On the charts: Zac Brown gallops to the top, but eyes look ahead to Lil Wayne
Country good ol' boys Zac Brown Band and slick pop band Maroon 5 battled for the top spot on this week's pop chart, a bout between two former best new artist Grammy winners. The trophy, in this case, signifies each act's crossover appeal. The Zac Brown Band makes a backwoods country sound safe for pregame tailgates, and Maroon 5 dabbles in funk and soul, but never enough to dirty their designer look.
With "You Get What You Give," the Zac Brown Band follows its major label breakthrough, 2008's "The Foundation," with a No. 1 album. The Atlantic Records album sold 153,000 copies in the U.S., according to Nielsen SoundScan, giving the fast-rising country stars their first ever chart-topper on the pop tally. The first-week sales are just a small dent in the total sales notched thus far by "The Foundation," an album that this week sits at No. 22 and to date has sold just under 2.3 million copies.
While Maroon 5 still scored a top 5 album, the news isn't quite as good for the Adam Levine-led slicksters. The act's "Hands All Over" lands with significantly less pop than its 2007 effort "It Won't Be Soon Before Long," the latter of which bowed with 429,000 copies sold, according to the Billboard archives. By comparison, "Hands All Over," despite its provocative cover, muscles 142,000 copies sold.
Last week's No. 1, Linkin Park's "Thousand Suns," dips more than 70%, selling a little less than 70,000 in its second week. That gives the Agoura Hills rockers a two-week total of 311,000 copies sold. Its last, 2007's "Minutes to Midnight," sold more than 600,000 copies in its first week.
Other notes from this week's pop chart:
Disney's latest pop creation Selena Gomez scores a No. 4 debut with her band (she has a band?) the Scene. The act's "Year Without Rain," which hopefully isn't a metaphor for crying, sold 66,000 copies this week. That's on par with the 66,000 copies sold by last year's "Kiss & Tell."
Other newcomers of note this week include the latest all-star Santana mash-up "Guitar Heaven," which enters at No. 7 with 66,000 copies sold, and the pairing of John Legend and the Roots on "Wake Up!" a restrained collection of R&B protest songs that bowed at No. 8 with 63,000 copies sold. Country star Billy Currington sneaks in the top-10 at No. 9 with his "Enjoy Yourself," an album that sold 45,000 copies.
She has three songs in the top 40, but Katy Perry's "Teenage Dream" has fallen out of the top 10 this week. Now in its fifth week, "Teenage Dream" musters close to 30,000 sales, and to date has moved 410,000 copies. To date, her 2008 debut "One of the Boys" has sold 1.3 million copies.
The latest solo offering from L.A.'s Serj Tankian, "Imperfect Harmonies," sees the artist exploring more electronic textures, and bows at No. 35 with 10,000 copies.
Next's week's pop chart promises a more interesting storyline. Though still in prison for at least another few months, superstar rapper Lil Wayne will bow next week with his "I Am Not A Human Being." While Lil Wayne topped the 1 million first-week sales mark with his last hip-hop effort, "Tha Carter III," expect a much lower number for "I Am Not A Human Being," but it will still be an important figure. The album was released only to digital outlets this week, and will not see a physical CD release until Oct. 12, representing one of the few major albums to go Web-first, at least legally.
Photo: Zac Brown of the Zac Brown Band. Credit: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times