Totally Rad

The big new release of the week, as if there were ever any kind of doubt over it, was Radical Optimism by Dua Lipa. And it duly plants itself at the top of the albums chart with some style.

Dua's last album was 2020's Future Nostalgia, a record which limped into being almost apologetically during the height of the Coronavirus pandemic at a time when artists and labels had to get creative about promotion in a world that was shut down. But it also wound up as the greatest pop album of the decade so far, one whose sales and streams persisted for an entire year and which essentially turned the Kosovan-British singer into a true global superstar.

The new album tries its hardest to recapture the previous glory, and as we've noted from its opening singles comes very close. But for my money never quite close enough. And after the first five tracks I started getting bored of the entire thing. But enough of my hot takes. No.1 it is, with an impressively large chart sale of 46,300. That's enough to make it the biggest British album of the year to date (edging out Liam Gallagher and John Squire) and it is indeed the biggest opening week sale for an album by a British female since Adele shifted over 300,000 copies of 30 back in November 2021. Although given that the British female stars to have enjoyed a No.1 album since are acts such as Maisie Peters and Charli XCX this wasn't the highest of bars to hurdle.

Make no mistake though, 46,000 sales is a truckload. Dua remains luminous and above all one of our own. And despite all the hype, there's no solo album from a Little Mix star which is going to come even close to those numbers. Fascinatingly though just 9,000 of those were via digital streams, meaning the impact of the album's release on the singles chart was more muted than you might expect to be the case. The album's final pre-release single Illusion is a non-mover at No.16, the older Training Season is languishing at No.61 while the pair are sandwiched with the sole album cut to qualify for the chart- These Walls which debuts as her 29th Top 75 single at No.40.

Frothy

At the top of the Official UK Singles chart life remains good for Sabrina Carpenter. Espresso consolidates its No.1 crown with another enormous number, the track posting 76,500 chart sales (only slightly down from 79,000 a week ago) to spent a second week at the summit. The last chart-topper but one, Hozier's Too Sweet, moves back into second place but the biggest challenge of all seems to be coming from Shaboozey as A Bar Song (Tipsy) takes pride of place in the Top 3 after a three place climb.

My belief that Tommy Richman's Million Dollar Baby was destined for "greater things" was not misplaced as it becomes one of the biggest chart movers of the week and the most high profile new arrival in the Top 10, charging almost unstoppably from 31 to No.7. Although he is just the appetiser for one of the barmier tales of the week.

Grow Up Boys

I know not why Kendrick Lamar and Drake have fallen out with each other, nor do I even care. But being men they choose to fight with weapons, and being musicians their weapons of choice are song. Hence the past week has seen an ever-escalating war of words as technology allows for a series of tit for tat dis tracks to be brought to market, often within hours of their production.

It means both men wind up this week with multiple hits to their name, all without exception casting varying levels of shade on the other. Lamar leads the charge with Not Like Us landing as the highest new entry of the week at No.10. It is his second Top 10 hit of the year following his turn on Future's No.6 hit Like That (his verse on that track the one which kicked this whole row off), and his first such single under his own steam since N95 and Die Hard landed at 6 and 7 together in May 2022. Lamar's earlier exchange of fire was Euphoria which was released late in the week of the last chart survey and only debuted at No.50, only to rocket to No.11 with a full week of streams behind it. His third hit is Meet The Grahams (this a reference to Drake's real name) which also takes a chart bow at No.28.

But Drake gets to have his say too, with Family Matters a new arrival in its own right at No.17. The previously charting Push Ups clings on at No.30. Now go stand in your respective naughty corners boys and let that be an end to it.

Have I got anything else to talk about this week? Frankly, no, the Drake/Kendrick beef actually one of the only interesting tales to tell. Although the unexplained (for now) re-debut at No.41 of Harry Styles' now two year old former No.1 hit As It Was is another rock to be uncovered.

We edge ever closer though to the first ever 30 million singles week. 29,994,688 chart sales were tracked in the last seven days. Will Eurovision week give things the boost to tip us over the limit?

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