<p>Mumford &amp;&nbsp;Sons' &quot;Babel&quot;</p>

Mumford & Sons' "Babel"

Credit: Glassnote Records

Mumford & Sons head for record week on Billboard 200

'Babel' will tower above previous first-week sales tallies for 2012

There’s still four days before the chart reporting week closes, but look for Mumford & Sons’ “Babel” to score the largest debut of 2012 next week.

The British group’s sophomore set, released Sept. 25, may sell as much as 600,000 copies  in its opening frame, according to Billboard. That total would handily topple the previous biggest 2012 debut, Justin Bieber’s “Believe,” which sold 374,000.

The sum will also be the largest opening week  for a rock act since AC/DC sold 784,000 with “Black Ice” in 2008.

“Babel’s” predecessor, “Sigh No More,” has sold 2.5 million in the U.S. according to Nielsen SoundScan.

So why is this happening? Although album sales are definitely losing ground to single downloads, there are still certain acts whose fans want to hear their complete body of work as the artist intended for it to be heard. This is usually the case for a rock act, like Radiohead or Coldplay, who is not as dependent on Top 40 radio and pop support as a superstar like Rihanna or Katy Perry. While such artists’ albums sell well, the bulk of their sales has switched over the digital singles sales.  That’s not to say that all the radio play that M&S received so far on “I Will Wait,” which is at No. 2 on Billboard’s Alternative Songs Chart, and the band’s stop at “Saturday Night Live” this week don’t deserve credit as well.

The pop exception (other than Adele) is Taylor Swift. We fully expect "Red," which comes out Oct. 22, to blow past 600,000 in its first week, despite the fact that her singles immediately top iTunes sales chart as soon as they become available and the album's first single, "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together " has already sold more than 1 million copies in the month since its release.

Read our review of “Babel” here.

Read Full Post
Listen: Soundgarden's snarly new single, 'Been Away Too Long'
Credit: Universal Republic

Listen: Soundgarden's snarly new single, 'Been Away Too Long'

HitFix
B
Readers
A
First single from 'King Animal' rules

That’s more like it. After Soundgarden returned earlier this year with the perfect pleasant but rather generic "Live To Rise"  from “The Avengers,” today we got a better taste of what to expect on “King Animal,” the band’s first album since 1996’s “Down On the Upside.”

“Been Away Too Long” is a hard-charging, snarling rock blast with a wicked little Middle Eastern guitar lick that inserts itself briefly before it sounds like someone starts banging on a trashcan lid.

[More after the jump...]

Read Full Post
<p>Bruno Mars in new teaser</p>

Bruno Mars in new teaser

Watch: Bruno Mars announces 'Heavenly' new single drop date

in the meantime, enjoy him in shiny gold shorts

We haven’t heard much from Bruno Mars since his dazzling performance at this year's Grammys, but the  "Just The Way You Are" singer is  about to come back. The producer/songwriter/singer returns Oct. 1 with his new single, “Locked Out Of Heaven.”  There's no official word on when the follow-up album to 2011's "DooWops and Hooligans" will come out, although Mars tweeted that he has finished the set.

[More after the jump...]

Read Full Post
Watch: Ellie Goulding's 'I Know You Care' video with a dying Dakota Fanning

Watch: Ellie Goulding's 'I Know You Care' video with a dying Dakota Fanning

Stirring footage from film 'Now Is Good' propels story line

Bring the hankies. Ellie Goulding’s new video for “I Know You Care” pulls on your heartstrings as Dakota Fanning stars as a terminally ill young woman.

[More after the jump...]

Read Full Post
<p>Kelly Clarkson</p>

Kelly Clarkson

Credit: AP Photo

Kelly Clarkson, Jason Aldean and Dierks Bentley set to perform on CMA Awards

Little Big Town also confirmed for Nov. 1 country awards show

Kelly Clarkson, Jason Aldean, Dierks Bentley and Little Big Town are the first performers confirmed to appear on the 46th Annual CMA Awards, which will air Nov. 1 on ABC.

Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood will host for the fifth time, as the show airs live from Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena at 8 p.m. ET.

All of the announced performers will be vying for trophies come Nov. 1, including Aldean and Bentley, both of whom are up for three awards.


 

Read Full Post
<p>Maroon 5</p>

Maroon 5

Credit: AP Photo

Maroon 5's 'One More Night' holds one more week on the Billboard Hot 100

The songs fends off a hard-charging 'Gangnam Style'

Maroon 5’s “One More Night” gets one more week at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 this week, but will have to hold off a charge from Psy’s “Gangnam Style” if it wants to make it three.

“One More Night” gains in radio play, streaming strength and single sales—the three components that factor into the Hot 100 stats— but  “Gangnam Style” is nipping at its heels. In fact, “Gangnam Style” sold more digital downloads this week than “One More Night” and  radio stations are galloping to add the novelty song by the South Korean rapper.

Fun.’s” Some Nights” stays at No. 3, while Taylor Swift’s “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” falls 2-4. Pink, who celebrates her first No. 1 album today with “The Truth About Love” stays at No. 5 on The Hot 100 with “Blow Me (One Last Kiss).”

Flo Rida’s “Whistle” blows 4-6, while Justin Bieber’s “As Long As You Love Me” featuring Big Sean also drops 6-7. Owl City and Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Good Time” climbs one spot to No. 8, swapping places with Alex Clare’s “Too Close.” Ellie Goulding’s “Lights” falls 7-10.

This week’s highest debut belongs to "The Voice" judge Christina Aguilera, whose “Your Body” bows at No. 34.

Next week, look for high debuts from Swift’s new single, “Begin Again,”  as well as Rihanna’s “Diamonds.”

Read Full Post
<p>Rihanna</p>

Rihanna

Credit: AP Photo

Listen: Rihanna's new single, 'Diamonds'

HitFix
B
Readers
A-
Does it sparkle or is it a lump of coal?

Katy Perry has her “Firework,” Nicki Minaj has her “Starships” and now Rihanna has her “Diamonds.”

On her sparkly new Stargate-produced single, she revels in the love she’s found and how together, she and her man, “are beautiful like diamonds in the sky" as they see "eye to eye." It may be her most optimistic single since "Umbrella." 

At this point, Rihanna has become a hit factory, predictably churning out an album every fall, from which a handful of singles tumble out.  There’s a consistently there that is admirable, but more so, she and her phalanx of producers have kept up a level of quality and diversity.

“Diamonds” is bolstered by a military beat that builds and the refrain “Shine bright like a diamond,” that Rihanna robotically sings between the choruses. There’s no rapping, only Rihanna singing against the drum beat. Her voice remains limited, but effectively expresses the hope that she feels  in the relationship. Toward the end, her delivery of the refrain breaks free to soar over the other elements in the song, effectively ending the song on an upbeat note.

[More after the jump...]

Read Full Post
<p>&quot;&iexcl;Uno!&quot;</p>

"¡Uno!"

Credit: Reprise

Album Review: Green Day's "Uno!" gets the party started

HitFix
B
Readers
A+
First in trilogy delivers aggression with a dance beat

“Uno!,” the first in a trilogy of albums coming from Green Day over the next four months, is a thoroughly enjoyable non-stop torpedo blast of catchy melodies, guitar riffs and propulsive drum blasts.

The trio told Billboard recently that in the schematic of the three new albums, “Uno!” was the album to play as you’re getting ready to go to the party. If so, batten down the hatches because it’s going to be a long night.

[More after the jump...]


Read Full Post
Watch: No Doubt's new clip for 'Push And Shove'

Watch: No Doubt's new clip for 'Push And Shove'

Fun in black and white

It’s the night of the living No Doubt. In the band’s video for “Push and Shove,” the title track to the group’s new album out today, the quartet runs through the city streets in a various outfits and in various speeds (depending upon the song’s varying tempos).

Gwen Stefani does the heavy lifting here since she’s lipsyncing most of the time, while her bandmates join in on the fun, including giving her a pink belly, but have left their instruments at home. The most work they do here is hefting a drink or two.

[More after the jump...]

Read Full Post
<p>Taylor Swift</p>

Taylor Swift

Credit: AP Photo

Listen: Taylor Swift's new song, 'Begin Again'

HitFix
A-
Readers
A+
Broken hearts can sometimes learn to love again

Following the energetic “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together,”  Taylor Swift returns to her dreamier, country side with “Begin Again.”

The well-crafted acoustic ballad, bolstered by a gentle pedal steel and mandolin, tells the tale of a starting over while the scars of a past love affair have barely scabbed over and remain brutally raw.

[More after the jump...]

Read Full Post