It’s official: The Frozen soundtrack has just logged its 10th week at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart, but everyone else’s album sales stink . Seriously. While the Frozen soundtrack sold 133,000 copies during its last sales week, bringing its to-date total to an impressive 2.1 million, the No. 2 album, Pharrell’s G I R L, sold a dismal 29,000 copies. That makes G I R L the lowest selling number-two album on the Billboard chart since 1991. Ouch.
Maybe we’re just in a musical drought right now. The fourth quarter of last year was jam-packed with major releases from super stars like Katy Perry, Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, Miley Cyrus, Britney Spears, Eminem, One Direction, and Kelly Clarkson — just to name a few. By comparison, the beginning of 2014 hasn’t been nearly as exciting. Who can save us from our current album sales depression?
If anyone’s up to the task, it’s Adele.
The new mom’s last studio album, 21 , spent a staggering 24 nonconsecutive weeks at number one during 2011 and 2012. We know that Adele has been working on new material, but there’s no word on an album release date yet. Unfortunately, I think we could still be waiting on this one for a while.
What about Taylor Swift?
Swift's last studio album, Red , sold a whopping 1.2 million copies in its first week in 2012 — is she planning on making a comeback anytime soon? Well, it depends on your definition of “soon.” Most of Swift’s previous albums were released at the end of October, so while she has been working on new material as well, the album’s likely not coming until then.
Well, maybe Rihanna can do it.
Though Rih isn’t exactly known for being a massive album seller, she could potentially have two albums out this year: The soundtrack for DreamWorks’ new animated movie Home in November and her own eighth studio album (which is hopefully coming very soon). Last year, 2013, was the first year Rihanna didn’t release an album since 2009, so her fans are THIRSTY for new music. At this point, she could put out an album of Shirley Temple covers and it would still fly off the shelves.
In the end, I kind of doubt that any one specific artist holds the key to this problem. Low album sales may just be the new normal in an age of iTunes and digital piracy. That’s kind of a sad thought, though, so be sure and do your part! Support the artists you love by buying their music legally. They work hard to make the music, so you shouldn't be downloading it for free. Oh, and if you’re one of the few people left in the world who somehow hasn’t bought the Frozen soundtrack yet, go ahead and do that, too. It’s super good, I promise.