Alicia Keys has been showered with critical acclaim following the release of her eighth studio album, ‘KEYS.’
However, the dual-concept project has not managed to unlock a position in the top 40 of the Billboard 200.
Full story below…
According to Chart Data, the ‘LALA’ led set launches at #41 on the coveted count with equivalent sales of 20,800.
The figure pales in comparison to the 62,000 unit start of 2020’s ‘Alicia’ album – which opened at #4.
It also means that the project, which features Swae Lee, Khalid, Pusha T, and Lil Wayne – becomes the star’s first traditional studio effort to miss the top 5 and subsequently the top, 10, top 20, top 30, and top 40.
We love us some Alicia (love!), but Houston we have a problem.
From our vantage point, we’re somewhat perplexed that this album followed so soon after the last. A project that itself delivered sales that paled in comparison to past efforts.
There is a postponed tour for that LP due to take place next year; perhaps ‘KEYS’ was released as a bridge of sorts and to maintain market presence until then?
On the upside, there is no denying the equity that still exists in the “Alicia Keys” name. She’ll always have a stage to perform on and an audience that will cheer her on. Always.
Furthermore, in fairness, on paper, the charting also doesn’t present the fullest picture. Because, with the influx of holiday albums (much more than in prior years), Keys was up against increased competition. Y’all follow sales here on That Grape Juice, so will know that 20k on a “normal week” often would be enough for a top 10 in the current climate. Possibly even top 5.
That said, no matter how it’s diced or sliced, these numbers…for an artist of her stature…in Q4…are unavoidably underwhelming.
When it comes to new music, it’ll be important for Keys to play the game a little more. And by that, we mean strategic collaborations (with artists that stream well), creative retail partnerships that will help her capitalize on her previous strong performance with traditional formats, and the embrace of other means/mediums that will help her thrive in the modern marketplace.
Enough from us, though. What are…