Fame is fleeting, and teenagers do grow out of things so quickly. Last week, Justin Bieber debuted at number 1 and sold 373,000 copies of his “Believe” album to his core fans. The big problem though is no hit single. “Boyfriend” just hasn’t cut it. When the counting is finished today for Week 2, “Believe” will come in at number 3 with 115,000 copies sold. That’s a steep drop–almost 70%–from the opening week. Linkin Park’s new album is number 1–which should make Warner Music’s new owner Len Blavatnik weep with joy–and Maroon 5 is number 2.
Of the the three, Maroon 5 has the staying power because it has a hit single, “Payphone.” This is a rich summer for pop singles, almost like (dare I say it?) 1969. There’s a bunch of classically hummable songs on the radio, from Gotye’s “Somebody I Used to Know” to OneDirection’s “What Makes You Beautiful” to Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe.” The latter carries it with the great irony. Jepsen, 26, eight years older than Bieber, is also Canadian. After her music started to take off, she was signed by Bieber’s manager, Scooter Braun, to his label, Schoolboy Records, at UMG’s Interscope.
“Call Me Maybe” is HUGE–it’s the big number 1 song of the year. It may be a one off hit, the “Bette Davis Eyes” of 2012. But it’s a hit. It’s a phenom. There are HUNDREDS of covers of it on YouTube by everyone from Jimmy Fallon and the Roots with Jepsen herself to the Abercrombie & Fitch models. Jepsen’s runaway train cannot be lost on Braun or Bieber as “Believe” — also on Interscope– tumbles down the charts.