Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Billboard: U2's 'Songs' Arrives, But Giveaway Model Will Push Back Its Billboard 200 Debut

I received this update in my inbox from Billboard and it's definitely worth reviewing. I've been listening to the new U2 album since yesterday, but my full-length review won't run until next week. My initial reaction is the album is very strong...

According to Billboard, while U2 surprised the music world by releasing its new albumSongs of Innocenceyesterday (Sept. 9, 2014) as a free download to iTunes Store account holders and for streaming on Beats Music, you won't see it on the Billboard 200 albums chart for another month and a half.

Free or giveaway albums are not eligible for inclusion on Billboard's album charts and do not count toward sales tracked by Nielsen SoundScan (which supplies data for Billboard's sales-driven charts). 
Once Songs of Innocence goes on sale beginning Oct. 14, it will then set its sights on Billboard's sales charts. On that date, the album will be available in both standard and deluxe editions to physical and digital retailers, as well as on streaming services other than Beats.

​Full article:

On a related note, check out the New York Times' in-depth and mostly positive assessment of Songs of Innocence from writer Joe Pareles here. For a different take on the album, check out Lindsay Zoladz's negative review on the Vulture site. I am always cautious to dive in and write an album review with only a few listens/ less than a day to live with the music, but both writers seem pretty sure of all things related to the disc. I always figure if an artist is going to spend months or years working on an album, I owe it to them to listen to the album at least 3 or 4 times, and do it over a few different days to "live with the music" for a bit before writing my full review.

Photo of U2 courtesy of Interscope Records

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