Dr. Dre’s long-awaited third album, Compton, was streamed a massive 25 million times on Apple Music, and had half a million iTunes downloads in its first week, according to new figures released by Apple.
As Bono came in chanting and The Edge power-chorded his guitar for the radio-friendly chorus of “The Miracle (Of Joey Ramone)” today, we hoped for a revitalized big-arena rock band performance from the biggest Irish rock band of all time.
What we got was the boys miming a well-rehearsed, highly-produced single that sounds like anything but The Ramones. Bono sings, “I was young/Not dumb/Just wishing to be blinded/By you/Brand new/We were pilgrims on our way” and, frankly, we wish they were young again. We wanted to be blinded by rockstars, but we really only got an ad for Apple.
At first listen, Songs of Innocence is a musically safe choice, a collection of songs that will sound just fine in the background as you wait in line for your first latte of the day at Starbucks. This isn’t the same band that had us thrilling to “In the Name of Love,” or “Sunday Bloody Sunday,” let alone snake-dancing to the mysterious syncopations of “Who’s Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses” or the gospel-tinged “One.”
The new album is being pitched by the band as intensely personal, but it comes off as more craftsmanship than artistry. It’s not all bad, and chances are U2 super-fans would have bought it even if it weren’t free, but the music lovers in us were a little disappointed.
Apple has today launched a Back to School iTunes music sale with selected albums reduced to as little as $6.99. The deals aim to give students “a smart deal on cool albums” from the likes of Justin Timberlake, Robin Thicke, Pink, and Lana Del Rey.
Amazon has today launched a new music service called AutoRip, which offers customers a free MP3 version of every album they’ve bought on CD from Amazon since 1998. The service currently boasts more than 50,000 digital albums from all the major record labels, and Amazon insists that new titles are added on a regular basis.
It’s David Bowie’s 66th birthday today, and he’s celebrating the occasion by making his new album available to pre-order. The Next Day is Bowie’s first record in ten years, and those who pre-order it through iTunes will get a bonus track early. You can download your copy today.