Newcomers rush the charts, but again, it's Adele at the top
The music you bought this week: The weekly Pop & Hiss run-down that highlights some of what's on the charts. While the metrics for success continue to change, these are the artists that inspired folks to part with cash, from Adele to Tim McGraw to Gotye.
With the pop music world in the midst of the lead-up to the Grammys, the U.S. pop charts have an expected name at the top: Adele. Yet this time, the album of the year favorite has company, as seven albums arrive in the top 10.
With releases ramping up after the typically slow January, expect the pop charts, maintained by industry trade Billboard Magazine, to start to get a little more interesting again. Next week, for instance, the much-debated pop chanteuse Lana Del Rey will make an appearance near the top with her debut, "Born to Die," and her as-yet-unknown sales figures are sure to inspire more debate on the young artist.
At the top: Now in Week 49 of official release, Adele's "21" should be able to maintain its grip on the top of the U.S. pop charts into and after the Grammy Awards on Feb. 12. Her sales are up 22% this week to 116,000 copies sold, according to Nielsen SoundScan, helped in part no doubt by her latest strong-selling single, "Set Fire to the Rain." The cut is at No. 2 on Billboard's digital tracks tally with more than 166,000 downloads sold.
With Adele now set to perform at the Grammy Awards show, "21" should see a surge in sales in the days after the ceremony. Already, the album has sold more than 6.3 million copies.
The newcomers: There's a lot, and the closest artist to contending with Adele is country star Tim McGraw, whose "Emotional Traffic" arrives at No. 2 with 68,000 copies sold. Billboard's archives tell us that McGraw's last effort, 2009's "Southern Voice," entered at No. 2, with 137,000 copies sold.
Hard rockers Lamb of God enter at No. 3 with "Resolution" (52,000), the "2012 Grammy Nominees" collection lands at No. 4 with 52,000 copies sold and singer-songwriter Ingrid Michaelson lands at No. 5 with "Human Again." The later sold just shy of 40,000 copies, and is Michaelson's first top-10 album.
Further down, former "American Idol" contestant Kellie Pickler bows at No 7 with "100 Proof" (27,000 copies), Seal's covers collection "Soul 2" rests at No. 8, with just a few hundred sales separating Pickler and Seal, and Christian singer Kari Jobe lands at No. 10 with "Where I Find You" (25,000 copies).
The locals: Grammy best new artist nominee Skrillex jumps from No. 25 to No. 14 with his "Bangarang," an album that has has now sold about 88,000 copies total. Goofballs LMFAO are at No. 18 with "Sorry for Party Rocking" this week, an album that to date has moved just shy of 600,000 copies.
Electro-pop rockers Foster the People are hanging onto the top 40 this week at No. 40 with "Torches." Thus far, the album has sold 702,000 copies. Yet all the artists in this category are Grammy nominated or, in the case of LMFAO, appearing at the Super Bowl halftime show, meaning that their music should continue to perform consistently over the next couple weeks.
Surprises? The fast-rising sales of Skrillex's "Bangarang" are worth noting, with sales up 80% this week to 20,000 copies. He played a string of shows around L.A. last week, but fueling the increase is likely the higher exposure granted by his best new artist Grammy nomination.
Young country stars the Band Perry, while not necessarily surprising any one at this point, are poised for a crossover breakout heading into Grammy week. The act, which will perform on the show with legend Glen Campbell, is at No. 37 this week and has sold more than 1.1 million copies of its self-titled debut.
The off-center pop of Australia's Gotye is quietly moving up the U.S. pop charts. His 2011 release, "Making Mirrors," is at No. 45 this week, up from No. 63 last week, and has sold about 41,000 copies. Having already won numerous ARIA Awards (Australia's Grammys), Gotye gets a national TV booking tonight via "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" and is on the bill for this year's Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival.
-- Todd Martens
Image: Adele. Credit: Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times