Daily Archives: November 12, 2017

On the Charts: Sam Smith Captures First Number One With 'Thrill of It All'

Sam Smith captured his first Number One album as the British singer’s The Thrill of It All debuted atop the Billboard 200.

The Thrill of It All sold 237,000 copies in its first week of release, marking career highs both sales-wise and in chart position for Smith; the singer’s In the Lonely Hour – led by the Song of the Year and Record of the Year Grammy-winning “Stay With Me” – peaked at Number Two and 166,000 copies in its debut week in July 2014.

It was another debut-heavy week as five new releases entered the Top 10: After Smith, Maroon 5‘s new Red Pill Blues bowed at Number Two with 122,000 total copies. As Billboard notes, sales of both The Thrill of It All and Red Pill Blues were aided in large part by a deal that bundled tickets for both acts’ upcoming tour with free copies of their new albums.

The same scheme allowed Kenny Chesney’s Live in No Shoes Nation to become the first live album to land at Number One the Billboard 200 in seven years; Chesney’s album dropped to Number Six in its second week of availability.

Adam Levine’s fellow The Voice star Blake Shelton slotted at Number Four with the country singer’s new LP Texoma Shore sold 63,000 copies and gave Shelton eight Top 10 albums in as many years. Country singer Kelsea Ballerini also made her Top 10 debut as Unapologetically opened at Number Seven. Kid Rock’s Sweet Southern Sugar was the week’s final Top 10 entrant at Number Eight and 43,000 copies.

Chris Brown’s sprawling Heartbreak on a Full Moon held at Number Three for the second straight week with 73,000 more copies to lead the returnees. 21 Savage, Offset and Metro Boomin’s Without Warning at Number Five, Post Malone’s Stoney at Number Nine and Ed Sheeran’s Divide at Number 10 closed out the Top 10.

With Taylor Swift’s Reputation assured to open at Number One on next week’s Billboard 200, the only question is how many millions of copies the LP sells in its opening week.  

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Brand New's Jesse Lacey Apologizes After Sexual Misconduct Allegations Surface

Brand New singer Jesse Lacey apologized for past sexual misconduct after allegations against the singer – including accusations of actions that occurred when the victims were underage teens – surfaced.

“The actions of my past have caused pain and harm to a number of people, and I want to say that I am absolutely sorry,” Lacey wrote on the band’s Facebook. “I do not stand in defense of myself nor do I forgive myself. I was selfish, narcissistic, and insensitive in my past, and there are a number of people who have had to shoulder the burden of my failures. I apologize for the hurt I have caused, and hope to be able to take the correct actions to earn forgiveness and trust.”

The accusations against Lacey first surfaced in a November 9th Facebook thread that sought confirmation of the rumors regarding the singer’s behavior with teenage girls. Several women stepped forward, including one woman who – in 2002, when she was 15 and Lacey was in his twenties – was asked by Lacey to send him nude photos. The woman added that the singer requested that she watch him masturbate over Skype.

“[Lacey] solicited nudes from me starting when I was 15 and he was 24. Manipulated the hell out of me, demanded specific poses/settings/clothing, demeaned me, and made it clear that my sexuality was the only thing I had to offer,” the woman wrote. “I should’ve known better by then, but he had screwed me up so much psychologically that all I wanted was his approval. It fucked me up to the point that I STILL have nightmares and wakeup in a sweat. I still breakdown and have panic attacks when people play Brand New in a bar.”

A day after the woman’s allegations against Lacey were posted, the singer apologized for his actions, although he didn’t specifically address the woman or other accusations.

“I am sorry for how I have hurt people, mistreated them, lied, and cheated,” Lacey wrote, explaining that his behavior was caused by “a dependent and addictive relationship with sex.”

“I am sorry for ignoring the way in which my position, status, and power as a member of a band affected the way people viewed me or their approach to their interactions with me. And I am sorry for how often I have not afforded women the respect, support, or honesty that they deserved, and which is their right.”

Since Lacey posted his apology, additional women have come forward with similar accusations in the comments of the post.

Brand New’s new album Science Fiction, their first LP in eight years, debuted at Number One on the Billboard 200. The Long Island band has previously hinted that they would break up in 2018.

The band Martha, who were booked to open for Brand New during the group’s European tour, announced they would withdraw from the trek following the Lacey accusations.

Read Lacey’s apology in full below:

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How Pearl Jam Reckoned With 9/11, Roskilde Tragedy on 'Riot Act'

Pearl Jam took a yearlong break after the Binaural tour, reconvening early in 2002 to record their seventh album, Riot Act. Joining them at Studio X in Seattle were some new faces: producer Adam Kasper, who had worked with Matt Cameron’s bands Soundgarden and Wellwater Conspiracy, and keyboardist Kenneth “Boom” Gaspar, who met Eddie Vedder on a remote Hawaiian island in 2001 and joined despite having never previously heard of the band he was signing on with.

Nearly all of Riot Act’s songs were recorded live, as Vedder hunkered down in a studio alcove and tapped out lyrics on an old-school typewriter while listening to the band playing. “It’s like catching a butterfly,” he said of the new writing process. “Just when you think you’re going to give up, after, like, hours of sitting there, all of a sudden it cracks and stuff comes out.”

The resulting collection of mid-tempo rockers and folky ballads grappled with a pair of still-fresh tragedies: the terror attacks of September 11th, 2001, and the accidental deaths of nine fans during Pearl Jam’s set at the June 2000 Roskilde Festival in Denmark. “The through line is how delicate life is,” Jeff Ament said. “The positive part of [Roskilde] is, it reinforces that philosophy … that you really need to seize the moment and the day and make the most of it.”

Vedder took stock in the waltz-like lead single, “I Am Mine,” which he wrote the night before Pearl Jam’s first post-Roskilde show, “to reassure myself that this is going to be all right.” The frontman also addressed Roskilde in the sentimental “Love Boat Captain,” which he wrote with Gaspar, singing, “Lost nine friends we’ll never know/Two years ago today.” The band’s frustration over 9/11 came through in Stone Gossard’s “Bu$hleaguer.” Live, Vedder caused controversy by performing the song wearing a plastic Bush mask. “It’s not anti-American to be critical of the government,” Vedder said. “We wanted to put some ideas out there that might help create an open and honest debate.” 

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