U2 fans around the world have begun receiving letters from the band teasing their upcoming project, Songs of Surrender, suggesting the album’s official announcement is imminent.
Some Twitter users recently posted photos of their letters, which appear to be photocopies of a handwritten note from guitarist the Edge. The letters contain the hashtag #U2SOS40, a reference to the fact that Songs of Surrender will feature 40 reinterpreted songs from U2’s catalog.
“When a song becomes well known, it’s always associated with a particular voice,” the letter begins. “I can’t think of ‘Tangled Up in Blue’ without the reedy timbre of Bob Dylan or ‘All the Time in the World’ without the unique voice of Louis Armstrong.
“So what happens when a voice develops and experience and maturity give it additional resonance? U2 have been around long enough to know what that is like. It’s true for us all, but it’s particularly true for Bono.”
Letters from the Edge announcing "Songs of Surrender" have started to appear. See the story here: https://t.co/i1xnQuNrxO
(Many thanks to @daniDpVox and @U2360gradi for sharing!) pic.twitter.com/4jyBmJPaT9
— U2Songs.com (@u2songs) January 9, 2023
The Edge further explained that U2 wrote most of their songs as “very young men,” and they “mean something quite different to us now.” With Songs of Surrender, the quartet sets out to “bring these songs back with us to the present day and give them the benefit or otherwise of a 21st-century reimagining.”
In the process, he wrote, “Intimacy replaced post-punk urgency. New keys. New chords. New tempos and new lyrics arrived. It turns out that a great song is kind of indestructible. Once we surrendered our reverence for the original version each song started to open up to a new authentic voice of this time, of the people we are, and particularly the singer Bono has become.”
In conclusion, the guitarist said, “I hope you like our new direction.”
U2 has not yet announced the official track listing for Songs of Surrender, but it’s expected to correspond with the 40 songs that Bono used as chapter titles in his recent memoir Surrender: 40 Songs, One Story. Those titles can be seen on the U2 Songs website.
In the “After the Afterwords” section of his book, the singer wrote, “During lockdown, we were able to reimagine 40 U2 tracks for the Songs of Surrender collection, which gave me a chance to live inside those songs again as I wrote this memoir. It also meant I could deal with something that’s been nagging me for some time. The lyrics on a few songs that I’ve always felt were never quite written. They are now. (I think.)”
Bono launched his Stories of Surrender book tour in New York in November.