To quote my friends from Guster, this is the beginning of the end. Michael Jackson is still a presence on this week's iTunes singles and albums charts, but his dominance is beginning to fade. It seems the folks caught up in the pageantry and absurdity—because regardless of how you felt we have to admit there has been plenty of both and then some—of Jackson's passing have made the musical purchases they intend to make. It's the hard thing about selling 25 million copies of an album like Jackson did with Thriller. At what point does everyone on the planet interested in buying that album have it?
With MJ's dominance diminishing, we have some new entries. Taylor Swift has a new single in the Top 10, as does Hannah Montana aka Miley Cyrus. I hate the real/fiction bit with "Miley Montana." Two names, two identities, and twice as much bad music. The good news? This bubble is about to burst and the predictable signs of decline are showing, making this week's #2 single a little surprising to me. The least welcome addition to this week's charts is the new Mariah Carey single "Obsessed." If she's got a new single and a new video, it means she's about to have a new album. If the single is already #4, we can rest assured we're not about to get a Glitter-esque vacation from her. People like this song, and that means Mimi is going to be everywhere for months and months. I can't begin to tell you how much I'm about to hate writing this column week after week after week.
1. "I Gotta Feeling," Black Eyed Peas
2. "He Could Be the One," Hannah Montana
3. "Man In the Mirror," Michael Jackson
4. "Obsessed," Mariah Carey
5. "Fire Burning," Sean Kingston
6. "Boom Boom Pow," Black Eyed Peas
7. "Love Drunk," Boys Like Girls
8. "You Belong With Me," Taylor Swift
9. "Best I Ever Had," Drake
10. "Billie Jean," Michael Jackson
Michael's staying power seems a bit stronger on the albums chart where he has three records in the Top 10, including the top spot. Maxwell's new album had a big showing, which I read in more than one place that it would so it's not a surprise to me. I didn't think Hannah's third soundtrack volume would do as well as it did, getting a sense from the pre-teen nieces in my life that Hannah is about to become another child star we hope invested wisely. The Black Eyed Peas are probably in better shape than #7 if Michael Jackson doesn't have three albums on this chart, because I'm not lucky enough for the listening public to be tiring of them.
Wilco and Kings of Leon continue to represent the "not-quite-indie" crowd. Wilco has become something of a Radiohead Jr. They've had no hits to speak of, yet they've developed a following and they're one of the chic bands you're supposed to like. Like Radiohead, they're also exceptionally talented and it almost demeans them that they've taken on this bizarre half-life through no fault of their own.
1. The Essential Michael Jackson – Michael Jackson
2. BLACKsummers'night – Maxwell
3. Nothing Personal – All Time Low
4. Number Ones – Michael Jackson
5. Hannah Montana 3 – Hannah Montana
6. Thriller – Michael Jackson
7. The E.N.D. (The Energy Never Dies) – Black Eyed Peas
8. Only By the Night – Kings of Leon
9. Wilco – Wilco
10. American Saturday Night – Brad Paisley