The forecasts are in and it’s looking like rainy days may be ahead for Britney Spears‘ new album ‘Britney Jean’.
Led by ‘Work B*tch’, the LP has been the subject of ample debate (including here on That Grape Juice) due to the so-so performance of its preceding singles – the latest being ballad ‘Perfume’.
Like the record-buying public, the material we’ve heard thus far has done little to rouse us. A fact that seems to have weighed heavily on the project’s potential sales.
For, the ever-reliable folk over at Hits Daily Double have revealed their opening week estimates for the LP. And let just say, like ‘Perfume’s chart performance, it doesn’t smell too nice.
See what we mean below…
(A) very light promo schedule, with little or no TV around the release, could put the album (‘Britney Jean’) on the low-end of the 150-200k forecast.
Yikes! Whichever way it’s diced or sliced, it’ll be quite the disaster if the LP opens to such numbers (which it currently looks set to). Indeed, if the record debuts anywhere within the suggested region, it’ll become Spears’ lowest first-week figures since 1999 debut ‘…Baby, One More Time’ – which bowed at #1 on the Billboard 200 with sales of 121,000.
And though one could argue that the latter would go on to sell 10 million copies in the US alone, the reality is that the music industry has changed radically and such narratives (see: slow-then-fast sales) are the rarest of occurrences – particularly for established acts in Britney’s predicament.
That said, in the spirit of being fair and unbiased, it’s clear Team Britney are channelling the bulk of their efforts into her upcoming Las Vegas residency. Viewed this way, it appears ‘Britney Jean’ is little more than a vehicle to promote the Vegas shows; shows that look set to line her pockets handsomely. And, of course, the pockets of those in her team.
Still, one has to wonder why embracing the “Madonna model” – which sees new albums merely serve as a reason and advert for tours (see: ‘MDNA’) is worthwhile for a still-young Britney. Indeed, at 31, she has at least 10 years to go before the “Vegas performer” title is one she should wear with pride. Yes, it’s big money, but at what expense? Radio programmers have shown, time-in and time-out, that Vegas rarely connotes “cool” – which could prove problematic for Britney moving forward.
Needless to say, it’ll be very interesting to see how ‘Jean’ fares when it arrives in stores on December 3rd.
Check out the opening week figures for Britney’s previous albums in the US. Has she sadly come full circle or is it reflective of a long-term career with peaks and troughs?
* ‘…Baby One More Time’ debuted at #1 with 121,000 units sold.
* ‘Oops!…I Did It Again’ debuted at #1 with 1.3 million units sold.
* ‘Britney’ debuted at #1 with 745,000 units sold.
* ‘In the Zone’ debuted at #1 with 609,000 units sold.
* ‘Blackout’ debuted at #2 with 290,000 units sold.
* ‘Circus’ debuted at #1 with 505,000 copies sold.
* ‘Femme Fatale’ debuted at #1 with 276,000 copies sold.