The new album has a perception problem. Fans are savvy enough to know that the first album must have contained the strongest material from the 20/20 sessions. (That's especially true because it was Timberlake's first album in 6-1/2 years. It would have been foolhardy for him to return with anything but the strongest album he could muster.) So I'm sure a lot of people view this new album as a collection of leftovers; outtakes. It might as well have a sticker on it, "For Die-Hard Fans Only."
(It's a measure of Timberlake's tremendous popularity that he has enough die-hard fans that this album has sold 455K copies in three weeks.)
Some have suggested that Timberlake should have picked the best of the 2 of 2 songs for an Expanded Deluxe Edition of the first album. Or maybe even left them all in the vault and started from scratch on a follow-up album. The positive reaction to The 20/20 Experience—especially the proof that his fans had remained loyal through that long lay-off—must have been gratifying and energizing. As such, the new material would probably have been superior to these "leftover" tracks from the first sessions.
I have a little bit of good news for Timberlake: "Mirrors" tops the 3 million mark in digital sales this week. It's one of 10 songs to sell that many copies so far in 2013. As a lead artist, Timberlake has had just one bigger seller, "SexyBack" (featuring Timbaland), which has sold 4,340,000 copies.
Lightning Bolt sold 84K digital copies, which puts it at #1 on Top Digital Albums.
Lightning Bolt enters the U.K.'s Official Albums Chart at #2. It's the band's highest-charting album in the U.K. since Vs. peaked at #2 in 1993. Pearl Jam has yet to top the U.K. chart.
Cyrus' Bangerz has sold 343K copies in its first two weeks. That's nearly as many as her previous album, Can't Be Tamed, has sold since its release in June 2010 (349K).
New is McCartney's 19th top 10 album apart from the Beatles. That's four more than his former band-mates combined. (John Lennon had seven; George Harrison, six; Ringo Starr, two).
New also enters the U.K.'s Official Albums Chart at #3. With the Beatles, McCartney landed his first #1 there on May 11, 1963 with Please Please Me.
The Avett Brothers' Magpie And The Dandelion debuts at #5. It's the group's second top five album in a row. The Carpenter hit #4 in 2012.
The biggest exception was Carrie Underwood, whose first-week sales soared by 67% from her star-making first album to her second. The other two exceptions were Kelly Clarkson, whose first-week sales declined by a mild 16% from her first album to her second, and Fantasia, whose first-week sales fell by a moderate 45% from her first album to her second.
This isn't really surprising. The Idol winners' debut albums typically arrive just months after the season finales, which are virtual coronations. The sophomore albums typically arrive a couple of years later, after the confetti has long since been swept up.
(McCreery released Christmas With Scotty McCreery between his first two studio albums, but holiday albums are different than regular studio albums.)
Cher's Closer To The Truth rebounds from #11 to #8. This is its third week in the top 10. Of Cher's dozens of albums, either on her own or with Sonny, only three others have logged this many weeks in the top 10. Look At Us (with Sonny) held tight for 14 weeks in 1965; Believe for 11 weeks in 1999; and The Very Best Of Cher for 10 weeks in 2003.
We have a nice generational spread among the artists in this week's top 10, from 16-year old Lorde to Nelson. I always like to see a wide range of genres and ages in the top 10. Something for everybody.
To All The Girls… consists of duets with female singers, mostly country, but also including a few singers from other genres, such as Mavis Staples, Norah Jones and Shelby Lynne. The title of the album is a nod to Nelson's 1984 hit "To All The Girls I've Loved Before," a genre-bridging (if gimmicky) collabo with Julio Iglesias which made the top five on the Hot 100.
This is Nelson's second top 10 album; his first since 1982's Always On My Mind. Nelson is one of the best-selling country album artists of all time. But, as I've said before, country was under-represented on the chart in the years before Nielsen SoundScan's arrival in 1991. (Remember that another top-selling country album artist, Alabama, landed its second top 10 album just last month.)
Here’s the low-down on this week’s top 10 albums.
The Top Five: Pearl Jam’s Lightning Bolt debuts at #1 (166K). It’s the band’s 11th top 10 album…Miley Cyrus' Bangerz dips from #1 to #2 in its second week (72K)…Paul McCartney's New debuts at #3 (67K). It's his 19th top 10 album apart from The Beatles… Drake's Nothing Was The Same dips from #3 to #4 in its fourth week (58K). It has been in the top five the entire time…The Avett Brothers' Magpie And The Dandelion debuts at #5 (58K). It's the band's second top 10 album.
The Second Five: Scotty McCreery’s See You Tonight debuts at #6 (52K). It's his third top 10 album or EP… Lorde's Pure Heroine dips from #6 to #7 in its third week (48K). It has been in the top 10 the entire time…Cher's Closer To The Truth rebounds from #11 to #8 in its fourth week (45K). This is its third week in the top 10...Willie Nelson's To All The Girls… debuts at #9 (43K). It's his second top 10 album…The Head & The Heart's Let's Be Still debuts at #10 (42K). It's the group's first top 10 album.
Gavin DeGraw's Make A Move debuts at #13. It's his fourth top 20 album in a row…Trivium's Vengeance Falls debuts at #15. It's the band's second top 15 album in a row…Chase Rice's Ready Set Roll EP debuts at #16. The title track entered the Hot 100 last week.
Metallica's Metallica: Through The Never drops from #51 to #82 in its fourth week. It's the highest-charting soundtrack from a theatrically-released movie for the fourth week.
The Great Gatsby: Music From Baz Luhrmann's Film, which drops from #85 to #115 in its 24th week, tops the 500K sales mark this week. It's the 26th album to sell 500K copies in 2013. It's the second soundtrack to do so. Pitch Perfect has sold 713K copies so far this year.
Gravity was #1 at the box-office for the third straight weekend. It's the second movie to do that so far in 2013. The first was Lee Daniels' The Butler.
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