It will be an early Christmas for Brandy and Scotty McCreery on the Billboard 200 next week, as they will both crack the top five with their latest releases. Brandy's Two Eleven will hit at #3 on sales of nearly 65,000, while former "American Idol" champ McCreery's first holiday album, Christmas With Scotty was just behind at #4 after moving nearly 41,000 units.
Neither could compare to country singer Jason Aldean, whose Night Train scored the second-best debut of the year behind Mumford & Sons' Babel thanks to sales of 409,000, according to figures provided by Nielsen SoundScan. Things were still pretty good for Mumford, who saw a relatively modest 23 percent slip in week four to #2 on sales of nearly 74,000. Their one-month total puts the British folk revivalists at just short of one million, a figure Taylor Swift could match in one week if her Red album sales hold up their torrid pace.
The only other new faces in the top 10 were country revivalist Jamey Johnson with Living For a Song: A Tribute to Hank Cochran (#5, 32,000) and the latest from animated hard rockers Metalocalypse: Dethklok, Dethalbum III (#10, 20,000). The rest of the top 10: Pink, The Truth About Love (#6, 31,000), Miguel, Kaleidoscope Dream (#7, 22,000), Little Big Town, Tornado (#8, 22,000) and Adele, 21 (#9, 21,000).
Seattle rap duo Macklemore & Ryan Lewis had a big tumble in week two with The Heist, which swooned nine spots to #11 as sales trailed off by 77 percent to 18,000. Also sliding were Muse, whose The 2nd Law fell seven spots to #17 as sales fell by 46 percent to 17,000 for a three week total of 150,000. MGK's Lace Up also took a tumble, falling 18 to #22 in week two (down 71 percent, 15,000), while Ellie Goulding's Halcyon drooped 17 spots to #26 in week two (down 59 percent, 14,000).
Aldean was on top of the iTunes album chart as well, beating out advance sales for Swift's Red, with Mumford in at #3, followed by Brandy, Kendrick Lamar's Good Kid, M.A.A.D City, the "Pitch Perfect" soundtrack, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, Johnson, the self-titled debut from the Lumineers and Mumford's Sigh No More.
South Korean rapper Psy finally hit #1 on the iTunes singles chart with "Gangnam Style," pushing Swift's "State of Grace" down to #2. On the bright side, that was one of three songs she landed in the top 10, with "I Knew You Were Trouble" making it to #3 and "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" at #8. Ke$ha crashed the party at #4 with "Die Young," ahead of Maroon 5's "One More Night," Fun.'s "Some Nights," Rihanna's "Diamonds," Bruno Mars' "Locked Out of Heaven" and T.I.'s "Ball."
There is no doubt Swift will top the charts next week, the only question is how massive her debut will be. You can also look for new efforts from Kendrick Lamar, Lady Antebellum and Tony Bennett.