Meanwhile, Billboard is reporting that Vampire Weekend has the number one album in the country with it's sophomore release, Contra. This seems much more surprising. After all, this is a band of Ivy League grads made popular by blogs. And the blogs have been in backlash mode almost since the band released their self-titled debut two years ago. The accusation you heard most often was that they lacked originality and authenticity -- people said they were ripping off everyone from Paul Simon to the pop music of Africa. People also said Vampire Weekend were a bunch of douchebags because they wear boat shoes.
But you know, memory is short on the internet, and since last summer there's been a sort of backlash on the backlash, which left us where we were when we all first heard the band: Hey, this stuff is fun to listen to. But a number one album? They're on an independent label, XL! A real one that actually uses independent distribution!
Part of the reason is the season. January is not exactly a blockbuster month in the music industry, and in fact Contra was the only new release to even make the top 10. You'll be glad to know the Black Eyed Peas are still hanging around, however. Anyway, it only took a relatively paltry 124,000 copies to put Vampire Weekend on top. To give you some idea of the talent in this week's top 10, the soundtrack to Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel is also on it.
Taylor Swift's Fearless is still hanging around, and now is not too late to hop on the bandwagon if you are one of the five people who haven't done that yet. Seriously, that album is awesome.
Over in singles land, Ke$ha's straight dominating. She's got the 3OH!3 song and the week of January 23rd's number one single in the only slightly less obnoxious "Tik Tok." Gaga's got number two with "Bad Romance," a song that has no detractors we're aware of. "Empire State of Mind" is third and getting so much airplay that we're actually starting to get sick of it. Which is a damn shame.
Rihanna finally got something from Rated R into the top ten. "Hard" comes in at 9 this week, and deservedly so. "Brilliant, resilient, fan mail from 27 million," is a line that doesn't look good on the screen but sounds awesome in the song, and Young Jeezy is still one of the most underrated rappers on the face of the planet. Something about that growl is just mesmerizing.
To see the full charts, go to billboard.com.