First! Clearly benefitting from the classic SPIN Worst New Music bump (see Muse, Mumford and Sons, the Game, Wiz Khalifa, etc.), Harlem’s own A$AP Rocky scored a definitive No. 1 Billboard 200 victory with his LP debut, LONG.LIVE.A$AP, moving a chunky 139,000 units according to Nielsen SoundScan. It seems people really do enjoy that “raw mush of sound that provides an appropriate and occasionally great backdrop for refreshing your Tumblr dashboard” after all. Congratulations, America, on the impending blogging boom! It’s impossible to tell whether Mr. Rocky will indeed Live Long at the top of the mountain or make an ASAP egress, since the main force behind his current sales is the giant collabo “Fuckin’ Problems,” a song which not only fails to match the overall vibe of the set, but features its supposed star for a mere 40 seconds. But hey, at least he’s earned that dollar sign.
2 to 10: Dear Top 10, we’re not sure if you’re getting senile or something, but you’re really starting to repeat yourself a lot. As much as we love Taylor Swift’s surprising Red (No. 4, 41K) and Bruno Mars’ satisfying Unorthodox Jukebox (No. 5, 39K), we’re tired of seeing the same old albums dominate all others. Those Pitch Perfect (No. 3, 45K) and Les Miserable (No. 6, 39K) soundtracks refuse to let the credits roll. The battle for folk reenactment champ wages on with the Lumineers’ self-titled debut (No. 7, 38K) slowly climbing while Mumford’s Babel holds fairly steady (No. 9, 25K). Pop contructs Phillip Phillips and One Direction press on with The World From the Side of the Moon (No. 8, 25K) and Take Me Home (No. 10, 23K), respectively. Rocky is joined by one other debut and it’s a set of covers for kids pulling from everything that’s already been here before: Kidz Bop 23 (No. 2, 78K).
What to Wear? We are absolutely devastated that we are forced once again to acknowledge the existence of Macklemore and Ryan Lewis. Their song “Thrift Shop” joins a short list of terrible but inescapable things (death, taxes…) that’ve glommed onto human existence. They troll us by selling 314K downloads in a week, hence nabbing No. 1 on the Hot 100, all while dressed in Batman pajamas and secondhand furs. Meanwhile, a dashing dude like Justin Timberlake is stuck at No. 4 in his “Suit & Tie.” We’re starting to agree with the old folks. There’s just no room for class out there anymore.
Fall from Grace: Last week’s No. 1 album came from Christian crooner Chris Tomlin, who was only allowed about one hot minute in Heaven. His Burning Lights experienced a fiery crash over the past week, dropping 78 percent in sales from 73K all the way down to 16K (No. 22). But hey, man, Easter’s on the way, so just hang in there.