Will These Albums Save the Music Industry?

Nov. 19, 2008
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While retailers prepare for the possibility of the worst holiday shopping season in a decade, the music industry has at least some cause to be optimistic entering Black Friday. Early next week will see the release of four huge albums:

Guns N’ Roses – Chinese Democracy: Axl’s album arrives after four presidential terms of hype and speculation, and with strong-than-expected reviews. It’s going to sell and sell well—and it certainly doesn’t hurt that it’s target audience is from a generation that still buys music. Smart money is on this topping the charts.

Kanye West – 808s & Heartbreak
: Kanye’s rush-released despondency disc certainly won’t have the commercial appeal of last year’s feel-good, single-laden Graduation, which moved a jaw-dropping 957,000 copies in its first week. ’Ye has done his part to lower expectations by playing up how non-commercial the album is, so whether it sells or not will depend in large part on the reviews. If he can continue riding the “Kanye’s Kid A” buzz, then there are enough fans who put enough stock in his brand to take a chance on a $10 CD. If the reviews are middling, though, this album could fizzle fast.

The Killers – Day & Age
: They’re one of the biggest rock bands in the world, which doesn’t mean as much these days as it used to. Their album will sell quietly and respectably.

Twilight - Original Soundtrack
: The week’s dark horse. The soundtrack to the tween-vampire-romance movie (God I feel old) has been a hit even before the film’s release, and now that the film is set to open to blockbuster numbers, the album could get another major boast. Never underestimate the buying power of young girls.


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