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[Bieber] could get some serious competition from a surprise contender in Warner Bros. rapper Wale, who will make a shockingly good debut on next week's tally.
JUSTIN TIME FOR THE HOLIDAYS
Bieber Brings the Mistletoe, But Wale’s the Big Surprise as Susan Boyle, Miranda Lambert Also Sport Six-Figure Debuts
As of today, Justin Bieber’s Island Def Jam holiday album, Under the Mistletoe, appears to top this week’s new releases in the battle for #1 on next Tuesday’s HITS sales chart, with a total of between 200-225k.

Apparently there’s no question as to the paternity of his new disc, though the iisue remains, does this album trend like a Christmas release or a teenpop effort?

If it trends like the latter, he could get some serious competition from a surprise contender in Warner Bros. rapper Wale, who will make a shockingly good debut on next week's tally. We'll have a clearer picture tomorrow, but here's how things look after one full day of sales.

Wale, the D.C.-based hip-hop artist who was dropped from Interscope after his 2009 debut, Attention Deficit, and signed to rapper Rick RossMaybach Music Group imprint at WB, turns out to be the real surprise. First-week estimates from those retailers around the country who haven’t shut down and reopened as Herman Cain campaign headquarters, peg his sophomore album Ambition, to sell between 170-190k, which puts him in the hunt for a red-hot November debut.

The Granny that perennially steals Christmas, Syco/Columbia Great Scot Susan Boyle’s third album, Someone to Watch Over Me, is set for a sales debut in the 145-160k range, sure to grow as 2011 moves to its conclusion.

RCA Nashville country comer Miranda Lambert’s critically lauded fourth studio album, Four the Record, is set for her biggest debut ever, with an estimated 125-140k. Her previous album, 2009’s Revolution, entered the chart with 66k in sales and went on to move 1.4 million in the U.S.

Universal Republic’s very promising Florence & the Machine return with their sophomore album, Ceremonials, on target for an opening week of 85-95k. Welch and company’s 2009 debut, Lungs, has sold 738k in the U.S.

Voltron/EMI R&B star Tyrese’s comeback, Open Invitation, his first album since 2006’s Alter Ego, and his EMI debut, is slated for a surprisingly robust 60-65k

Roadrunner rockers Megadeth’s Thirteen looks to be off to a 40-45k opening.

Look for Capitol's deluxe box set of Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys' legendary, but never released, original SMILE sessions, in a nifty 5-CD, two-vinyl LP package as well as a two-CD set, to score between 17-20k. 

Meanwhile, Lou Reed and Metallica’s controversial WB album, Lulu, perhaps the most critically reviled in Reed’s career since Metal Machine Music, is slated to sell between 12-15k its first week out for those brave souls undeterred by some of the worst word-of-mouth in recent memory.

Album sales were up 16% vs. last week, down 3% vs. same week last year and up 3% year to date.

Track sales were down 2% vs. last week, up 7% vs. same week last year and up 10% year to date.

TEA (Track Equivalent Album) sales were up 11% vs. last week, down 1% vs. same week last year and up 5% year to date.

If flat is the new up, a 3% lift is even upper.

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