You can order colorful bags called “Travellunch” in specialty shops or on the Internet, which contain, for example, Jägertopf with beef in the form of freeze-dried crumbs, just add water and that’s it. Can be kept for years, in the past astronauts also made a living from it in space. It’s dehydrated food, utterly reduced to the essentials, which can be called either sparse or puristic. All of this goes through your head as you listen to the first notes of this new U2 album.

Because singer Bono and his band have freeze-dried almost 40 songs from their opus here, so to speak, leaving out every typical U2 bombast load such as echoing voices, calorie-laden guitar blasts and whatever else U2 attached to their music with stadium tinsel. And now that’s really interesting. For both sides of the U2 cosmos, for their fans but also for, let’s say politely, non-fans.

Fans will be a bit surprised when Bono’s voice no longer sounds quite as biblically alarming, but more like a campfire and a quarry pond, i.e. pathos-reduced. And some U2 screamers like “Where The Streets Have No Name” sound as dehydrated as in underwear – some say pure, others say very simple.

Forty songs are a stretch, of course, and forty times that almost unplugged it can get boring, but Bono is a well-known wake-up caller and that’s why one song is now called “Walk on (Ukraine)” and is dedicated to Volodymyr Zelensky and you’ll hear something with climate at some point too out. Why is all this called “Surrender”, i.e. capitulation? U2 will soon be performing more often at a Las Vegas hotel. For this reason.