First! After enjoying the biggest album debut sales week in over a decade, our pal Taylor Swift still sits strong in music's metaphorical oval office. Her SPIN-reviewed Red sold 72 percent fewer copies than its opening 1.21 million, but that's still good news. With an additional 344K units moved according to Nielsen SoundScan and Billboard, the crossover country platter surpasses Up All Night by 2012's boy band outbreak breakout One Direction to become the second biggest album of the year. She'll have to sell a whole lot more pizza pies, however, if she wants to catch up with Adele's 21, which has sold 4.13 million copies in 2012 despite being released in early 2011. Perhaps she's lamenting that CMAs snubbing after all. Somewhere, a scorned singer-songwriter is shaking his fist while maniacally howling, "I told you you'd live to regret the day you crossed Matt Nathanson!" Except not at all, because she's super freaking rich now.
2 thru 10: No. 2, despite being a debut, didn't even do half of what Red did on its second week. Nevertheless, we're happy for Meek Mill, whose Rick Ross-approved Dreams and Nightmares sold 165K. Perhaps he should consider changing his first name to "immodest," "uninhibited," or even "pepper" — could be a more potent look. The rest that we care about: Compton rap savior Kendrick Lamar slipped a little bit from No. 2 to No. 5 with his SPIN Essential good kid, m.A.A.d. city (63K). We're still beefing with Mumford and Sons since our Worst New Music award-winning Babel appears to have at least another week left in it, coming in at No. 7 (44K). It's now the year's fifth million-seller, so, like, hurrah. Falling firmly on the side of good is the fact that rad dad Neil Young and his old band Crazy Horse debuted at No. 8 with Psychedelic Pill (34K).
'Tis the Season: And so it begins. We're only just clear of a horrendous haunting by the soon to be retired (hopefully) Now That's What I Call Music! compilation series, and already the holiday music onslaught is upon us. Christmas owned the Nos. 3 and 9 spots this week with, respectively, Rod Stewart's Merry Christmas, Baby (88K) and oh-man-really-are-these-guys-still-around Trans-Siberian Orchestra's Dreams of Fireflies (On a Christmas Night) EP (32K). It's only gonna get more rosy-cheeked and jingle-belled from here, boys and girls. Cinch up yer shit-slicker.
Really? Really? It is with heavy heart and baffled mind that we bring you the seventh chapter in the Mexican standoff between South Korean phenom PSY and white-American band Maroon 5. The latter's "One More Night" is still No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 songs chart, while the former's "Gangnam Style" is still No. 2. While the distance between the songs has fluctuated along the way, neither one has changed its position in nearly two months. (Take a lesson from Mitt Romney, guys! Ho!) And this despite the fact that "Gangnam" still has YouTube's most popular video, and has topped the digital song sales chart for four weeks and counting. Oh, and POTUS himself, Barack Obama, fielded a question about the song's signature horse dance on election day. "I think I can do that move," he said cooly. "Maybe do it privately for Michelle." Nobody asked if he wanted a little Adam Levine whine to go with that gallop.