Thursday, March 15, 2012

Traipsing The 'Net: Ides of March Edition

Back with a triumphant return for a second week is Traipsing The 'Net, where we compile the highest-selling and best-reviewed albums, as well as the highest-selling, most played and hottest tracks. First up, let's take a look at the best-selling albums this past week:

Billboard 200: Top 10 highest-selling albums:
1. Bruce Springsteen - Wrecking Ball (debut)
2. Adele - 21
3. Various Artists - NOW 41
4. Lady Antebellum - Own The Night
5. Coldplay - Mylo Xyloto
6. Whitney Houston - Whitney: The Hits
7. Drake - Take Care
8. Lil Wayne - Tha Carter IV
9. Luke Bryan - Spring Break 4...Suntan City (debut)
10. Andrew Bird - Break It Yourself (debut)

The Boss's seventeenth studio album unseated the unstoppable Adele from the top position. Springsteen nabbed his tenth No. 1 album, tying him with Elvis Presley for third most. Only The Beatles (19) and Jay-Z (12) (?!) have had more. Even over a month after her untimely passing, Whitney Houston continues to top the charts like she used to in the '80s and '90s. Country fans continue to be a main driving force for fledgling album sales, as evidenced by Lady Antebellum and Luke Bryan. Indie darling Andrew Bird also cracks the Top 10 with his sixth LP.

New and Upcoming Music, by Metascore: Top 10 highest reviewed albums*:
1. The Mezingers - On The Impossible Past [93]
2. Burial - Kindred (EP) [89]
3. Anais Mitchell - Young Man In America [88]
4. Django Django - Django Django [87]
5. The Men - Open Your Heart [87]
6. Leonard Cohen - Old Ideas [85]
7. Goldfrapp - The Singles [85]
8. Karen Dalton - 1966 [84]
9. Earth - Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light, Vol. 2 [83]
10. Cloud Nothings - Attack on Memory [83]
* Albums must have at least 7 reviews to qualify. "New and Upcoming Music" compiles all albums released within the last three months. 

Nothing too different here. The Mezingers jump up to the top spot, but the same ten albums remain. I don't expect this chart to change much, except when an album has been out for over three months. The number in brackets indicates the album's Metascore. If you don't know what the Metascore is...come on, man.

Billboard Hot 100: Top 10 most popular songs:
1. "We Are Young" by fun. featuring Janelle Monae
2. "Stronger" by Kelly Clarkson
3. "Set Fire To The Rain" by Adele 
4. "Glad You Came" by The Wanted
5. "Somebody That I Used To Know" by Gotye featuring Kimbra
6. "Turn Me On" by David Guetta featuring Nicki Minaj
7. "Take Care" by Drake featuring Rihanna
8. "Young, Wild & Free" by Snoop Dogg & Wiz Khalifa featuring Bruno Mars
9. "Starships" by Nicki Minaj
10. "Part of Me" by Katy Perry

fun. has surged all the way to the top spot this week with their huge new single "We Are Young". fun. had always had a recipe for success, as evidenced by their infectious debut, Aim and Ignite, so good for them for getting the attention that they deserve (or to some cynics, "selling out").  Also, Gotye's surprise hit "Somebody That I Used To Know" cracks the Top 5.  Other than that, a lot of the same songs remain, with some flip-flopping here and there. 
, Top Tracks Chart: Top 10 most played songs by all users
1. "Somebody That I Used To Know" by Gotye
2. "Rolling In The Deep" by Adele
3. "Born To Die" by Lana Del Rey4. "Paradise" by Coldplay 
5. "Video Games" by Lana Del Rey
6. "Pumped Up Kicks" by Foster The People
7. "Midnight City" by M83
8. "We Found Love" by Rihanna featuring Calvin Harris
9. "Somebody Like You" by Adele
10. "Shake It Out" by Florence + The Machine 

Measured by how many unique listeners scrobble a particular track in a given week, this chart is notoriously stable, with this week being no exception.  Over 53,000 users played "Somebody That I Used To Know" last week, compared to "Rolling In The Deep"'s 44,000 and change. I've heard that M83 song is pretty good, too.

We Are Hunted Emerging Chart: Top 10 Hottest Tracks:
1. "Pillow Talk" by Wild Child
2. "Primadonna" by Marina and the Diamonds
3. "The Wave" by Miike Snow
4. "Before The Dive" by St. Lucia
5. "surely" by SBTRKT
6. "Be A Body" by Grimes
7. "Rained The Whole Time" by Shlohmo
8. "Neptune" by Lemonade
9. "Pouches of Tuna" by Action Bronson
10. "Numbers" by Logic

Click the link at the top to be sent to We Are Hunted's website, where you can stream the entire Top 99

Unlike the chart, We Are Hunted is constantly changing, making it an excellent source of brand new and up-and-coming songs. Literally no holdovers from last week, although another Grimes track enters the Top 10. Her new album, Visions, is quite good.

I figured I'd throw my own two cents into this mix, so here are five songs I'm currently addicted to right now:
1. "Underwater Bimbos From Outer Space" by Every Time I Die
2. "Express Yourself" by Diplo featuring Nicky Da B
3. "The Hope" by Scuba
4. "Arguing With Thermometers" by Enter Shikari
5. "Show Me" by Team Me

I'm still obsessed with ETID's lead single off of their excellent new record Ex Lives. It might be this year's "Good Neighbor" for me: Energetic and nearly relentless for nearly three minutes of bliss. The new Diplo song is simply extraordinary at scratching the itch that you didn't realize even existed. "Show Me" is a song I caught wind of via We Are Hunted, and it really reminds me of the lovechild between Passion Pit and Mew. Guardian says that they are "so full of glee, they make the Polyphonic Spree sound like a black metal band." Well put. I could easily see them blowing up in the near future.

That's it for this week's iteration of Traipsing The 'Net. As always, comments and suggestions are always welcome to help improve the segment and keep it another mainstay in the newly-revitalized Cassette Musique lineup.

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