which is why the news of the two other U2 albums in the works – one dance-focused and featuring Lady Gaga and Will.i.am; the other a concept record of songs written by Bono and The Edge for their Spider-Man musical – might give some readers pause:
"U2's remixes in the 1990s were a real treasure. So we wanted to make a club sounding record. We have a pile of songs,” said Bono to the Age.
If the Super-Man album seems worrisome to you, by the way, you’re not alone. Even drummer Larry Mullen is on the fence:
"We haven't convinced the rest of the band to do that yet," said Bono. “Larry definitely has a raised eyebrow."