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Don’t expect a giant release until March, when Lil Wayne’s Tha Carter IV hits, along with new albums scheduled from Britney Spears and Kanye West/Jay-Z.
TAKING THE CAKE
Sparse Slate of New Releases Means No Change at the Top
Hey, didn’t anybody tell the record business that the new year started?

This week’s chart sported the lowest-ever total by a chart-topper with Taylor Swift’s total of 52k, but the worst could still be coming.

According to those music retailers and abacus-counters who have returned for 2011, veteran Alternative band Cake’s new Upbeat/ILG album, Showroom of Compassion, the Sacramento rockers’ first studio release since 2004’s Pressure Chief, will be the week’s biggest debut, with sales between 35-40k which, given the state of the chart, should be a lock for the Top 10.

Jive/RED’s Cage the Elephant, the Bowling Green, Kentucky, rock band who dominated Alternative and Rock radio since the release of their 2008 self-titled debut, return with their sophomore effort, Thank You, Happy Birthday, already preceded by the single, “Shake Me Down,” which went Top 20 at Mainstream Rock, #3 at Alternative and #6 at Rock. Look for it to do between 30-35k, which should also be good enough to crack the Top 10.

Scott Borchetta’s Nashville-based Big Machine comes with Steel Magnolia, the self-titled debut from the country duo of Meghan Linsey and Joshua Scott Jones, who won the TV talent show Can You Duet. The album is on target for between 24-27k in first-week sales.

Hitting stores next Tuesday (1/18) are Capitol/EMI’s The Decemberists, Custard/Atlantic’s James Blunt, Epic’s The Script, Epitaph's Social Distortion and Razor & Tie’s Kidz Bop Kids. Don’t expect a giant release until March, when Lil Wayne’s Tha Carter IV hits, along with new albums scheduled from Britney Spears and Kanye West/Jay-Z.

The market was down 24% vs. last week, down 8% vs. same week last year and down 8% year to date. You may now return to removing yourself from Sarah Palin’s crosshairs.
ANOTHER BILLIE BANGER? (UPDATE)
Are you free Wednesday afternoon? (11/12a)
BIEBER BY CHRISTMAS?
How's that for a tease, Bieber Nation? (11/12a)
NEAR TRUTHS: MEET
THE NEW BOSSES
Not the same as the old bosses (11/12a)
CMA CENTERPIECE
CARRIE UNDERWOOD
This sure feels like her moment. (11/12a)
WHO'S GETTING ZERVAS?
It's down to two bidders. (11/12a)
THE GRAMMY NOMINATIONS
They'll soon be here, and then we can start obsessing about who'll win.
U.K. SPECIAL
Forget Brexit--it's our yearly survey of doings in Blighty. And if you still can't forget Brexit, try drinking.
ZERVAS STATION
Who's going to land the hottest unsigned property in music?
WEED!
That's what Hollywood smells like. Seriously. 24/7.
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