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Fun with the charts: No stopping Adele, Steve Martin returns and the Dodos take flight

March 23, 2011 |  2:29 pm


Without any album cracking the six-figure mark, British soul songstress Adele returns to the top of the U.S. pop charts, as her "21" sold an additional 98,000 copies in its third week, according to Nielsen SoundScan. That pushes her total to more than 751,000. The album should soon lap her 2008 debut, "19," which has sold 983,000 copies thus far. 

The political punk act Rise Against has the best sales week of its career, landing at No. 2 with 85,000 copies sold. The act's last, 2008's "Appeal to Reason," entered at No. 3 with 65,000 copies sold, according to Billboard. After begining its career on indie Fat Wreck Chords, the now-major-label recording artist (Interscope) has experienced steady sales growth over the course of its six albums.

Other notes on this week's charts:

Lupe may be mixed, but fans don't seem phased. Chicago rapper Lupe Fiasco had been pretty vocal about the difficulty of recording and releasing his much-delayed third album, "Lasers," telling the Chicago Tribune that "I hate this record, the process of making this record, and I love this record." Yet it's off to a solid start, sales-wise, having debuted at No. 1 last week and resting at No. 3 this week. After selling an additional 47,000 copies, "Lasers" has moved a total of 251,000 copies. 

Punk 'n' hip-hop. Travis Barker rose to alt rock-era fame as the drummer of Blink-182. Numerous side projects and a reality show later, Barker's solo effort, "Give the Drummer Some," has landed in the Top  10, bowing at No. 9 after selling 28,000 copies. The album sees Barker moving away from punk to hip-hop, aided by a host of rappers -- Snoop Dogg and RZA, among them. It's an album heavy on industrial/electronic grooves, and it's the rap-rock scene of the late '90s revisited. 

No tour support: Veteran rock band R.E.M. has said it will not be hitting the road to back its latest release, "Collapse Into Now," but without any tour support the album may not be too long for the charts. In just two weeks, "Collapse" has fallen to No. 21 and suffered a 67% sales decline. In two weeks, the album has sold just 77,000 copies.

And a side of Kenny Rogers (alternative: Of God & commerce): For his first new album in five years, country's Kenny Rogers has gone gospel. His "The Love of God" marks his first full-on foray into the genre, and his second album for popular roadside family restaurant Cracker Barrel. The chain is selling the album exclusively, as it did for his 2008 retrospective. With only the power of Cracker Barrel behind him, Rogers muscles 13,000 sales for "The Love of God."

The Dodos have landed. The latest from the Bay Area pop act, which crafts hooks with a worldy spin, has been drawing rave reviews. "No Color" is an album that also features a high-profile guest spot in Neko Case, and plenty of good things were overheard about the band at the recent South by Southwest festival  in Austin, Texas. The album cracks the top 100, landing at No. 70 after selling 7,000 copies. While nothing should be taken away from the Dodos' success, it can't help but illustrate the industry's overall decline in sales. At 7,000 copies, it's as if a little more than half of SXSW's paid registrants  of 13,000 bought one. 

Other notes: Steve Martin's second bluegrass effort with the Steep Canyon Rangers, "Rare Bird Alert," lands at No. at 43, with just under 10,000 in sales. Look for New Zealand rock stars the Naked and Famous to get a big spring/summer push from Universal Republic, and the band gets its toes wet on the pop chart by entering at No. 91 with its "Passive Me, Aggressive You." The synthy rock band (think the Killers, MGMT) are beloved in their native land and sold more than 5,000 copies in one week in the U.S.

-- Todd Martens

Image: Adele. Credit: Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times