After just four days, Taylor Swift has sold more albums in the US than any other artist this year.
The star’s sixth album, Reputation, has sold 1.04 million copies in the US since Friday, says Billboard magazine.
That puts her ahead of 2017’s previous biggest-seller, Ed Sheeran’s, which has shifted 919,000 copies to date.
Reputation also becomes Swift’s fourth album to sell a million copies in the space of a week, following 1989, Red and Speak Now.
In fact, only she and Adele have sold a million copies of any album in a seven-day frame since 2012.
Notably, both artists withheld their records from streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music – a move which drives committed fans to buy or download the album.
It has been rumoured that Reputation will be made available on those services later this week.
Reputation, which sees the star delve deeper than ever before into the realms of pop and hip-hop, has received largely positive reviews from critics.
The Telegraph called it “a big, brash, all-guns-blazing blast of weaponised pop that grapples with the vulnerability of the human heart as it is pummelled by 21st-century fame.
NPR’s critic Ann Powers noted that Swift’s lyrics had matured, describing the stand-out track Getaway Car as: “A sure-footed step forward into the vagaries of grown up life.”
BBC Music’s Mark Savage said it was “her most sonically adventurous album yet”, while noting that moments where she lashes out at her detractors “don’t really lend themselves to big, singalong choruses”.
However, the New York Times’ writer Jon Caramanica questioned whether Swift had diluted her appeal by borrowing so heavily from other genres.
“In making her most modern album – one in which she steadily visits hostile territory and comes out largely unscathed – Ms Swift has actually delivered a brainteaser: If you’re using other people’s parts, can you ever really recreate your self?”
Reputation is set to debut at number one in the UK, after selling 65,437 copies over the weekend. However, she is unlikely to beat Sheeran in his home territory.
Divide sold 672,000 copies in its first week this March – making it the third-fastest seller in chart history, behind Adele’s 25 (800,000 sales) and Oasis’ Be Here Now (696,000).
Sheeran’s album, of course, was available on streaming services – which accounted for 12% of its sales.
Earlier this week, Spotify’s Troy Carter criticised Swift’s decision to hold her album back, saying it would encourage piracy.
“It kind of sets the industry back a little bit,” he said, while adding: “Taylor is super smart. We are not mad at her for the decision she made.”
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22 January, 2019