After a run of three consecutive number one albums coming from the country genre, the streak is broken by Lil Wayne. The New Orleans rapper’s latest effort, “I Am Not a Human Being”, bounces from #16 to #1 in its third week on the chart. The reason for this jump? After two weeks as a digital exclusive, “Human” was officially released on disc. Over 125,000 people scooped it up-not a huge number considering Weezy’s recent past, but when you take into account that a) the album’s been out for two weeks already and b) this album is just a stopgap release until Wayne gets out of jail, that’s a pretty fuckin’ impressive number.

Not to say the hat acts just rolled over and died, mind you. Five titles in this week’s Top Ten come from the country genre, led by Darius Rucker’s “Charleston, SC 1966”. The Hootie frontman’s third solo effort is the week’s highest debut, landing at #2 with nearly 101,000 copies sold. It also, naturally, starts off atop the country chart. Darius is followed by the debut album by The Band Perry (another debut-at #4) and older albums by Kenny Chesney (#6), the Zac Brown Band (#8), and last week’s #1, Toby Keith’s “Bullets in the Gun”, which plummets to #9.

It’s always interesting when an album or an artist I’ve never heard of debuts big on the charts, and sandwiched in between Darius Rucker and The Band Perry (who I’ve never heard anything by, but at least knew of) is the debut album by Big Time Rush. Upon my first look at the chart, I was like “who the fuck are these people?”. Turns out (at least according to Wikipedia), that BTR (who start at #3 with 67K) are the latest Nickelodeon sensation, following in the footsteps of the Jonas Brothers and Miley Cyrus. The top ten also welcomes debuts from indie darling Sufjan Stevens (who starts at a career high #7 and scores the week’s top-selling rock album) and metal band All That Remains at #10.

You’ve got to wonder what fans of rock-specifically hard rock-are listening to these days. Or whether that’s the genre that’s been most affected by file-sharing. Most of the high-charting rock albums tend to be either of an indie stripe or by classic rock stalwarts. Case in point, the only albums in the Top 40 that could really be considered “rock” that don’t fall into the indie singer-songwriter or old fart categories (aside from All That Remains) are Linkin Park (hanging around at #11), Trapt (who debut at #25) and Disturbed at #35. Definitely a far cry from the days when Bon Jovi, Van Halen, Motley Crue and Poison ruled the charts, or even the mid-Nineties, when Pearl Jam, Nirvana and Stone Temple pilots ruled the list.

Kings of Leon aren’t exactly “hard rock”, but they look poised to deliver the year’s biggest 1st week total with their latest album, “Come Around Sundown”. Their fifth effort is trending towards the 200K range, although it will likely be bested in the sales category by country-rock duo Sugarland, who will most likely start with a slightly higher sum. With Taylor Swift waiting in the wings, the similarities between the pop album chart and the country list are gonna continue looking quite similar for the next couple weeks.

This week’s Top 20 albums:

1) “I Am Not a Human Being” Lil Wayne
2) “Charleston, SC 1966” Darius Rucker
3) “BTR” Big Time Rush
4) “The Band Perry” The Band Perry
5) “Recovery” Eminem
6) “Hemingway’s Whiskey” Kenny Chesney
7) “The Age of Adz” Sufjan Stevens
8) “You Get What You Give” Zac Brown Band
9) “Bullets in the Gun” Toby Keith
10) “For We Are Many” All That Remains
11) “A Thousand Suns” Linkin Park
12) “Doo-Wops & Hooligans” Bruno Mars
13) “Passion, Pain & Pleasure” Trey Songz
14) “A Year Without Rain” Selena Gomez & the Scene
15) “Write About Love” Belle & Sebastian
16) “Teenage Dream” Katy Perry
17) “My World 2.0” Justin Bieber
18) “Hands All Over” Maroon 5
19) “Guitar Heaven” Santana
20) “Now That’s What I Call Music 35” Various Artists

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