First! Jay Z is No. 1 and this time without that pesky hyphen weighing him down. Magna Carta Holy Grail slides a fairly predictable 76 percent (129,000 sold) but maintains its position behind bulletproof glass in the national archives or wherever they keep precious lofty artifacts (oh, right, in a Galaxy S4). Is it just us, or does it feel like everything that needs to be said about this album has already happened, bookended by media events revolving around marketing collaborations and punctuation problems? Read our proper review and our impulsive reviews if you haven't already decided to return to Yeezus. No #newthoughts.
2 to 10: Speaking of Kanye West, the man has made an ignominious egress from Billboard's Top 10 (apologies to whatever paparazzo takes the brunt of this one). Singer-songwriter Sara Bareilles debuts at No. 2 with her fourth album, This Blessed Unrest, trailing Jigga with a measly 68K. Thrillingly (no), Kidz Bop 24 lands at No. 3 (62K) thanks in no small part to its child-friendly reworking of Macklemore & Ryan Lewis' "Thrift Shop." Cash Money rhymer Ace Hood is in at No. 4 with Trials & Tribulations (34K), while Florida Georgia Line and Imagine Dragons continue to lurk the middle with Here's to the Good Times (31K) and Night Visions (28K) each slipping a notch to settle at Nos. 5 and 6 respectively. Other repeats include J. Cole's Born Sinner (No. 7, 27K) and Justin Timberlake's The 20/20 Experience (No. 9, 24K). Meanwhile, the rush of cornballs looking to capitalize on the sunniest season is kicked off with the soundtrack to the Disney Channel's Teen Beach Movie (No. 8, 28K) and baby-faced pop concoction Cody Simpson, whose Surfers Paradise starts at No. 10 (24K). Perhaps he can borrow Jigga's abandoned dash and turn it into an apostrophe.
Thicke's Length: Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines" has now had the longest run at the top of the Hot 100 this year, besting "Thrift Shop" (a silver lining) with a whopping seven-week reign. The song's been covered by Queens of the Stone Age, butchered by Vampire Weekend, and even "sung" by that Patron Saint of Perviness Bill Clinton. We're hoping there's nowhere to go but down from here. (That one was not a dick joke.)
Imagine Better: Really, try harder. We can do better than Imagine Dragons. And yet, the Las Vegas synth-rock bros continue to gain traction with Night Visions, an album that came out nearly a year ago, which was recorded inside of a megahotel/casino. The band is lodged firmly wihin the Top 10 despite all of the odds, and current single "Radioactive" sold 173K copies last week. Really, we like this? I mean, aside from the puppets: