Ten of 2011's Best-Selling Albums and the Real Reasons They Sold So Well
|Not THAT Nielsen!|
For Crossfade, though, Soundscan is a lot like the Grammys: It don't mean shit. Yeah, great, the illiterate, Facebooking masses spend one million iTunes spacebux on Justin Bieber autotuning Lil Wayne's wettest farts. Oh yeah, we're absolutely positively fucking sure that "music" will stand the test of time.
Wanna know the real reasons this garbage makes so much money? Well, check the jump for ten of 2011's biggest sellers, and what convinced so many fools to buy them.
The Album: Mylo Xyloto
Units Moved: 467,000
The Real Reason This Album Sold: Radiohead fans are generally a conservative bunch. And when Thom Yorke's sugar plum flower power interpretive dancing gets a little too abstract, Coldplay frontman Chris Martin provides this nation of mouthbreathers with the safe and sentimental sonic wallpaper that it so desperately needs.
The Album: Femme Fatale
Units Moved: 713,000
The Real Reason This Album Sold: Once upon a time, Britney Spears was public enemy number one when it came to influencing your tweenager to dress up like a promiscuous tart. But these days, suburban parents are begging their daughters to put down the Gaga and get back to a more familiar, traditional, low-concept kind of sluttiness.
The Album: 4
Units Moved: 940,000
The Real Reason This Album Sold: Mrs. Jay-Z + Baby bump media bump = Megahit! And uhhhhh ... She's Beyoncé.
The Album: Doo-Wops and Hooligans
Units Moved: 976,000
The Real Reason This Album Sold: Comparable to the aforementioned Spears/GaGa and Coldplay/Radiohead dichotomies, people listen to Bruno Mars when Justin Bieber gets a little too intense.
The Album: Speak Now
Units Moved: 3,776,000
The Real Reason This Album Sold: Outside her central fanbase (high-fructose corn syrup-chugging Tea Party enthusiasts), the only reason anyone has given a flying fuck about Taylor Swift in the past three years is because Kanye West interrupted her acceptance speech at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards. And Swift's numbers in 2011 are the greatest testament to the sustained trickle down of being turned into a meme in real-time by Kanye.