Track sales — down 12 percent. Album sales — down 16 percent. Let’s do this.
APOLOGIES FOR PUTTING “LET IT GO” INTO YOUR HEAD ANOTHER WEEK: Finally, I have something else to write about, now that Frozen is no longer Number One after 13 long nonconsecutive weeks. The Soundtrack Permanently Wedged Into the Brains of Parents of Middle-School Girls sold 153,000 copies, adding to its total of nearly 3 million, but dropped to Number Two as NOW 50 racked up a respectable 169,000 copies sold in its first week. I’m never super-happy when a NOW compilation becomes a hit — these things usually look backward rather than forward. This one chronicles the last few months of pop, such as John Legend’s “All of Me,” Pharrell Williams’ “Happy,” Jason Derulo’s “Talk Dirty” and the Chainsmokers’ “#Selfie,” although it does contain a few somewhat deeper Miley Cyrus, Lorde and Bruno Mars tracks. So will Frozen return to dominance next week, since NOW collections have a habit of dropping after their debut weeks, or is it over? Don’t trust me.
THE (SORTA) RETURN OF MICHAEL JACKSON!: Michael Jackson’s lifelong dichotomy of releasing unheard music while simultaneously dealing with accusations of abhorrent behavior continues long after his death — his not-bad “new” single “Love Never Felt So Good,” with Justin Timberlake, sold 101,000 copies, an increase of 26 percent and jumped from Number 15 to Number 6 on Billboard‘s Digital Songs chart. Will the song take off and jumpstart new album Xscape into yet another MJ renaissance? Doubtful. The Timberlake video, full of respectful Michael iconography, arrived this week and has yet to take off, viewing-number-wise, and none of the tracks are on iTunes Top Songs list this week.
AND THEY HAVE JUSTIN BIEBER’S MANAGER — WHAT COULD GO WRONG?: My money remains clamped on 5 Seconds of Summer’s “She Looks So Perfect” in the Summer Single Sweepstakes — the band has summer in its name — but a sleeper has emerged in British boy(ish) band Rixton’s “Me and My Broken Heart,” performed live on NBC’s The Voice two weeks ago. The single jumped 40 spots on BigChampagne’s latest Ultimate Chart, from Number 49 to Number Nine, and its video has snagged more than 4.3 million YouTube views since it arrived in late March. With One Direction playing stadiums all summer, somebody has to step up as New One Direction.