First! Beyon—say, wait a minute here... Despite industry projections that Beyoncé's December surprise would return to its rightful place on the top of the Billboard 200 albums chart, the soundtrack to Disney's Frozen remains No. 1 for a second week with 86,000 copies sold. In no world (except maybe Candy Land) is that a small feat — the last animated feature score to rule the top 10 was The Lion King, which reigned for 10 weeks back in 1994. Last week's sales bump came courtesy of an iTunes discount, but this week's win is all due to the success of the movie, which has now done $318 million at North American box offices, and been in the top three of top grossers for every week that it's been out so far, since November 27. Beyoncé stayed at No. 2 with 79K.
3 to 10: The only debut this week comes from Kid Ink, a Los Angeles rapper and Chris Brown sympathizer who's proven his originality by titling his album My Own Lane (50K, No. 3) — if rappers were city planners, the world would be one big highway. And then there's Eminem at No. 4 with The Marshall Mathers LP 2 (36K), which finds the iconic MC dutifully clearing the dust from the lane he built many, many years ago. No. 5 goes to Lorde (Pure Heroine, 33K), who must be in an airplane since she's made a point (via "Royals") to place herself above rappers and their the flashy lanes. Meanwhile, it's five artist-pileup of albums as familiar as gray Honda Civics: No. 6 belongs to One Direction's Midnight Memories (24K); No. 7 goes to Katy Perry's Prism (23K); Miley Cyrus' Bangerz nabs No. 8 (20K); Imagine Dragons' Night Visions ganks No. 9 (17K); and R. Kelly's Black Panties are back on at No. 10 (17K).
2014 Music Pre-Mortem: Despite Frozen's ranking victory, the sales are pretty dismal. It's been four months since a No. 1 album has sold fewer than 100K. Worse still, Kelly's haul is the third-lowest for a No. 10 album since SoundScan has been tracking the numbers for Billboard (1991). Year-to-date album sales have just cracked 9.7M — at this same time last year, we'd hit 11.4M. That's a 15 percent drop, accompanied by an 11 percent drop in digital track sales: from 63.4M two weeks into January 2013, to 56.2M here in 2014. Oof.
No: Pitbull and Ke$ha's "Timber" is no. 1 on the Hot 100 songs chart again. Maybe it's best we just let music die in peace.