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Who Charted? Album Sales Are Awful, So Let’s Just Talk About Britney!

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Who's Number One: Remember when we said rock music hit rock bottom in 2010? Welcome to 2011, folks! Two rock bands managed to crack the apex of Billboard's Top 200 this week -- Cake and Cage the Elephant -- which is good! But the numbers are not so good. According to Nielsen SoundScan, Cake's "Showroom of Compassion" sold 44,000, absolving Taylor Swift of carrying the horrific honor of the lowest-selling Number One in chart history. Cage the Elephant's pretty awesome "Thank You Happy Birthday" took Number Two with 39,000. Guitars!

Why? Taylor Swift's choke hold on the albums chart has been loosening in recent weeks, and while we suspected Nicki Minaj might be able to make a run for Number One, lying about being roomies with Rihanna didn't do the trick. The bar is now so sadly, painfully low, bands are getting unexpected shots at the Top 10.

So What About Britney!?: We're getting there, hang on!

So That Means ...: Swift didn't fall far. She landed at Number Three, followed by Bruno Mars, Minaj, and the "Country Strong" soundtrack. Country act Steel Magnolia debuted at Seven, and Rihanna, Mumford & Sons, and Kanye West rounded out the Top 10.

Other Notable Debuts: Christian rapper Lecrae released a disc called "Rehab: The Overdose" that sounds like it'd be a mix of Eminem and Dr. Dre records (but actually sounds nothing like that) and took Number 15. Blog-buzz band Tapes 'N Tapes mustered a 105 arrival for "Outside."

Fun Fact: Little Monsters don't buy everything Lady Gaga releases. Her so-so remix album is at Number 191 after 23 weeks on the chart with total sales of 168,000.

Who's in Last Place: Like last week, another great album! Deerhunter's "Halycon Digest" returned to the chart with 2,000 copies sold.

Can We Talk About Britney Now!? Sure! Britney murdered the Hot 100 and Hot Digital Tracks charts with a major Number One debut: 411,000 copies of "Hold It Against Me" sold. Avril Lavigne didn't do too shabby herself, moving 163,000 copies of "What the Hell." Kanye West and Jay-Z's "H.A.M." was the third-best debut with 120,000. But the headlines are all about Brit and her record-breaking new single. Have you heard it yet? Of course you have! 4,071 times last week alone!

[Photo: John Shearer/WireImage.com]

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