In My Imagination
That a new Kylie Minogue album is a very big deal indeed should not come as a total shock. Every new album she has released for the past decade has peaked at either No.1 or No.2 and become one of the more talked about releases of the week it appears. For all her struggles to have hit singles, the loyal fanbase she commands has always meant her albums are a worthwhile and essential purchase for many.
But the release of her sixteenth studio album Tension this week was sold as a bigger deal than most. Helping matters no end was the presence of Padam Padam, the summertime smash hit which restored the Australian to the Top 10 of the singles chart and gave her the kind of relevance she had commanded in the last of her many golden ages. So while it is no shock to see the record soar to No.1, taking her to the top of the album charts for the ninth time in her career, the manner of its arrival has been flagged up as particularly notable.
Tension debuts at the top of the market with a suitably impressive sale of just over 53,000 - the bulk of these physical copies, naturally. However in an interesting twist this is actually a very slightly smaller chart sale than the 55,000 with which her last album Disco opened its account in 2010. For all the hype over this being part of her big comeback she sold more records in the Pandemic than she has done during the Pandamic.
That said, Tension has done something which few Kylie records recently have managed, and that's to register a strong streaming presence. For the first time in the streaming era a Kylie album release has had a marked impact on her singles chart performance. The album's title track, and her current chart single, reverses its decline of the last few weeks and rises 75-47, aforementioned smash hit Padam Padam enjoys a streaming boost to re-enter at No.72 while album cut Hold On To Now makes a chart bow at No.81.
But here is your fun fact of the week: In 1988 when her debut album topped the charts she set what was then a record as the youngest ever female soloist to have a No.1 album in the UK. 35 years later at the age of 55 she takes pride of place as the third oldest.
Say It Ain't So
Almost unnoticed in all the fun was the fact that Doja Cat also had an album out this week. Scarlet lands at No.5, although even without the benefit of the album release she was always going spend a fourth week at the top of the singles chart. And indeed that is the case as Paint The Town Red clocks up a full lunar month at the summit, although the single actually dips slightly in sales despite the theoretical boost of its own CD single release. The album does at least prompt the arrival of a second Doja Cat hit with Agora Hills making its debut at No.29.
The rest of the Top 3 features singles all moving up a place, with Kenya Grace's Strangers now sitting in second place and Prada by Casso (the remixed version of D Block Europe and RAYE's Ferrari Horses) moving up to No.3. Both of these rises are occasioned by Olivia Rodrigo's Vampire finally starting to run out of blood and dropping to No.4.
Making their way into the Top 20 are Tyla with Water which rises to No.16, swiftly followed by Burna Boy's City Boys which has moved from being a random album cut to a genuine hit single. The track is now No.17 after five weeks of steady chart climbing, helped no small end by the release last week of its official video.
The highest new entry is a genuine surprise novelty, Nine's contribution to GRM Daily's long-running series of Daily Duppy freestyle rap performances. Over the past few years over 150 different acts have contributed their take on the concept, although the Nines track is only the seventh of these to chart. Prior to today the highest charting was Central Cee's version which made No.35 back in January. Nines however blows that out of the water, entering at No.20.
Tom Odell landed himself some Tik Tok virality at the start of the year, his 2013 single Another Love propelled to a surprise Top 10 re-entry back in January. So it should hardly come as a surprise that he is back on the charts this week with his first brand-new hit single since 2016. Taken from an as-yet unannounced new album Black Friday barges its way onto the chart at No.21 and duly becomes his biggest new hit single since his John Lewis advert cover of The Beatles' Real Love reached No.7 in November 2014.
Continuing the comeback trail which began with Edging (a No.31 hit last year) Blink-182 score their second hit single of the decade with One More Time which slides into life at No.28, now their biggest chart hit since Down made No.24 way back in 2004. One More Time is appropriately enough the title track of their forthcoming ninth album.
Headie One and K-Trap's collaborative mixtape Strength To Strength is a new entry at No.4 on the albums chart and is duly responsible for two hit singles this week . It results in a new entry at No.31 for Triple Threat (that track also handing a chart credit to Clavish) and a surge in support for the already-released Park Chinois which vaults to No.39 after debuting last week at No.50.
Ending With A Flourish
American singer-songwriter Mitski's seventh album The Land Is Inhospitable And So Are We was one of the surprise packages of the album chart a week ago when it debuted at No.4. It inevitably takes a dramatic tumble this week (down to No.57) but that fall is offset by the rise of the single My Love Mine All Mine. Debuting at No.63 last week as an album cut it sparks into life at streaming and rises to No.34 to become her first ever Top 40 hit single.