Why Is Nobody Buying the New U2 Album?

By
Photo: Courtesy of Interscope

HITS Daily Double reports that U2's boring new album, No Line on the Horizon, is on track to sell around 450,000 album this week — not bad considering that no one was buying CDs even before the economic apocalypse. But this is the Last of the Megabands™! U2's last album, How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb, sold 840,000 in its first week of release — so what went wrong this time? It's certainly not for a lack of annoying promotion!

Of course piracy is a factor, but it was also a factor in 2005 when Bomb leaked way in advance of its official release. Digital Music News speculates that Horizon's slumping sales are the fault of "Get on Your Boots," the album's earsore of a first single, which is failing to generate interest on radio, iTunes, and even file-sharing networks, hilariously. And it's true that it's an awful, awful song — but is it really bad enough to put off even the fans who've stuck with U2 all these years?

It seems to us there could be a million reasons Horizon might not be catching fire: Is the dull cover not standing out enough on CD racks? Did everybody see its perfect review in Rolling Stone and assume that only their dads would like it? Were fans annoyed with the decision to release five different versions? And could the different editions be cannibalizing sales? Is the band's five-night stand on Letterman backfiring by allowing potential buyers to actually hear how dull the record's deep cuts are? Has America finally fallen out of love with the Edge's delay pedal? Or is it the way Bono seems increasingly detached from band affairs and weirdly prickly in all recent interviews?

In any case, if actual sales are as bad or worse than projections, then the joke's on us, since the Biggest Band in the World will either be Coldplay or the Jonas Brothers, and that just reflects poorly on everybody.

Why Is U2 Projecting So Low? The Dirty Data Details... [Digital Music News]
Let's Start Wondering Why The U2 Album Isn't Selling [Idolator]