Let’s face it, folks. Adele’s 21 is a freakin’ juggernaut. This week, it spends it’s ninth week at the top of the Billboard Albums chart. It’s the longest run at the top of the album charts since Taylor Swift’s Fearless some three years ago. It’s pretty major when you consider how low key this album’s been. “Rolling in the Deep” is only NOW becoming a pop radio hit, and Adele has yet to expose her snatch, dance around in bustiers or kiss another woman on a televised award show. The overwhelming success of 21 (which is closing in on 2 million copies sold in the U.S. in just 4 1/2 months) gives folks hope that real talent sometimes rises to the top. I’d close the race for Grammy’s Album of the Year now, folks. Unless something comes out in the next 4 or 5 months that topples 21’s commercial and critical standing, I think Adele’s got this one on lock.

21 sells more than double the amount of this week’s #2 album-the new one from rock outfit Seether. Led by the single “Country Song”, the South African band’s Holding On to Strings Better Left to Fray claims the runner-up spot with 61,000 copies. No other album makes an especially remarkable debut. Pop-era band Il Volo, the Danger Mouse/Daniele Lupi team-up, “America’s Got Talent” winner Michael Grimm, veteran rocker Ben Harper, pop-rock band Parachute and British rapper Tinie Tempah all enter in the Top 20 with fairly mediocre sales totals.

Despite all this mediocrity, the music industry finds itself in the red for the first time in years. Counting track sales, recorded music has enjoyed a 2% increase versus the same period of time in 2010. What can this be attributed to? It’s kinda hard to say. Some folks point to Limewire being shut down, some point to the lowering of music prices, others point to a greater variety (and quality) of releases. Regardless of the reason, it’s nice to hear some positive news in an extremely beleaguered industry.

Of course, that increase is sure to be heightened next week when Lady Gaga’s Born This Way finishes it’s first week in stores. The pop diva’s sophomore effort has an outside chance of breaking the million-sold barrier, which was last hit by Taylor Swift’s Speak Now back in November. Due to Amazon pricing the album at only a dollar on the day of release, it’s also poised to have the highest first-week digital sales in history. Also, look out for Brad Paisley’s This is Country Music, which is sure to debut in the runner-up spot with a healthy total that should land between 175-200K. Check out this week’s full top 20 after the jump.

This week’s Top 20 Albums

1) 21 | Adele
2) Holding on to Strings Better Left to Fray | Seether
3) Now That’s What I Call Music 38 | Various Artists
4) My Kinda Party | Jason Aldean
5) Sigh No More | Mumford & Sons
6) Hot Sauce Committee Part 2 | Beastie Boys
7) Turtleneck & Chain | The Lonely Island
8) Never Say Never: The Remixes | Justin Bieber
9) Helplessness Blues | Fleet Foxes
10) Il Volo | Il Volo
11) Rome | Danger Mouse & Daniele Lupi
12) Love? | Jennifer Lopez
13) Michael Grimm | Michael Grimm
14) Lovestrong | Christina Perri
15) Give Till it’s Gone | Ben Harper
16) Lemonade Mouth Soundtrack | Various Artists
17) Doo-Wops & Hooligans | Bruno Mars
18) The Way it Was | Parachute
19) Wasting Light | Foo Fighters
20) Disc-overy | Tinie Tempah

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