Let’s give it up for Adele, folks. Her sophomore album, 21, hangs on for a second week at #1 on the Billboard albums chart, with an impressive tally of 168,000 copies sold. Following last week’s 2011-high first week, it officially brings the British vocalist over the half a million mark and gives her the year’s best selling album after only two weeks in stores. It’s also gotten notice for jumping over the million sold mark in her native England, although 21 had a couple weeks’ head start on those shores. It’s definitely a triumph of music over artifice-nothing on 21 is especially pop radio friendly, Adele’s certainly not a typical sex symbol, and despite being a bit cheeky, she’s not an especially scandalous interviewee, either. Plain and simple, good music.
Speaking of which, the #2 position belongs to another gifted British female vocalist-Marsha Ambrosius. The Floetry singer’s long-delayed solo debut, Late Nights and Early Mornings, takes the runner-up spot with an impressive 96,000 sold. An aggressive fan engagement campaign (largely spearheaded by Marsha herself) was a major catalyst behind her sales, as was a provocative (and heartbreaking) clip for the song “Far Away” and the fact that R&B fans are jonesing for good music. Soulful British females? Y’all got shit on lock. Can Estelle and Amy Winehouse come out with new albums already?
Ambrosius is the highest ranked of five debuts in the Top Twenty. The Dropkick Murphys (legendary here in Boston) arrive at #6 with their latest, Going Out in Style (released just in time for St. Patty’s Day), while Staind lead singer Aaron Lewis is right behind them at #7 with his solo debut, Country Boy. Veteran singer/songwriter Lucinda Williams sees her latest, Blessed, start off at #15, while contemporary Christian artist Francesca Battistelli (I had to look her up on Wikipedia-had no idea who she was) pops in at #16 with her album, Hundred More Years.
This week’s charts are kind of a snooze: with most of the entertainment news pages taken up by the antics of Charlie Sheen, no musicians made a particularly big splash that would have impacted sales. Following the Oscars, the soundtracks to “The Social Network” and “Inception” see gains of over 50%, and it’s also worth mentioning that Dr. Dre’s nearly 12 year old album, 2001, is seeing some push centered around the single “I Need a Doctor” and the impending release of Detox. The album’s already sold nearly 8 million copies, but it re-enters the album chart at #189 this week, boding well for the release of Dre’s long-delayed next project…if it ever comes out.
Next week, it looks like Lupe Fiasco will take over the top spot, with Lasers expected to move over 200,000 units in it’s first frame in stores. The latest “Glee” soundtrack and Avril Lavigne’s latest should both flirt with the 100,000 mark, while it looks like poor old R.E.M. will struggle just to hit 50,000.
Switching gears just a bit to the digital downloads chart, it’s definitely diva domination (love the alliteration) in that neck of the woods. While Lady GaGa holds on to the top spot with “Born This Way”, she now has a slim lead over Jennifer Lopez’s “Idol”-flogged “On the Floor” at #2. The J. Lo single joins the latest songs by Rihanna and Ke$ha as the only songs in the Top 10 to show an increase over the prior week, while fellow pop diva Britney Spears scores the week’s highest debut at #10 with “Till the World Ends”.
You’ve also got to wonder about the proliferation of the infamous “F” word on the pop charts these days. Cee-Lo Green is #3 this week on the digital download charts with “Fuck You”, which is closing in on 3.5 million legal downloads, while P!nk hangs on at #8 with “Fuckin’ Perfect”. Down at #20, Enrique Iglesias scores with “Tonight (I’m Lovin’ You)”, which, in it’s initial iteration (alliteration yet AGAIN), was called “Tonight (I’m Fucking You)”. Also in the Top 20? The aforementioned Dr. Dre-who had a standout track on his last album, entitled, yes-“Fuck You”.
This week’s Top 20 Fucking Digital Downloads after the jump…
This week’s Top 20 digital singles, according to SoundScan:
1) Born This Way-Lady GaGa
2) On the Floor-Jennifer Lopez feat. Pitbull
3) Fuck You (Forget You)-Cee-Lo Green
5) E.T.-Katy Perry feat. Kanye West
7) I Need a Doctor-Dr. Dre feat. Eminem & Skylar Grey
8) Fuckin’ Perfect-P!nk
9) Rolling in the Deep-Adele
10) Till the World Ends-Britney Spears
11) Grenade-Bruno Mars
12) Look at Me Now-Chris Brown feat. Lil Wayne & Busta Rhymes
13) Firework-Katy Perry
14) Jar of Hearts-Christina Perri
15) What the Hell-Avril Lavigne
16) Down on Me-Jeremih feat. 50 Cent
17) Never Say Never-Justin Bieber feat. Jaden Smith
18) Black & Yellow-Wiz Khalifa
19) Coming Home-Diddy/Dirty Money feat. Skylar Grey
20) Tonight (I’m Lovin’ You)- Enrique Iglesias feat. Ludacris
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- aaron lewis