Friday, December 30, 2011

Year in Review: Three Thoughts on Pop Music

1. Adele definitely is the biggest star this year. I personally never thought she would break out this big in the US this year. Her sophomore set "21" already sold 5.6 mil copies this year! For the 44 weeks she charted on the Billboard 200 she only left the top 5 once (#7 and it happened during a busy holiday week when there are several new albums were released). And the singles! Rolling in the Deep and Someone Like You topped the Hot 100 for 7 weeks and 5 weeks, respectively. And those type of songs don't usually even make it to the top 20 of the chart. She topped both the yearend charts of US (for Rolling in the Deep) and UK (for Someone Like You). Adele is definitely a refreshing change in the pop music charts this year. I hope she sweeps in the Grammy Awards next year. Predictable, yes but well-deserved

2. CD sales continue to go down unfortunately. Locally, just looke at record bars Astrovision and Odyssey, the section for the music CD sales shrink further more this year. The only ones selling right now are adult contemporary leaning albums, compilation revival albums, Kpop albums (but only in the first two weeks, they are extremely front loaded) and acts with regular TV exposure. Bands don't sell that well anymore. The digital means through selling music is still not polished here while it's exploding elsewhere. I wonder when it will become a thing here.

3. This year the teams of the major pop stars are strategizing to make the charts to favor them and set records. Discounts and remixes are some of the things they do advance on the chart. Nothing wrong it because they are not breaking any rule at all and those strategies wont work if there's no demand for the artist in the first place. But still, it feels like when they reached the top, it feels a little awkward because they have to resort to such tactics to achieve their goal. I think success feels more earned if it happened the natural way. Just sayin'

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