The music you bought this week: Beyonce, Lloyd, Bon Iver and more
Music sales may no longer be the surefire barometer of success they once were, yet the Nielsen SoundScan charts Wednesday represent perhaps an even broader snapshot of artists resonating with fans. Though the charts are no longer the providence of the mainstream, below is a snapshot of some of the music that has inspired the populace to part with cash.
At the top: A slow week for major releases keeps Beyoncé and Adele in control of the top two positions on the U.S. pop chart. In its second week on the market, Beyonce's "4" sold 115,000 copies, giving the set a two-week stand at 426,000. Meanwhile, Adele's "21" remains the model of consistency, racking up another 80,000 copies sold in its 20th week on the charts. So far, "21" has sold well over 2.5 million copies.
Gaga progress: Lady Gaga's debut "The Fame" sold more than 4 million copies by steadily hanging around the upper echelon of the chart for more than a year. So there was cause for concern when Gaga's latest, "Born This Way," fell out of the top-10 last week in only its sixth week on the chart. Gaga's sales aren't up this week, but "Born This Way" experiences a relatively small sales dip, allowing it to worm its way back into the top-10. "Born This Way" is at No. 8 this week with 30,000 copies sold and 1.5 million total.
A 'King of Hearts' is No. 10: Young R&B star Lloyd, who walks the line between the profane and the romantic, just barely lands in the top-10 with his latest, "King of Hearts." The effort sold 26,000 copies. "King of Hearts" is the only new album to debut in the top-40, and Billboard reports that "King of Hearts" doesn't quite measure up to the first week sales of his 2008 effort "Lessons in Love," which opened with more than 50,000 copies sold.
So this exists: When last we saw a new album from Limp Bizkit it was 2005 and the band had just issued the brief "The Unquestionable Truth (Part 1)." The latter is still without a sequel, but the band is back with "Gold Cobra." The album bowed in the top-20 last week, but slips to No. 56 this week, having sold 35,000 copies in its two weeks. Your prior thoughts on the band, whether good or bad, will likely be reinforced by "Gold Cobra."
One for the sensitive folks: The surprising success story of indie softy Bon Iver continues this week, as sophomore album, "Bon Iver," rests at No. 11 in its third week. It's the same post the album held last week although sales are down 24% to 24,000 copies. To date, however, the set has moved 167,000 copies.
Locals, etc: Electro-pop act Foster the People are at No. 31 this week, adding another 11,000 copies sold of "Torches" to bring its seven-week total to just over the 100,000 copy mark. "Goblin," the solo effort from Tyler the Creator, the anchor of hip-hop outfit Odd Future, is in danger of falling off the top-200. It's at No. 170 this week, and has sold 89,000 copies in eight weeks. Retro-soul act Fitz & the Tantrums bounce back onto the chart, benefiting, perhaps, for an iTunes promotion that placed "Pickin' Up the Pieces" on sale for $6.99. It's the second time that Fitz has been in the top-200, and "Pieces" has sold 71,000 copies to date.
-- Todd Martens
Photo: Beyoncé performs during the taping of the third to last episode of "The Oprah Winfrey Show." Credit: Peter Wynn Thompson / AFP/Getty Images