It’s been nearly five years since U2 last released an album — the disappointing, hit-free No Line On The Horizon — but in the last few weeks there have been murmurings that one of the planet’s biggest bands are starting to stir.
Last week Billboard reported that their new Danger Mouse-produced album would more than likely be out in April (with an expensive-sounding announcement being made during the Super Bowl), and now they’ve just plonked a brand new song online.
Ordinary Love is taken from the forthcoming Nelson Mandela biopic, Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom, and will be released as a limited-edition (well, 10,000 copies) 10-inch vinyl as part of Record Store Day’s Back To Black Friday on November 29.
According to the film’s producer Harvey Weinstein, the band jumped at the chance to write the song: “The band saw various cuts of the film over the summer and worked diligently to write a song that truly reflects Nelson Mandela,” he explained. “I think they did a brilliant job honouring the man and the leader they have known for over 20 years.” While you’d expect the combination of politics, injustice and U2 to end up on the higher end of the trite scale, Ordinary Love is actually rather lovely, building gracefully from a minimal opening of warm keyboards and Bono’s slightly frayed falsetto to a typically uplifting chorus buffeted by Edge’s default guitar setting. The fact that it never shifts into full on Epic territory works in its favour, even if some of the lyrics — “time leaves us polished stones” — seem to be taken from those self-help Instagram accounts that famous people re-post.