Love him or hate him, Bono's compulsion to share his opinions with the world remains steadfast and absolute. In Surrender: 40 Songs, One Story, the memoir U2's frontman gifted the world last year which informed the Dubliners' new album, Songs Of Surrender, the singer acknowledged that his bullish self-belief and "tendency toward the preposterous" can be "very wearying", not least for his bandmates, but does that stop him tossing out ideas, theories and smug aphorisms which would have regular human beings cringing so hard it would bring on an aneurysm? Wise up, as his fellow countrymen would say. That's a 'Hell no!' for everyone else.
Right now, there's no escaping Mr Vox and his ever-patient side-kick and creative partner The Edge, as the duo have thrown themselves wholeheartedly into promoting their new album with a zeal and commitment that's frankly unbecoming of superstars of their stature. And for this, we can only applaud them.
Back in the summer of 2020, SiriusXM set the quartet up with their own bespoke, all-U2 radio channel, U2 X-Radio, and right now you can find Bono and The Edge talking listeners through all 40 songs on Songs Of Surrender, sharing insights on both the source material and the newly-issued re-imaginings of some of their most totemic songs.
In the course of this tutorial you can learn, for instance, that Beautiful Day, from 2000's All That You Can't Leave Behind album, is about "friendship, really". And that, in the band's reworked take on Sunday Bloody Sunday from 1983's War album, Bono has detected the imprint of reggae legend Bob Marley.
"In Sunday Bloody Sunday... I hear Bob Marley," he states baldly. "I don't know how, but he was definitely influencing the lyrics or that's his position, you know, where in the culture, you know, he was singing songs of protest. He was singing songs of faith and devotion. He was singing flirtatious songs and you know, Bob Marley really opened up U2. We realised you can be all of these things at the same time."
The Edge, at this point, keeps his own counsel.
Not that Bono cares, obviously.
"I apologise for being a singer who will get in your face, whatever direction you’re looking," he recently told Apple Music's Zane Lowe, in a classic piece of Bono grand-standing disguised as self-deprecating humility. "I apologise for not being shy or retiring and for loudly giving thanks for where I go to work. I apologise for stretching our band to its elastic limit."
Never change Bono, never change.
Listen to the new take on Sunday Bloody Sunday below: