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The music you bought this week: Lonely Island, Tyler, the Creator and more

May 18, 2011 |  2:24 pm


Music sales may no longer be the surefire barometer of success they once were, yet the NielsenSoundScan charts today represent perhaps an even broader snapshot of artists who are resonating with fans. Without a multitude of acts consistently selling in the six figures, the charts are no longer the province solely of the mainstream. Below, a snapshot of some of the music that inspired the populace to part with cash.

Moving right along. Adele's "21" continues to coast at the top of the chart. Largely unchallenged, "21" has spent eight weeks at No. 1, and its 156,000 copies sold this week brings its total sales to more than 1.7 million, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Billboard tells us that this is the longest reign at the top for an album in about two years.

There will yet be more press about Odd Future. Is he offensive? Juvenile? A genius? No matter where you stand, there's an Internet report supporting your cause. Now Odd Future's creative center, Tyler, the Creator, can add top-five-selling artist to his resume. His "Goblin," released independently on XL Recordings, entered the chart at No. 5, having sold 45,000 copies in its first week. Cue article about whether Odd Future's shock appeal goes too far now. 

Taken seriously. Andy Samberg's comedy troupe Lonely Island transcends novelty status once again. The Grammy-nominated act docks at No. 3 on the chart with "Turtleneck & Chain," selling nearly 68,000 copies in its first week. The album almost had the No. 2 slot, falling just shy of the latest volume in the "Now! That's What I Call Music" series.

The indies! In addition to Tyler, the Creator, independent labels once again have a strong showing on the chart. Sub Pop's the Fleet Foxes stick around in the top 10 for a second week with "Helplessness Blues," which sold 34,000 copies this week to settle in at No. 8. In just two weeks, the album has sold 127,000 copies. The Fleet Foxes, with their folksy harmonics, have been a slow-building success story. The act will join Tyler, the Creator in sharing the bill for the Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago this summer.

Making a comeback. The Cars' first album in more than a decade, "Move Like This," largely picks up where the band left off, with glossy synth hooks and slow-dance ballads. It's been a relatively quiet comeback, however, and the band has immediately hit the club circuit in support. In its first week, the album sold 36,000 copies, which in this depressed sales climate is good enough for No. 7.

Not so 'Glee'-ful. A day after it was revealed that "Glee" star Matthew Morrison would be scaling back his U.S. tour to instead join the boy band circuit, more not-so-good news comes to the actor/singer. His self-titled debut enters the chart at No. 24 with just 16,000 copies sold. Yet "Glee" the series can still give an act juice, as evidenced by Christina Perri's "Lovestrong," which bows at No. 4 with 58,000 copies sold. Perri's "Jar of Hearts" was the beneficiary of a "Glee" cover.


Album review: Tyler, the Creator's 'Goblin'

Album review: The Lonely Island's 'Turtleneck & Chain'

Matthew Morrison cancels most of solo tour, to join Backstreet Boys, New Kids in summer outing

-- Todd Martens

Photo: Odd Future with Tyler, the Creator (back to camera). Credit: Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times