An almost-complete reshuffling of Breaking Benjamin’s lineup did little to diminish fans’ appetite for the band’s first album in six years as Dark Before Dawn gave the group their first Number One album. Dark Before Dawn, Benjamin Burnley and company’s first LP since 2009’s Dear Agony, sold 144,000 total albums, improving on Breaking Benjamin’s previous career-high peak, Phobia‘s Number Two debut in 2006, Billboard reports.
Breaking Benjamin managed to grab the top spot despite looking significantly different than when they last released an album. Besides frontman Burnley, every other member of the quartet featured on Dear Agony – guitarist Aaron Fink, bassist Mark Klepaski and drummer Chad Szeliga – are no longer in the group. Burnley and his new alt-metal crew won a charts week in which four debuts dropped into the Top 10, giving some fresh blood to a Billboard 200 that has been largely stagnant for months.
Singer Tori Kelly grabbed Number Two with her debut full-length LP Unbreakable Smile, which sold 75,000 total units in its first week. Number Three went to country star Kacey Musgraves, whose Pageant Material moved 60,000 total albums in its first week. (As evidence of Musgraves’ growing crossover appeal, Pageant Material improved upon Same Trailer, Different Park‘s 43,000 sales week in 2013, even if that debut LP bowed in at Number Two.)
R&B up-and-comer Leon Bridges was the Top 10’s last debut as Coming Home sold 42,000 copies to finish at Number Six, while Taylor Swift’s 1989 landed at Number Four. Since its release last October, 1989 has not dropped out of the Top 10, partly due to its streaming unavailability. It will be interesting to see if Apple Music’s permission to stream 1989 erodes some of those sales.
After waiting 45 years to land at Number One, James Taylor abdicated his throne as last week’s champ Before This World slid to Number Five.