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August Alsina Finds His ‘Testimony’ Stuck Behind Frozen at No. 2


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51Q2c-T9xKL._SL500_AA280_No one can stop the unstoppable Frozen Soundtrack – it grows sales to a whopping 259,000 copies! It’s nearly May, but the winter hit continues to be the much-needed gift that keeps on giving to the music industry, keeping it afloat.  August Alsina sells 67,000 copies of his full-length debut album, Testimony.  To be the closest to Frozen (no. 2)is to be “oh so far away” as it wasn’t even a close contest in the least.   While 67,000 copies are great for an R&B upstart, I wish that Alsina could’ve moved even more – Testimony is truly a great album (in my opinion).  NEEDTOBREATHE move 49,000 copies of latest album Rivers In the Wasteland, good enough for the no. 3 spot.  Jason Derülo, an artist who has suffered from chart success where his albums are concerned, lands at no. 4 selling a respectable 44,000 copies of Talk Dirty.  The success can likely be attributed to the ubiquitous single of the same name.  Ingrid Michaelson wasn’t to be denied a top five showing as Lights Out sells 37,000 copies, bowing at no. 5.

81CdwhWvDFL._SL1500_Otherwise the top ten is more of the same according to Billboard, with familiar artists including Luke Bryan, Pharrell Williams, and Lorde rounding out things.  As my new motto is, “it is what it is”.   Pharrell is no. 1 on the Hot 100 for the millionth week – well 9th week, but that’s quite an achievement – with “Happy” continuing to strike a hopeful chord everywhere.  As far as new entries next week, some interesting albums should impact that charts with Neon Trees (Pop Psychology), Future (Honest) and Iggy Azalea (The New Classic) among them.

Frozen Proves to be the Shining Moment on an ‘Ice Cold’ Albums Chart


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Well, another week and another chart and guess who’s on top – yep you guessed it, the Frozen Soundtrack. While sales aren’t exactly hot across the board, the additional 133,000 copies that the unstoppable soundtrack sold are solid, particularly compared to the rest of the albums.   How sound is 133,000 copies? Well according to Billboard, Pharrell ascended back to his peak position (no. 2) this week, selling 29,000 copies. Talk about April being the month of the music sales drought!

71gh3xPpjvL._SL1500_Honestly, the news on the charts isn’t good, particularly since a holdover like G I R L outsold the new entries. MercyMe bring little inspiration where sales are concerned, dropping Welcome to the New at no. 4 and a modest 26,000 copies. Black Label Society isn’t too far off, as Catacombs of the Black Vatican lands at no. 5. SoMo, t
he third new offering in the top 10, seems to have a small ceiling given a no. 6 bow with 23,000 copies sold. Still, there is prestige in claiming a Billboard top ten album – some better known/veteran R&B artists have yet to accomplish the feat. Saddest in regards to numbers is Martina McBride, whose soul covers album Everlasting sold a scant 21K. While the no. 7 bow isn’t shabby, the numbers aren’t impressive. Ultimately, it seems the four newbies in the top 10 underwhelmed in regards to their impact. Then again, everything is underwhelming – save for Frozen.

81cg4cMMqIL._SL1500_On the Hot 100, Pharrell Williams continues to sit pretty at no. 1 with “Happy”. Keeping R&B locked up at the top, John Legend continues a remarkable run with “All of Me” at no. 2. As far as albums that should make some sort of impact next week, August Alsina (Testimony) and Jason Derülo (Talk Dirty) are among the group. Ingrid Michaelson is also in the mix with Lights Out. Still, April seems to be absent of a true blockbuster album with commercial footing.

5 Seconds of Summer Settle For No. 2


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5 Seconds of Summer, the new Australian teen band, has nothing to hang their heads about; debuting at no. 2 with 143,000 copies of a four-song EP (She Looks So Perfect) is definitely notable.  Settling for that no. 2 spot behind the unstoppable Frozen Soundtrack (149,000 copies sold) – well that should boost confidence even more considering no one can end Frozen’s run.  After the slim margin separating album nos. 1 and 2, there is a huge gap.  Chevelle’s La Gargola sold 45,000 copies, good for the no. 3 spot.  Former “Jar of Hearts” pop singer/songwriter Christina Perri debuts at a familiar spot (no. 4), but does so smaller numbers for sophomore album Head or Heart (40,000 copies).  Country gets its representation from Dan + Shay, who sold 29,000 copies of Where It All Began (no. 6).  Nickel Creek also get a top ten berth, selling 27,000 copies of their first album following a lengthy hiatus, Why Should the Fire Die?  Hey, they don’t call it lucky no. 7 for no reason, right?

On the songs chart, specifically the Billboard Hot 100, Pharrell Williams continues to make us all “Happy” for yet another week, according to Billboard.  What is most shocking to me is that John Legend’s “All Of Me” is so hot, though I felt the hit potential when the underappreciated Love in the Future arrived in September 2013.  For R&B and for Legend, the popularity of the rather conservative track is awesome.

Next week doesn’t seem electrifying as far as notable new releases.  Still, albums arrive from Martina McBride (Everlasting), MercyMe (Welcome To The New), James Durbin (Celebrate), and SoMo (SoMo) among others. “It is what is”.

Shakira Settles For No. 2 as ‘Frozen’ Keeps The Top Spot Warm


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On the Billboard 200 Albums Chart this week, multiple new albums graced the top ten.  Unfortunately for them, not were able to take down reigning champ Frozen Soundtrack, which once more sells six figures (161,000 copies) according to Billboard.  The new releases underperformed where numbers are concerned, keeping Frozen easily ahead of them. Frozen, led by ubiquitous Academy Award winning song “Let It Go” seems unstoppable.  As to what or who could kill Frozen’s vibe, I don’t know.

51Z9GVuOpnL._SL500_AA280_Shakira was unable to stop the beloved soundtrack, as Shakira. debuted in the runner-up slot with only 84,000 copies.  84,000 copies is nothing to snicker about, but for the pop diva, the numbers are underwhelming.  Johnny Cash’s lost album Out Among the Stars comes in third place, selling 54,000 copies.  The gap between nos. 2 and 3 is incredible, and the ride continues as Memphis May Fire land at no. 4 with 27,000 copies sold of Unconditional.  The difference between the top four album totals at 161,000, 84,000, 54,000, and 27,000 is incredible.  The top four albums sold approximately 326,000 copies.

Erica Campbell couldn’t squeeze her way into the top 5, but she did make it to no. 6 with her gospel solo debut Help, selling 23,000 copies (a piece off from her Mary Mary albums). Barry Manilow wasn’t far off from Campbell, as Night Songs fell one spot behind with 22,000 copies sold.  My Chemical Romance’s May Death Never Stop You (Greatest Hits) sold 20,000 copies, good for a no. 9 debut.   Still, examining the 20K copies of each of the aforementioned, the ceiling of each album seems incredibly low.  Sure, you don’t expect a gospel album (Campbell’s Help) to go extremely far on the pop charts, but still, given the crossover appeal of Campbell/Mary Mary, you might expect slightly more enthusiastic numbers.

Judging by titles issued this week, the charts may still be only so-so come next week. Releases from MKTO (MKTO), Ronnie James Dio (This Is Your Life), Chevelle (La Gargola), Nickel Creek (A Dotted Line), or Christina Perri (Head or Heart) don’t exactly scream big-time hit potential, no offense.

Can’t Just “Let It Go”: Frozen Soundtrack Is No. 1 Once More


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After six non-consecutive weeks atop the Billboard 200 Albums Charts, the Frozen Soundtrack makes it a seventh week at the penthouse. This week, Frozen rallies to sell a gargantuan 202,000 copies. I guess folks just can’t “Let It Go” – bad joke, I know.  I’d say that the release of the album to DVD/Blu-ray/Digital likely had a role in elevating those sales. After Frozen, things get a bit hairier.

61RmtewJi0L._SL500_AA280_YG debuts at no. 2 with album My Krazy Life, which sold 61,000 copies.  61,000 copies isn’t a bad number, but don’t call it sexy either.  Foster The People land at no. 3, moving 54,000 copies of Supermodel, their second album.   Skrillex follows at no. 4 with Recess, which sold 47,000 copies.  Apparently there were physical copies of Recess, though when I visited the CD section, I was unable to find it – it obviously got its sales totals from digital sales.  Rock band The Pretty Reckless bow at no. 5, with 35,000 copies sold of Going to Hell (charming title, right?).  Enrique Iglesias’ Sex and Love enters in at no. 8 with a tepid 24,000 copies while Taking Back Sunday land at no. 10 with 22,000 copies sold of Happiness Is. Iglesias and Taking Back Sunday have both had better days where sales are concerned.

Happy” continues to be the story on the Billboard Hot 100 as Pharrell Williams’ infectious throwback R&B single is a big-time hit. Perhaps more surprising is the success of John Legend’s “All of Me”, which according to billboard.com has risen to no. 2 this week!  Two R&B tracks sit in the top two of the Billboard Hot 100 – shocking!

Several new releases landed in the top 10 this week, even though the numbers were so-so for some.  Next week, new albums arrive courtesy of Shakira (Shakira), Karmin (Pulses), Johnny Cash (Out Among the Stars), Erica Campbell (HELP), and My Chemical Romance (May Death Never Stop You: Greatest Hits 2001 – 2013) among others. All should definitely have no trouble charting and making some noise.

The Frozen Soundtrack Seems Unstoppable at no. 1


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Well, the headline is pretty familiar folks as the Frozen soundtrack returns to the no. 1 spot yet again.  What is most shocking/impressive is that that the numbers for the album don’t seem to change that much.  This week, Frozen sold another 99,000 copies, a feat that many artists wished their albums could do consistently.  Frozen even killed Luke Bryan’s vibe, as his umpteenth Spring Break EP (Spring Break 6…Like We Ain’t Ever to be accurate), bows at no. 2 with 74,000 copies.  After two no. 1 albums last year, ole boy’s streak stops.  Frozen, “it’s all your fault!”

41Gjnw1dUPL._SL500_AA280_Luke gets some company on the Billboard 200 where debuts are concerned.  Aloe Blacc launches Lift Your Spirit with 45,000 copies sold, good enough to land at no. 4.  311 drop Stereolithic at no. 6, right ahead of Young Money’s second album, Rise of an Empire.  The ‘empire’ may be rising according to Lil Wayne and company, but with a mere 31,000 copies sold, the stock seems to be dropping… No. 7 is a new high for Young Money, but previous self-titled debut sold considerably more despite debuting at no. 9.  Sara Evans doesn’t have a ‘valedictory’ week herself, as Slow Me Down lands at no. 9 with a modest 27,000 copies.  As for my girl Ledisi, well, let’s say her latest The Truth didn’t exceed the peak of Pieces of Me (no. 9), as The Truth misses the top 10.

61RmtewJi0L._SL500_AA280_Pharrell Williams, who manages to stay in the top ten of the albums chart, also keeps no. 1 locked down on the Billboard Hot 100.  People must like the “Happy” vibes.  As far as next week’s potential newbies on the chart, there are some options, but who knows how much any of them will sell.  Supermodel is a notable attraction, courtesy of Foster The PeopleEnrique Iglesias isn’t exactly the force he once was, but Sex and Love might draw in some numbers.  Skrillex drops his latest, Recess, while Taking Back Sunday teach us what Happiness Is.  Oh and throw My Crazy Life (Y.G.) into the mix as well.  May the best…selling album win the race!

Charts: Rick Ross Lands At Familiar Spot – No. 1


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Unsurprisingly, Rick Ross lands at a familiar spot on the Billboard 200 Albums Chart, no. 1.  Mastermind becomes the rapper’s fifth album to debut in the penthouse, selling a respectable 179,000 copies.  All of Ross’ albums have sold solidly during their debut week – totals include 187,000, 198,000, 158,000, 176,000, and 218,000 with prior albums.   Mastermind, hence, gives Ross his fourth best debuting effort, behind God Forgives, I Don’t, Trilla, and Port of Miami.  Regardless, Rick Ross is making bank.

512oYPuD-AL._SL500_AA280_Pharrell has a solid week as well, moving 112,000 copies of his sophomore LP, G I R LG I R L didn’t match the 142,000 copies that graced In My Mind, but ultimately exceeded expectations by prognosticators.  Additionally, “Happy” retains its no. 1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100, which can’t hurt.  Lea Michele didn’t do too shabby with Louder, which debuted at no. 4 with 60,000 copies.  I haven’t personally reviewed the album, but critics haven’t been kind to the Glee star.  Eli Young Band debuts at no. 5, though the drop-off between Michele and Young is steep; 10,000 Towns sold 36,000 copies.

51kTVaIIg1L._SL500_AA280_After holdovers including Frozen Soundtrack (no. 3), Beck (Morning Phase, no. 6), Lorde (Pure Heroine, no. 7) Schoolboy Q (Oxymoron, no. 8), and Eric Church (The Outsiders, no.9), Ashanti closes out the top 10 with her long awaited, oft-delayed fifth album, BraveHeartBraveHeart’s numbers are nothing to write home about with 28,000 copies sold, but they are better than expected, at least from a personal perspective.  Still, I’m sure Ashanti would’ve loved to have sold the 86,000 copies that The Declaration moved six years ago when it became her first bomb.  28,000 copies leaves no ceiling, but the effort has been very much under-the-radar regardless.

41Gjnw1dUPL._SL500_AA280_After a top heavy top three (including Frozen), next week seems like a letdown… no disrespect to Aloe Blacc (Lift Your Spirit), Ledisi (The Truth), or Young Money (Rise of an Empire).  Where these albums fall sales wise should be interesting to see.  “The Man” is popular, but is it enough to lift Black up the album charts?  Ledisi’s base is the adult contemporary R&B market, so expecting a monster week from her wouldn’t be wise. Young Money might have the best shot, given its top ten debut with both Young Money (2009) and Rich Gang (2013).  Still, both of those albums debuted at no. 9 with 142,000 and 24,000 copies respectively.  I’m not making any chart predictions for next week!

Schoolboy Q Takes Oxymoron To No. 1


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Ah, who doesn’t love a good ‘come-up’ story? Schoolboy Q has reason to celebrate as his third LP Oxymoron takes over the no. 1 spot on the Billboard 200 Albums Chart.  Apparently, them “Collard Greens” were pretty potent, as 139,000 people decided to add Oxymoron to their music collection.  139,000 copies isn’t the ‘end all be all’ in regards to album sales, but its definitely sound for what could be considered an up-and-comer, even three albums into a rap career.  Compared to his colleague Kendrick Lamar, the numbers are less favorable (Good Kid M.A.A.D. City missed the top spot, but sold 241,000 copies), though Kendrick also had bigger buzz surrounding him at the time, not to mention the fourth quarter to propel him.

51X7l6td0ML._SL500_AA280_Schoolboy Q fended off that feisty Frozen Soundtrack, which continues to put up respectable numbers.  This week, the magic number for the runner up was 91,000, which according to billboard.com was an increase from the previous week.  Frozen kept another new release and veteran, Beck from the runner-up spot.  Beck settles for no. 3 with 87,000 copies sold of Morning Phase, his first album in six years.  Even though Beck couldn’t match a previous high watermark – a no. 2 peak for 2005 effort Guero – or its robust 162,000 copies start, he managed to outperform prognostications.

41644n4bcLL._SL500_AA280_Surprise albums seem to be all the rage these days, with Kid Cudi’s oddball Satellite Flight: The Journey to Mother Moon fitting right into the trend.  Kid Cudi doesn’t quite have the Beyoncé effect, but does debut at no. 4 with 87,000 copies.  Compared to last year’s slightly more accessible Indicud, the numbers are down for the left-field rapper.  In fact, Satellite Flight is Cudi’s lowest debuting album as of yet.  The next closest in terms of his discography was his debut, Man on the Moon: The End of Day, which sold 104,000 good for a no. 4 bow.  Previous album Indicud debuted at no. 2 selling 136,000 copies.  Indicud was a drop-off itself, specifically from Cudi’s sophomore album, Man on the Moon: The Legend of Mr. Rager, which debuted at no. 3, but sold 169,000 copies.  Is Scott Mescudi just too odd for sustainable commercial success? Perhaps.

81U1dPInpIL._SL1500_Keeping things close (and new), Romeo Santos debuts at no. 5 with Formula: Vol. 2.   Formula sold 85,000 copies, awesome numbers for a Latin album.  Dierks Bentley didn’t quite get in on the “80s” action (80K that is), but Riser did debut at no. 6 with 63,000 copies.   63,000 copies doesn’t have much of a ceiling itself, but Bentley isn’t exactly country’s most consistent selling male artist. Still, 63,000 copies isn’t too shabby. The Fray would’ve enjoyed being even remotely close to 63K; they settle for a no. 8 bow and 37,000 copies sold of Helios.  Seems like the popularity of “Over My Head (Cable Car)” hasn’t translated to the band’s more recent efforts.   Other than Frozen, the only holdovers are Eric Church (The Outsiders), Now 49, and Beyoncé (Beyoncé). Good sales week – finally!

61MyGLb8AuL._SL500_AA280_Pharrell Williams goes into next week’s chart with the momentum of retaining no. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 (“Happy“).  Pharrell’s second solo album GIRL is one of the competitive albums fighting for the top two spots on next week’s chart.  Second solo album you ask? Well ole boy released In My Mind a couple of years back and snagged a Grammy-nomination for the LP.  Rick Ross should have no. 1 locked up as he releases his sixth LP, Mastermind.  With the exception of Ross’ best LP (in my opinion), Teflon Don, Ross has locked down no. 1 four previous times.  Lea Michele wishes she could muster up the numbers expected from Ross or Williams, but according to Billboard prognostications, she won’t come close.  And as for Eli Young Band, well 10,000 Towns is far behind.  I won’t even mention Ashanti’s Brave Heart – it doesn’t have a shot.

Oh and going back to the Billboard Hot 100, what about my homeboy John Legend breaking into that top four (last week I believe)? Who would’ve thought that “All Of Me”, an old school, piano-driven ballad would be a hit in 2014? It remains at no. 4 this week according to Billboard.  Rock on John, rock on!

Candice Glover’s Troubling Numbers


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Candice Glover-20140214-114I don’t blame her in the least – Not even an ounce!  Candice Glover, like millions of others, went into American Idol with the dream of being a superstar.  And the thing is, Glover has superstar talent, sporting one of the better voices to win the competition.  But as has been proven time and time again, it takes more than talent to win over America… and I’m not talking about the American Idol viewing audience.  By win over America, I’m referring to those near-extinct, extremely archaic things called album sales.  Judging by the title, you can tell my girl’s sales are… “U-G-LY/ you ain’t got no alibi” Yes. What’s the word on the street? That on tomorrow’s Billboard 200 Chart, Candice Glover’s Music Speaks is a new entry at no. 14 with 19,000 copies sold.  19,000 copies! “Damn” (Track number four BTW).  I won’t bore you with the stats of other victor’s albums sales, but know that comparatively, the robust-voiced Glover truly ‘laid an egg.’

Back in 2013, I penned a post entitled “Five Reasons Why Candice Glover May Have an Uphill Battle”.  The give reasons were as follows back then: (1) low American Idol ratings, (2) unremarkable single sales (“I Am Beautiful”), (3) R&B continues to trend down, (4) lax promotion, and (5) major record labels tend to have a ‘short leash’.   I went on to make the following prediction to conclude the post:

 “Candice’s first album may compromise her talent/potential talent level by being rushed by a quick ‘turn-around’ date.  The album will likely have insufficient promotion, hurt by ailing Idol ratings, poor single reception/sales, and a lack of deeper monetary investment.  Because of this, the album will likely fall short in the sales department… Hopefully my pessimism is a Worst-case scenario.  I wish Candice the upmost success and career.

Candice Glover2-20140214-115As much as I hate to say it, many of my guesses were accurate.  Believe me, as a hardcore fan of Glover, I hoped that my fortune-telling ways truly stank.  But, having seen how often an album is “done” before it even has a chance over the years, this is no surprise.  Of those five reasons, Glover’s ugly numbers are directly related to – DING, DING, DING – all five.  The sole reason you could argue might be excused is the downtrend of R&B.  R&B is still cooling, though there has been some success with albums by Beyoncé (Beyoncé) and Toni Braxton & Babyface (Love, Marriage & Divorce). That said, those are all established artists and Candice Glover was the winner of the least heralded season of an aging show.  Oh well.  Can’t cry over spilt milk?

Sooooo…What’s a talented artist to do? Keep on hustling another day.  Make the most of the lot that is being given.  The ceiling of the numbers is definitely discouraging, but as Ellie Goulding said best, “Anything Could Happen.”  Do I believe it will… it’s another pessimistic no, unfortunately.

Now 49 Lands At No. 1


914QaFGPetL._SL1500_From one compilation to another, Now 49 debuts at no. 1 on the Billboard 200 Albums Chart.  In yet another sub 100,000 copies week, Now 49 sells 98,000 copies.  Frozen doesn’t fall too far from grace – it is no. 2 and managed to sell another 88,000 copies.  The big news on the charts is how much of an impact the Super Bowl had on Bruno Mars, who’s Unorthodox Jukebox returns to the top 3, with 81,000 copies sold.  While his compilation contemporaries may not have near the bragging rights given their numbers, Mars should be proud.  Unorthodox Jukebox was released in December 2012 and in February 2014 has managed to re-enter the top echelon of the charts.  Now that’s swag.

71upshG8ahL._SL1500_Now 49 wasn’t the only debut.  Toni Braxton & Babyface surprisingly outperform as Love Marriage & Divorce sells 67,000 copies, goo for a bow at no. 4.  Sure 67,000 copies still doesn’t leave the duo a great ceiling, but it’s respectable given the status of R&B these days… well save for ‘Yoncé. Broken Bells land at no. 5 with their sophomore album, After The Disco.  44,000 copies isn’t too shabby considering Broken Bells isn’t exactly a household name.  Lil Mix isn’t either, yet their sophomore album Salute lands at no. 6 with 43,000 copies.  The numbers don’t exactly equate to prolonged success mind you, but in some regards, all four of the newbies on the chart performed better than I anticipated at least.

Dark Horse” she’s not ladies and gentleman as Katy Perry continues to shine atop the Billboard Hot 100 with pal Juicy J.   Changing gears though, as for who’s got next on the albums chart, put your money on Eric Church’s latest, The OutsidersChurch’s previous studio album, Chief debuted at no. 1.  This is a relatively quiet release week.

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