I am 49 years old and have followed U2 since the Boy album.
SOE is by far the weakest album they have ever made.
No mysterious athmosphere (eg song Unforgettable Fire, With or Without You, Heartland), no magical Edge guitar (eg song In God's Country, The Fly, ...), no vulnerable Bono singing (eg song Bad, Tomorrow, Walk to the Water,..).
U2 used to have something magical and mysterious. The magic has gone.
I cried when I heared the first 3 songs of The Joshua Tree album, I couln't sleep for days before a new album came out, but since the last magical album, Achtung Baby, it all went downhill. With this ugly creature as the latest result.
Some people suggest to bring Lanois and Eno back, but even they have evolved and are not the same persons anymore as in the 80ties.
U2 will never be able to make albums like The Unforgettable Fire, The Joshua Tree or Achtung Baby again.
Just like Simple Minds will never repeat New Gold Dream, Depeche Mode will never repeat Violator / Songs of Faith and Devotion and The Cure will never repeat Disintegration, ..
Some media suggested this looked like a goodbye album... I really hope it is!