"Oracular" has been a consistent seller since January of 2008, and has continued to perform well into 2010 -- selling at least 2,000 copies per week. The album's long shelf life has been no doubt helped by its hit singles "Kids" and "Time to Pretend." They reached Nos. 9 and 23 on the Alternative Songs radio airplay chart, respectively, and were heard in in TV shows like "Gossip Girl" and films such as "21" and "Whip It."
Meanwhile, "Congratulations'" first single, "Flash Delirium," has yet to chart on any of Billboard's radio airplay tallies.
Lady Antebellum's "Need You Now" profits -- in part -- from the trio's five wins on Sunday night's (April 18) Academy of Country Music Awards show as the set rises from No. 4 to No. 3 with 65,000 (up 15%). Kmart also gave the set an assist as it was sale priced at the retailer for $9.99 last week. As the ACM awards were aired in the evening of the final day in SoundScan's tracking week, expect a more robust increase next week for Lady A's set and the rest of the acts featured on the ACMs.
The Billboard 200's second-highest debut comes from Coheed and Cambria's "Year of the Black Rainbow," as it starts with 51,000 copies sold at a career-high rank of No. 5 with 51,000. The rock act's last album, 2007's "No World For Tomorrow," bowed at No. 6 but with a bigger opening sales figure -- 62,000.
Last week's No. 2 set, Usher's "Raymond v Raymond," moves down two spots to No. 4 with 64,000 (down 31%), the "Now 33" compilation" falls one rung to No. 6 with 45,000 (down 15%) and Lady Gaga's "The Fame" holds at No. 7 with 32,000 (down 3%).
Ke$ha's "Animal" roars, as it climbs from No. 16 to No. 8 with 31,000 (up 39%). The album was featured in Best Buy's circular advertisement last week and discounted in iTunes' Music Store for $7.99. Additionally, she performed on NBC's "Saturday Night Live" on April 17, perhaps spurring a late-in-the-week sales bump.
Closing out the Billboard 200 top 10 this week are Monica's "Still Standing," down three spots to No. 9 with 30,000 (down 21%) and Justin Bieber's first "My World" album, falling two positions to No. 10 with 30,000 (down less than 1%).
Just outside the top 10 at No. 11 we see the debut of guitar legend Jeff Beck's "Emotion & Commotion" with 26,000. As a solo act, it's the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee's highest debut on the chart and his second-best rank ever. His previous high-water mark came when "Blow By Blow" reached No. 4 on the Billboard 200 in 1975.
Overall album sales in this past chart week (ending April 18) totaled 5.46 million units, up 3% compared to the sum last week (5.27 million) and down 14% compared to the comparable sales week of 2009 (6.36 million). Year to date album sales stand at 92.69 million, down 10% compared to the same total at this point last year (103.22 million).