“Invisible”: A Weekend in Sum

February 4, 2014

For U2 fans everywhere, this past weekend was one of the most highly anticipated occasions in years, allowing us to hear “Invisible,” a preview of what we can expect from the untitled upcoming album, as well as an opportunity to raise money for (RED) with free downloads via contributions from Bank of America. By all accounts, the song was a rousing success. Let’s first recap the numbers.

InvisibleWeekendInitially, Bank of America promised to pony up $2 million if “Invisible” could reach that many downloads. U2 and (RED) can sleep easy knowing that they more than exceeded that goal, reaching an impressive 3 million downloads over the course of 36 hours. In fact, the goal was reached so quickly, Bank of America chose to continue matching each download until the end of the day Monday. Along with the $10 million Bank of America contributed prior to the release of the song, this partnership raised a staggering $13,144,477 for (RED).

So that’s great. But there are other implications that this song holds for the band itself. While it reflects well on them to support a worthy cause, the track itself has received praise from media outlets such as LA Times and The Guardian. Neil McCormick commented on the song’s immediately surprising electronic elements: “the first fruits of their labours suggest that U2 are scaling down their rocky sound for a contemporary pop world of small speakers and social network song sharing where digital genre bending electronica reigns supreme.”

The future for “Invisible” is murky. As far as we’re aware, the track will be part of the album and, currently, it is available for $1.29 on iTunes and Amazon, with proceeds going to the Global Fund. Whether or not it will be performed on the Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight Show premiere is unclear, though it is a safe and logical bet. It is also unclear what role the success of “Invisible” will have on expediting  the release of the new album. Based on fan and critic reactions to “Invisible,” it seems that album release news will be greeted very warmly.