3 Musical Christmas Gifts of 2013 and 3 Lumps of Coal…


Merry Christmas!  During the holiday season, there have been some wonderful, surprising musical gifts and there have also been some ‘lumps of coal.’  Here are three of the best gifts as well as three ugly, black nuggets. 

The Best… 


Beyoncé’s surprise album – ‘nough said!  

Digital Booklet - BEYONCÉBeyoncé single-handedly gave the music industry its biggest and best gift of 2013 – a surprise, blockbuster-selling album.  Up until Beyoncé’s bow, there was no one huge album to carry the load and run up the numbers during the holiday season.   Sure there were collective efforts to bridge the gap, but none the likes of years past.  Beyoncé’s estimated million mark in sales over the course of two weeks has given record companies and music industry buffs everywhere reasons to smile and new strategic ideas to roll out new music and albums.


Garth Brooks’ numbers rock too… 

02_PRODUCT_900x600Garth Brooks numbers are exceptional, even if they don’t match up with the 617,000 copies Beyoncé moved digitally with Beyoncé.  Brooks is still at worst a 2-seed, LOL.   Brooks is selling an eight disc box set (Blame It All On My Roots) priced at around $30 exclusively to Walmart, yet it’s moving >100,000 copies each week.  That should have everyone’s mouth agape in itself!  Brooks is making some bread y’all!


Kendrick Lamar Scores an Album of the Year Nomination… So Does Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

51-mkLBVPoL._SL500_AA280_Years ago, the saying (and song) was “Hip-Hop Don’t Stop”.  True, it doesn’t, but it also has struggled to receive big-time acclaim from the Grammys outside of rap categories.  This year, rap music once more has its shot with excellent offerings from Kendrick Lamar and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis getting some love within the album of the year category.  Additionally, both acts received best new artist nods, while Macklemore & Ryan Lewis found themselves nominated for the socially-conscious “Same Love” (Song of the Year).  Hip-hop should be hella proud of its accomplishments in 2013… well, many of ‘em.  We won’t revisit molly, insensitivity to Emmett Till, the misogynistic Tyler, The Creator commercial, date rape references… you get the idea. 

…Lumps of Coal 


Britney Spears bombs… Thank goodness for ‘Yoncé 

51NEnClCNbLBeyoncé actually saved the day commercially in more ways than you think.  When a pop star by the name of Britney Spears drops, one expects big numbers and a gargantuan pop cultural impact.  Instead, Britney Jean found the former teen-pop star laying a big-assed egg.  The numbers were sub-par by her standards and the album itself left more to be desired.  Where a December released should’ve yielded hundreds of thousands of copies sold, Britney was lucky to move 107,000, which was a scaled back total good for a no. 4 bow.  Ouch girl! Now she’s really gonna have to “work”…


Justin Timberlake goes from ‘hero to zero’… Where’s Hercules when you need him?

51C5yP6ZOqL._SL500_AA280_I know what you’re thinking… Justin Timberlake’s The 20/20 Experience – 2 of 2 was released back in late September.  What does this set have to do with December or Christmas? Well, The 20/20 Experience – 2 of 2 should’ve been another set to help carry the weight of driving those holiday albums sales.  Instead, the set really didn’t take off.  Sure, 350,000 copies is nothing to take for granted, but compared to the near million crash onto the charts The 20/20 Experience made, not to mention its staying power, the second installment fell short.  “Bless my soul, Herc is on a roll…” can only be reserved for The 20/20 Experience, not its sequel.


Holiday sets still sell well, but not to the same degree as the past…

51+FjDqGtcLThis is only a partial lump of coal I suppose, but even holiday sets haven’t had the swag they had in the past.  Previously, there’s been a big-named holiday sets that have ended up single-handedly driving the musical economy.  This year, that’s also not the case.  Sure, sets by The Robertsons, Kelly Clarkson, and even Mary J. Blige as of late have played a role in heightened album sales in December, but neither of the three have sported the numbers of past holiday sets like Michael Bublé’s Christmas or Josh Groban’s Noel.  Another album that hasn’t been matched was Susan Boyle’s 2009 debut, I Dreamed A Dream.

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