The music you bought this week: Adele, Paul Simon, Tune-Yards and more


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Music sales may no longer be the surefire barometer of success they once were, yet the Nielsen SoundScan charts today represent perhaps an even broader snapshot of artists who are resonating with fans. Without a multitude of acts consistently selling into the six figures, the charts are no longer the providence solely of the mainstream. Below, a quick snapshot of some of the music that inspired the populace to part with cash.

British royalty. As royal wedding fever continues to swell, the top of Billboard’s pop charts is once again led by Britain’s new queen of soul, Adele. Her ‘21’ racks up an additional 153,000 copies sold. In just nine weeks, it has sold more than 1.2 million. Her 2008 debut, ‘19,’ also continues to sell well, as the album is at No. 28 this week and has sold just over 1 million to date.


Stuff on TV. Adele holds off the latest product from ‘Glee’ Inc., as an album from something the show has branded, ‘The Warblers,’ enters at No. 2 with 86,000 copies sold. There’s now a total of four pieces of ‘Glee’ merch on the top 200. Not too far behind at No. 4 is the soundtrack to Disney Channel film ‘Lemonade Mouth,’ which bolts from No. 18 last week to No. 4 after the airing of the musical flick. In two weeks of release, the set has sold about 90,000 copies.

A late career jolt. Paul Simon‘s critically acclaimed new album, ‘So Beautiful or So What,’ has a strong second week to stay in the top 10. At No. 8 this week, the album sold 38,000 copies, which is good for a total tally of more than 105,000. Simon’s debut week was his best sales week since Nielsen SoundScan began tracking data in 1991.

Much ado about the iPad. Initially a Web-only fan-club release, the latest from the Gorillaz has made headlines for being recorded largely on the iPad. Yet ‘The Fall’ has more than novelty appeal -- and once again features appearances from former Clash members Mick Jones and Paul Simonon -- and now that it’s given an official release, it debuts at No. 24, selling about 21,000 copies.

A professional showing. Indie folk rockers Wye Oak make a rare appearance in the top 200 this week with their atmospheric third album, ‘Civilian.’ Since its March release, the album has been steadily gaining steam and critical accolades, and the duo will be making the festival rounds this summer. The budding act has sold just under 13,000 copies of ‘Civilian’ thus far.

In tune. The oddly enchanting experiments concocted by Merrill Garbus, who records under the Tune-Yards moniker, may be something of an acquired taste. Yet since a strong showing at the recent South by Southwest music conference in Austin, Texas, Garbus has been winning fans and turning heads with her heavily varied vocal stylings and sample-heavy songs that follow a worldly groove. Her ‘Who Kill’ may not be long for the charts, but it’s at No. 148 this week after selling more than 4,000 copies.



In Rotation: Tune-Yards’ ‘Who Kill’

Live review: Paul Simon at the Pantages Theatre

Baltimore band Wye Oak: Juggling loneliness and aloneness on their new ‘Civilian’

-- Todd Martens

Phote: Tune-Yards performs at South by Southwest in Austin, Texas. Credit: Todd Martens / Los Angeles Times