LEAVE IT TO the world's biggest and most pretentious band to make an 11-song album and have it delivered free of charge via iTunes.
U2 has delivered Songs of Innocence, and leave it to the lads from Dublin to rewrite the rules about how music is presented to the consumer. Apple wrote a huge check to the band, and then decided to make the new album free on iTunes.
Sheryl said it downloaded automatically last night, but this morning she had to download it on another computer from the cloud, whatever that means.
Reaction ranges from delight, indifference and anger. People who listen to music and are OCD, which is what iTunes is all about, don't like the fact something has popped up and made available. It's out of order. How dare U2 inflict this on me? U2 doesn't care - they got paid, and they are reaching out to new audiences.
Sadly, there's no anticipation for a new U2 album - they finished it last week and boom, here it is. There's no new leaked single. And there's no longer an investment on behalf of the consumer, except for their time. And time to just sit and listen doesn't exist for most people. I played the Joshua Tree a million times right after it came out. But I never listen to entire albums anymore.
Reviews are favorable. Many say it harkens back to the band's earlier work, which is good for me, because I devoured Boy, October, War and The Unforgettable Fire like candy.
Sheryl just purchased the Wynton Marsalis and Eric Clapton CD, Play The Blues, and she loves it. She's listening to the whole thing. I think she'll do the same for the new U2 album, but first things first.
I'll listen. Hey, I've got it. I didn't pay a dime. All I have to invest is ... myself.
And here is how Bono put it on the band's Website.
"Part of the DNA of this band has always been the desire to get our music to as many people as possible. In the next 24 hours, over a half a billion people are going to have Songs of Innocence… should they choose to check it out. That is so exciting. People who haven’t heard our music, or weren’t remotely interested, might play us for the first time because we’re in their library. Country fans, hip hop afficionados from east LA, electro poppers from Seoul, Bhangra fans from New Delhi, Highlifers in Accra… might JUST be tempted to check us out, even for a moment. What a mind blowing, head scratching, 21st century situation. Over 500 million people… that’s a billion ears. And for the people out there who have no interest in checking us out, look at it this way… the blood, sweat and tears of some Irish guys are in your junk mail."