After several years out of the spotlight, Paramore has returned in a big way, as the band’s self-titled fourth album has earned the distinction of the No. 1 album in the country, topping the U.S. album chart in its first week, according to Billboard.
Paramore sold 106,000 copies its first week out ,according to Nielsen SoundScan, making it the band’s second-best debut in its history. Comparatively, 2009′s Brand New Eyes moved 175,000, but debuted at No. 2 behind Barbra Streisand’s Love is the Answer.
Brad Paisley slotted in second on the chart with Wheelhouse, the country artist’s ninth studio album, selling 100,000 records. According to Billboard, the second-place debut gives him four total, tying him with Sheryl Crow for the most No. 2 albums without a No. 1.
Despite the triumph of the band’s self-titled fourth album, Paramore still has yet to comparatively break through onto radio with any of the album’s singles. Lead single “Now” bowed at No. 13 on Billboard‘s Alternative Songs chart, while its Rock Songs chart placing was lower, marking a mere No. 16. Regardless, the album has received critical praise and a new single, “Still into You,” has taken the top spot on the U.K.’s rock chart. Musically, the album represents a new direction for the band, which, after the messy departure of members in 2010, has re-emerged as a more grown-up act. Watch our Radio.com Essentials episode exploring Paramore’s progression, below.
Meanwhile, Wheelhouse has seen its share of controversy, which could have affected its overall standing. One of the album’s songs, “Accidental Racist,” has come under criticism for continuing to feed the flames of the ongoing issue of racism in America, despite Paisley’s intention to bring attention to the issue and calling the song one of his “proudest moments” as a songwriter. The song features LL Cool J, who contributes a verse and a few choice lyrics near song’s end.
Unlike Paramore, Paisley has enjoyed success on his genre’s radio waves. “Southern Comfort Zone” has peaked at No. 2 on the Hot Country Airplay chart, while both the song and second single “Beat this Summer” have placed at Nos. 54 and 69 on the all-genre Hot 100, respectively.
Paisley was able to beat out fellow country star Eric Church, whose Caught in the Act: Live” debuted at No. 5 with 61,000 sold. Other top 10 debuts include”Rack City” rapper Tyga, who hit No. 7 with Hotel California, while rock bands Volbeat and Stone Sour slotted in at Nos. 9 and 10, respectively, with Outlaw Gentlemen and Shady Ladies and House of Gold & Bones, Pt. 2.
Justin Timberlake‘s The 20/20 Experience drops from the top spot to No. 3 this week.
-Kevin Rutherford, Radio.com