Shirley Halperin
February 20, 2008 AT 12:00 PM EST

After reports of recording sessions in exotic locations like Fez, Morocco and the South of France, today’s news that U2 are back in Dublin and knee-deep in material for their next album was a welcome update. According to longtime collaborator Daniel Lanois, the band is trying to “deliver a masterpiece” as the follow-up to 2004’s Grammy-winning album How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb. But by when? Lanois won’t say, but we hear the band is “aiming for a fall release,” a claim their label, Interscope, doesn’t deny. Certainly, a new release by the world’s reigning stadium rockers would be a big boost for holiday sales this year — and perhaps next year as well: Lanois hinted to Billboard.com that the current recording sessions may wind up spreading out across two albums.

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