First! Nas demonstrates the power of daily affirmations by scoring the No. 1 slot on this week's Billboard 200 ranking with his Life is Good set, which sold 149,000 copies according to Nielsen SoundScan. It's his fifth chart-topping debut (sixth if you count his 1999 collaboration with Foxy Brown, AZ, and Nature, The Firm), the last being 2008's Untitled. SPIN admired his follow-through.
2 Through 10: Zac Brown Band, who kept Frank Ocean out of the top slot with the debut of Uncaged last week, lands at No. 2 (78,000), with the seemingly impossible Kidz Bop 22 (yes, 22) at No. 3 (64,000). Frank Ocean's channel ORANGE comes in at No. 4 (54,000). If that seems low for a second week tally on one of the buzziest albums of the year, it is (but more on that below). Justin Bieber's Believe keeps No. 5 (45,000), while Phil Collins' Hits jumps to No. 6 (40,000), thanks to one of those pesky one day, 99-cent Amazon promotions. One Direction's Up All Night keeps No. 7 (36,000), while Hans Zimmer's Dark Knight Rises soundtrack snags No. 8 (33,000), Adele's 21 gets No. 9 (almost 33,000), and Maroon 5's Overexposed rounds out the top 10 at No. 10 (29,000).
Sea of Despair: If he was one to gripe about album sales, Frank Ocean might be cursing Lady Gaga right now, because his charting sales leave out any and all $2.99 sale copies Amazon promoted (in addition to Phil Collins' and Teen Choice Awards cohost-slash-X Factor judge Demi Lovato's Unbroken) last week following Billboard's post-Born This Way decision not to include sales of albums priced below $3.49 in their initial four weeks.
Dark Knight Rising: Zimmer's all-instrumental soundtrack for the beleaguered blockbuster is the highest-debuting score in more than a decade, since John Williams' Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones soundtrack dropped in 2002. It's also the first score-only album to reach the top 10 since Daft Punk's Tron: Legacy soundtrack as well as the first Batman movie soundtrack showing up in the top 10 since Batman and Robin's in 1997, and that one was a (alarmingly good) compilation, not an instrumental score.