It’s a mellow Sunday morning. The sun is shining, I’ve got the next week off from my day job, and the relaxing, dulcet tones of Courtney Love are coming from my stereo. Nothing like a little Hole to smooth out the 7th day, eh?

All that because I don’t really have an intro for this week’s Chart Chat. Here are the charts, as usual provided by the lovely ladies and gentlemen of Billboard Magazine.

You know what? Screw that (partially because this week’s charts are dead boring and I can’t really find much to talk about beyond G-Unit scoring a mighty flop and putting yet another nail in the coffin of 50 Cent’s career).

Even though we’re a week or so past the official halfway point of the chart year, now might be a good time to take a look at the Top Albums of the Year so far. Since I have no way of finding out what the year’s top singles are (I would imagine either “Lollipop” or “Low” tops the chart), I’m stretching the list from 20 to 40. Ooh, good times, right?


Lil Wayne's "The Carter III"

    The Top 40 Albums of 2008…so far

1) “The Carter III” Lil’ Wayne
2) “Sleep Through the Static” Jack Johnson
3) “Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends” Coldplay
4) “E=MC2” Mariah Carey
5) “As I Am” Alicia Keys
6) “Taylor Swift” Taylor Swift
7) “Spirit” Leona Lewis
8) “Here I Stand” Usher
9) “Juno Original Motion Picture Soundtrack” Various Artists
10) “Now That’s What I Call Music Vol. 27” Various Artists
11) “Growing Pains” Mary J. Blige
12) “Alvin & The Chipmunks Original Motion Picture Soundtrack” Various Artists
13) “Exclusive” Chris Brown
14) “Thriller” Michael Jackson
15) “Trilla” Rick Ross
16) “Hannah Montana 2/Meet Miley Cyrus” Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus
17) “Little Voice” Sara Bareilles
18) “Hard Candy” Madonna
19) “Back To Black” Amy Winehouse
20) “Coco” Colbie Caillat
21) “In Rainbows” Radiohead
22) “Jonas Brothers” Jonas Brothers
23) “Daughtry” Daughtry
24) “Carnival Ride” Carrie Underwood
25) “Now That’s What I Call Music Vol. 28” Various Artists
26) “Just Like You” Keyshia Cole
27) “Welcome To the Dollhouse” Danity Kane
28) “The Ultimate Hits” Garth Brooks
29) “Indestructible” Disturbed
30) “Camp Rock Original Motion Picture Soundtrack” Various Artists
31) “Troubadour” George Strait
32) “Good Time” Alan Jackson
33) “Enjoy the Ride” Sugarland
34) “Rock & Roll Jesus” Kid Rock
35) “Good Girl Gone Bad” Rihanna
36) “Jordin Sparks” Jordin Sparks
37) “Now That’s What I Call Music Vol. 26” Various Artists
38) “Dreaming Out Loud” OneRepublic
39) “Long Road Out of Eden” The Eagles
40) “Discipline” Janet Jackson

*A telling note on the state of the music business. At this point in the year: only 4 albums have crossed the million mark in sales, and only the Top 29 albums have crossed the 500,000 mark. Typically, 90-100 albums a year sell more than half a million copies.

*Kid Rock’s one of the artists who will most likely jump over the half million mark next week, and his “Rock & Roll Jesus” has sold 1.1 million copies in it’s chart life (soon to surpass the 1.4 million that his last studio album pushed), and he has sold not one copy of this digitally (Jay-Z moved a million copies of “American Gangster” last year the same way). So there are still folks shuffling their lazy asses into record stores (or at least ordering hard copies through Amazon or wherever).

*I love how Jack Johnson sells a shit-ton of records year-in and year-out without whoring himself. When was the last time you saw the dude on TMZ or even a morning talk-show? On top of that, he’s never on MTV, barely on VH-1, and can you say he’s ever really had a radio hit?

*From the list of Top 40 albums, it’s pretty obvious what’s catching the public’s attention. Lots of soundtrack action this year, with all 4 of the titles in the Top 40 skewing to a younger audience (well, three of them appeal to straight-up kids, with “Juno” inappropriate for that age range, but attracting plenty of older teens and younger adults).

*Also, plenty of country (6 titles, not including the country-esque Kid Rock & The Eagles), “Now That’s What I Call Music” compilations (3 of ’em), R&B divas (8, including R&B-esque Leona Lewis & Rihanna), “American Idols” (3), and somewhat, improbably after all these years, the kids of Joe & Katherine Jackson (2).

*In this Top 40, you’ll see the artist who had the #1 album of 2004 (Usher), the artist who had the #1 album of 2005 (Mariah) and “Hannah Montana 2” and “Camp Rock”, Disney soundtracks just like the #1 album of 2006 (“High School Musical”). I bet ya if Josh Groban (who had the #1 album of 2007) releases an album this year, he’ll pop up on this list before December 31st.

*Back to the Jacksons for a sec…Janet’s “Discipline” will most likely exit the Top 40 next week, but “Thriller”‘s numbers are pretty amazing, especially since Michael Jackson has not lifted a finger promotionally. I don’t know that a reissue album has ever finished a year in the Top 40 of a year-end chart, and it’s entirely possible that “Thriller” will hit the million mark by year’s end (right now, it’s about 3/4 of the way there with Michael’s 50th birthday a month and a half away).

*And, OK, I’ve gotta admit that it’s funny seeing “Thriller” at #14 and Rick Ross’s “Trilla” at #15.

*Nice year to be a female artist of mixed racial heritage, eh? In a year where we might see a mulatto get elected President of the United States, bi-racial honeys Alicia Keys, Mariah Carey and Leona Lewis are all in the Top 10, with Rihanna and Jordin Sparks also in the Top 40. Where’s Faith Evans when you need her?

*With Lil’ Wayne and Coldplay hitting their marks in four and three weeks respectively, I’d imagine it’s a fairly safe bet that they’ll end the year in the top two spots, yes?

*Not a bad time to be a new or developing artist, as of the 33 albums in the Top 40 that are not compilations, 9 are debuts (counting Winehouse, whose “Back to Black” was her first Stateside release), and another 5 are sophomore albums.

*One thing to note is the surprising amount of flops from previously unassailable artists this year. Looking through the rest of the Top 100, you find rapidly sinking albums from the likes of Snoop Dogg (#49), Sheryl Crow (54), Panic at the Disco (63), and Counting Crows (82). This is in addition to the relative failures of the Madonna and Janet Jackson albums. Ahh…and we’ll soon be adding G-Unit to this list. Have I mentioned them before? God, I hate 50 Cent.

Anyhoo, if you missed me actually talking about THIS week’s charts, you can find them over at

Look for a list of my favorite albums of the year so far (screw sales) coming soon…