#1 album on the Billboard 200 chart, week of 12/10/16
What it is: The tenth album from metal band Metallica, their first since 2008.
Have past-their-prime artists always been so strongly represented on the album charts? After Bon Jovi’s This House Is Not for Sale and A Tribe Called Quest’s We got it from Here…Thank You 4 Your service, this is the third week in a row in which the #1 spot is held by a group that was at their peak prior to the turn of the century. I genuinely don’t know if this has been the case ever since modern pop musicians as we know them started to age or if this is a reflection of our current appetite for nostalgic reboots like Star Wars: The Force Awakens and the new Gilmore Girls episodes.
Either way, this is one of those albums that just sounded exactly how I expected it to sound. I think I recall songs like “Now That We’re Dead” and “ManUNkind” (great title!) being relatively catchy, and “Dream No More” indulges in H. P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu mythos, which is my jam, although I guess that’s nothing new for Metallica. But even though this is an aging band, you can’t argue that an album which opens with a song with the chorus “We’re so fucked/Shit outta luck/Hardwired to self-destruct” doesn’t have its finger on the pulse.