SoundScanner: Britney Flops While Garth Brooks Reigns (What Year Is It, Anyway?)

Britney Spears called Britney Jean her most personal album ever, so she could take its sales folly very personally. In this week’s SoundScanner, we’re looking at Spears’ sales, as well as Garth Brooks’ return to the top of the sales heap and the annual Christmas music bonanza. Let’s go, we’ve got work to do:

‘Britney Jean’ flops: It didn’t work, bitch. Britney Spears’ eighth album Britney Jean debuts at No. 4 on this week’s Nielsen SoundScan Top Current Albums chart with a meager 107,000 scans. That’s off 61 percent from the 276,000 first-week sales of Britney’s last album, 2011’s Femme Fatale, and marks the weakest debut of her career. It’s even lower than the opening of her first album, 1999’s Baby One More Time, which started with 121,000 sales. Britney’s other debuts: 1.3 million for Oops! I Did It Again; 745,000 for Britney; 609,000 for In the Zone; 290,000 for Blackout; 505,000 for Circus. Britney, who has been gearing up for her upcoming two-year residency in Las Vegas, did very little to promote the album, versus the all-out media blitzes that have greeted previous projects.

Garth Brooks rises: Country’s long-dormant superstar is finally, officially, back. Garth Brooks rises to No. 1 on this week’s Top Current Albums chart with his six-CD, two-DVD box set Blame It On My Roots, which is up two places from last week on a slim 11 percent sales decline. The set sold 146,000 copies this week, bringing its two-week sales total to 310,000. The album marks Brooks’ ninth No. 1 set, and his first since 2001’s Scarecrow. Meanwhile, last week’s No. 1 album, One Direction’s Midnight Memories, drops one spot to No. 2. The album suffered a 79 percent sales erosion its second week, bringing its two week sales total to 664,000.

Lorde goes gold: By the time you read this, Lorde’s Pure Heroine will have gone gold. On this week’s chart, the “Royals” singer (and multiple Grammy nominee) sees her album just 645 copies shy of the 500,000 marker, sales which she likely picked up earlier this week (and which will show up on next week’s chart). That makes the 17-year-old New Zealand singer one of the year’s breakout stars and out-of-nowhere success stories, even though she was looked over for a Best New Artist nomination by Grammy voters. “Royals,” meanwhile, has now sold more than 3.9 million downloads.

‘Timber’ holds the top spot: Pitbull and Ke$ha’s “Timber” isn’t going down, it holds at No. 1 for a second week on a Digital Songs chart where there isn’t much change from the week prior. The top four entries – “Timber,” Eminem and Rihanna’s “The Monster,” A Great Big World and Christina Aguilera’s “Say Something” and OneRepublic’s “Counting Stars” – are unchanged from last week, and there are only minor shuffles in the rest of the week’s Top 10. A bit further down the chart, Mariah Carey’s seasonal classic “All I Want for Christmas is You” makes a big jump, bumping up from No. 66 to No. 20 on a 63 percent sales increase. And with increased holiday viewings of Love Actually, sales should only continue to rise throughout the season.

Christmas sales boom: ‘Tis the season for Christmas music sales, and the season’s two top offerings – Kelly Clarkson’s Wrapped In Red and the Duck Dynasty Christmas album – continue to rack up sales. Clarkson jumps up three spots to No. 3 this week, selling 112,000 copies and bringing the album’s six-week sales total to 442,000. Meanwhile, the heavily bearded cast of Duck Dynasty sees their Duck the Halls set fall one spot to No. 5, adding 105,000 sales for a six-week total of 473,000. Elsewhere, Mary J. Blige’s Mary Christmas is up seven spots to No. 8 (181,000 sold to date), and the soundtrack album to Frozen – not technically a Christmas album, but a winter album for sure – is up eight spots to No. 9, for a two-week total of 95,000 sales.

[Photo: Getty Images]