Coincidence? We think
NOT. But it might just be savvy marketing, too.
By Fred Mills
Head over to the U2 cubicle at MySpace Music and you can
hear the new album No Line on the Horizon currently being streamed in its entirety. It started today, Feb. 20 and is,
obviously, intended to whet fans’ appetites ahead of the record’s official
March 3 release date.
BLURT is listening to it at this very moment and our opinion
is… mixed, as some tunes, such as “Magnificent,” sound like classic widescreen
U2, while others, most notably first single “Get On Your Boots,” sound very
insubstantial and too overtly a bid for mainstream airplay. Decide for
yourself. Watch out for those popup ads that ping ya after every couple of
songs and halt the music player until you click “continue.”
Certainly this – the streaming – was planned out well in
advance during meetings on how to market the album, or at least we assume that’s
the case. But it’s ironic that it comes on the heels of the entire album
getting linked to the internet this week. Despite the expected massive security
precautions put in by U2 and their label, Universal, to ensure that it did not
leak (for example, reviewers were forced to attend listening parties rather
than get advance copies), it’s out there in pristine digital format for your
downloading pleasure if you know where to look.
According to a report at Forbes.com, Universal’s Australian
branch accidentally started selling downloads of the album on Tuesday at their
digital store, Getmusic.au. The error was discovered after a couple of hours,
but by then the genie was out of the bottle and the files started zipping
around the web like in a Roadrunner cartoon. Forbes raises the speculation that
this was either a “colossal blunder or a marketing ploy to get fans talking,”
but naturally, nobody at the label or band management is talking.
Er, we doubt any of this is going to hurt record sales. Don’t
forget, you can buy the album in any of several frugal-to-wallet-busting
formats, kids! Meanwhile, the countdown to U2s historic 5-night run at the
David Letterman show continues apace. As you’ve probably heard, they’ll have a
March 2 -6 residency with Dave….
U2 doing “Get On Your Boots” live at the Brits: