WINNER OF THE WEEK: Jack White. And, to a lesser degree, rock. The White Stripes/Dead Weather/Raconteurs frontman’s first solo album hits Number One, with sales of 138,000. (For the record, our favorite moment on White’s new Blunderbuss is his cover of the classic “I’m Shakin’.”) Will the chart success last? Almost certainly not. No rock band – not even sales powerhouses Nickelback and Coldplay – manages to stick around the album charts for very long. The exceptions are rock bands that are more pop bands, like Maroon 5 or Gotye, which emphasize singles and use hits like “Payphone” or “Somebody That I Used to Know” to boost album interest. White’s first single, “Love Interruption,” came out in February, and it has racked up a respectable 3.5 million YouTube views – not enough for singles dominance.
LOSER OF THE WEEK: Hip-hop. Let’s just say our prediction last week of a hip-hop summer totally didn’t come true. At the time, it looked from the Ultimate Chart, which measures Internet criteria and is often a decent gauge of developing hits and artists, that new singles by Kanye West, Drake and Nicki Minaj might be ready to surge. This week, the opposite seems true: West’s “Mercy” drops 14 spots, to Number 25, and Drake’s “Take Care” drops 21, to Number 37. Minaj’s fantastic “Beez in the Trap” holds at Number 18, though. So where does hip-hop stand, chart-wise? It’s hard to generalize. Wiz Khalifa’s “Work Hard, Play Hard” jumps into iTunes’ Top 10, at Number Six; Lil Wayne’s “Mirror” is up 20 slots on the Ultimate Chart, at Number 29; and Minaj’s not-so-rap “Starships” and Flo Rida’s also-not-so-rap “Wild Ones” remain in the Top 10.
ANYWAY THEY PROBABLY JUST WATCHED “KIMMEL” AND CRASHED: Inexplicably, country star Kip Moore’s new album, Up All Night, which made its debut this week at Number Six (37,000 copies), has the same title as boy band One Direction’s Number Four album (50,000). That’s kind of a bizarre coincidence, but it would have been way more bizarre if they had both been named Bat Chain Puller or Weasels Ripped My Flesh or When the Pawn Hits the Conflicts He Thinks Like a King What He Knows Throws the Blows When He Goes to the Fight and He’ll Win the Whole Thing ‘Fore He Enters the Ring There’s No Body to Batter When Your Mind is Your Might So When You Go Solo, You Hold Your Own Hand and Remember That Depth is the Greatest of Heights and if You Know Where You Stand, Then You Know Where to Land and if You Fall It Won’t Matter, ‘Cause You’ll Know That You’re Right. Anyway, it’s also interesting that despite Moore’s impressive showing on the Billboard chart, Up All Night didn’t even place on iTunes’ albums chart, even though fellow country hotshot Lee Brice landed there at Number 3 with Hard 2 Love (which is also a better title than Up All Night).
LAST WEEK: The Triumph of Bland Pop