First! The robots have won. Due to both the militarily mighty marketing campaign surrounding Random Access Memories and the glistening brilliance of that very same album, Daft Punk have conquered the Billboard 200. According to Nielsen SoundScan they sold 339,000 copies of their first full-length in eight years — that’s nearly three times the number that 2005’s Human After All has sold in total in the United States. That’s also the second best sales week of 2013 thus far (with Justin Timberlake’s near-million still reigning supreme) and it also blew up Spotify, nabbing the biggest first-week streaming numbers in the music service’s history. Around the world (heh) one quarter of all Spotify users gave it a play, and every track on the album was listened to at least half a million times. Welcome to the future, a place that smells like viral marketing and sounds like 1975.
2 to 10: Ever-present commercial country crap aside, this is the best week we’ve seen since Lil Wayne, the Strokes, and Depeche Mode debuted together. In at No. 3 is Trouble Will Find Me by the National, whose baroque rock mope is like cooked rock dope (via Pyrex) to the ever-expanding hipster masses who need a hearty wallop of poignancy just to get out of bed every early afternoon (75K). No. 4 goes to French Montana’s Excuse My French, which had no chance of living up to its own anticipation critically but performed well commercially (56K). We’re still rooting for ya, Monty. No. 5 is nabbed by The Great Gatsby soundtrack, slipping down a rung due to the dead weight of the subpar material by many otherwise excellent artists (54K). No. 7 goes to Vampire Weekend’s Modern Vampires of the City, no doubt thanks to the famous SPIN Essential sales bump (48K). No. 9 goes to Justin Timberlake’s The 20/20 Experience, and with all the new blood running through the chart, we’re more than happy to have JT sticking around (47K). That leaves only four true plunkers: Darius Rucker’s True Believers at No. 2 (83K), 30 Seconds to Mars’ Love Lust Faith + Dreams at No. 6 (53K), George Straight’s Love Is Everything at No. 8 (43K), and Lady Antebellum’s Golden closing out the Top 10 (34K).
Interband Love Song: Stone Temple Pilots only just relaunched with Linkin Park singer Chester Bennington as their new lead (taking Scott Weiland by surprise … again), and already they’re climbing the charts. Their new song “Out of Time” launched at No. 25 on Rock Airplay and No. 30 on Alternative Songs, and should continue to climb considering it’s the unholy evil step-child of all things alt-rock.
We’re Out of Puns: Mack-no-more. “Please Hold Us Back.” Crack-lemore. “Thrift Shit.” What’s left to say except that Macklemore and Ryan Lewis have topped the Hot 100 for the fourth week in a row with “Can’t Hold Us” after dominating the damned thing for 18 million weeks (rough estimate) with “Thrift Shop”? They’re breaking records left and right. Great for them. We wish they’d stop.