There are two new kings of the hill on the Billboard county charts this week. Colt Ford's Declaration of Independence shoves aside the Zac Brown Band's Uncaged to emerge as the No. 1 album, while Love and Theft's "Angel Eyes" rolls in as the top song.
Notably, Ford's project also lands at No. 5 on the all-genre Billboard 200 and No. 2 on the trade publication's rap chart. Folks who are aghast that Ford's rap-oriented album should also become the reigning country CD will find useful perspective in CMT's editorial director Chet Flippo's current Nashville Skyline musings. In turbulent times, perspective is everything.
Reflecting pre-sales, Declaration of Independence debuted last week at No. 67. But subsequent sales of 31,130 copies -- as confirmed by Nielsen SoundScan -- were sufficient to vault it into the winner's circle.
Johnny Cash fans have cause to rejoice. All of the three new albums that enter the chart this week are legacies of the Man in Black. They are Cash's The Greatest: The Number Ones (bowing at No. 28) and The Greatest: Duets (No. 71) and the multi-artist package We Walk the Line: A Celebration of the Music of Johnny Cash (No. 38).
Returning to the album chart are Lyle Lovett's Release Me (No. 70) and the Josh Abbott Band's Small Town Family Dream (No. 72).
There are no new songs to note. However, Jaida Dreyer's "Confessions" re-enters at No. 60.
The No. 2 through No. 5 albums, in that order, are the Zac Brown Band's Uncaged, Luke Bryan's Tailgates & Tanlines, Carrie Underwood's Blown Away and Kenny Chesney's Welcome to the Fishbowl.
Lining up within the Top 5 songs cluster behind "Angel Eyes" are Gloriana's "(Kissed You) Good Night," Chesney's "Come Over" (last week's No. 1), Blake Shelton's "Over" and Little Big Town's "Pontoon."
We hold this truth to be self-evident: Things are getting weird in country music.