U2 new album news

Bono in full 'she got soul soul, sweet soul' mode

After the apparent flop of No Line on the Horizon (selling only 6 million copies of an album counts as a flop if you are U2), Bono and U2 were a little bit worried that they had lost their mojo somewhat so turned to Bellatron for inspiration and what followed was creative output to rival the famous Lennon McCartney partnership.

U2's new album, Cyber Love, features 12 tracks, 7 of which were penned by Bono and Bellatron together. The song 'If I was a Space Angel' will be the first single released. It also features Bellatron doing some backing vocals and playing some keyboards.

Bono was interviewed by Rolling Stone and is quoted as saying "Yeah, we could have got on the Lady Gaga band wagon and write songs about Judas but we felt Bellatron has such sweet soul, she was the stellar trick we needed to get our groove back. Besides, she makes a mean gin martini".

Long term fans of U2 are not sure of what to make the collaboration but anticipation is clearly high as itunes has already presold the single 300,000 times. Fans should relax as it was Bellatron who wrote the original songs for Stan Bush that were used in The Transformers Movie.

U2 fans who buy the album on itunes prior to release will also get three b-sides free, one of which features Bellatron and Bono doing a duet of You Don't Bring Me Flowers. It was originally a hit for Barbara Streisand and Neil Diamond.

Cyber Love is out April 29 on Jimmy Jangles Records.

Why I'm looking forward to Halo 4

The short answer to why anyone would look forward to Halo 4 is that it's new Halo.

The longer version to why I'm looking forward to Halo 4 is ... where do I begin?

Let's start with Halo 3. It was the ultimate game of it's time. The year it came out there were few rivals for it, and it was the only game that Bill Gates came out to help personally promote. And why was that? Bill Gates knew it was the best damn game ever. And the proof was in the pudding - the first campaign play through of Halo 3 was the best ever gaming experience - and so to have the Master Chief and Cortana left drifting in space after that epic adventure was the ultimate turn on for more Halo - as some director once said, always leave them wanting more, and Halo 3 ably did that.

Sure, Halo 3: ODST came and went and it was a bloody good yarn and campaign but it wasn't about the Chief. Halo Reach came along and while I thought it was a bloody good game, with a year's worth of hindsight, I still favour Halo 3 in terms of story and game play. And it still didn't have the Chief (except as an Easter Egg) - So I'm kinda hoping Halo 4 will carry along the story with as much fun and bombast as H3 did and the Chief will be pivotal to that ride.

The heart of it is that I want to play as the Chief again and this time 343 Industries has suggested a whole brave new world I can play in. And what is this world? Why, it's the Forerunners' back yard. Like the Wizard of Oz had a bag of marvelous tricks, I wonder what the Forerunners will have up their sleeves?

This is the front yard
This is not without its risks of course. Halo 4 is being made by 343 Industries, a team that has to date not actually released a video game! What pressure they must be under to make Halo fans like myself happy eh? Still, that's another reason to look forward to Halo - simply to see if Frankie and the team can nail it! I'm betting this year's harvest they can!

I'm looking forward to Halo 4 because according to Frankie from 343, the Greg Bear novel Primordium directly ties into the plot of Halo 4. I think this a first for the Halo series that the majority of people will be aware of (I recall Halo: Combat Evolved came out just after the release of The Fall of Reach) and so it gives Halo 4 just a grand hint of being well planned, and the best plans are well executed so that gives me great hopes for the game!

Halo 4 is set a few years after Halo 4 and this is intriguing - what's been happening since the Chief and his friends saved all sentient life in universe from the retarded machinations of the Covenant? What has the Arbiter been up to? Will Jun turn up? Will we find out where he went after he took Dr Halsey away from Reach? I doubt we'll get answers to those questions, but seeing as their appears to be human ships in the Concept Art for Halo 4 trailer, I'm keen as to find out what the humans have been doing in the years since H3.

I'm keen to see what new technologies Halo 4 can deliver. Halo 3 gave us an improved graphics engine and characters with faces that actually looked pretty good as they talked. I imagine the engineers at 343 are gleaming all they can from the Xbox's parts to make us the best Halo game ever - we'll no doubt get some awesome graphics (any worries about that have been answered by what we've seen from the Halo Anniversary videos) - I guess the question to be asked is, how good will the graphics be? Maybe we can throw in the question of will Halo 4 with Kinect be any good as well? Will the Kinect feature simply being operational commands?

So you, dear reader, why are you looking forward to Halo 4?