Their gift cards seemingly exhausted after the holiday rush, shoppers held back over the New Year's week, putting the Billboard top 200 into a kind of suspended animation as music fans await the first new releases of 2013.
Even with a 32 percent dip from the previous week, the soundtrack to the Oscar-bait musical "Les Miserables" managed to sneak one spot up to #1 on sales of 92,000, according to figures provided by Nielsen SoundScan. That was enough to hold off a strong surge from Grammy nominees Mumford & Sons, whose Babel moved up 6 spots to #2 on sales of 91,000.
The British folkers were one of the few acts in the top 20 that had positive momentum in the chart week ending January 6, with sales up 34 percent thanks to a $6.99 iTunes promotion, bringing their total figures to north of 1.5 million to date. Taylor Swift's Red was down 72 percent, but still hit the #3 spot (69,000), while "American Idol" winner Phillip Phillips moved up 7 spots to #4 with The World From the Side of the Moon (63,000).
The rest of the top 10: One Direction, Take Me Home (#5, 61,000, down 49 percent), Bruno Mars, Unorthodox Jukebox (#6, down 50 percent), "Pitch Perfect" soundtrack (#7, 52,000), the self-titled debut from the Lumineers (#8, 51,000), Alicia Keys, Girl On Fire (#9, 44,000) and Pink, The Truth About Love (#10, 41,000, down 22 percent).
Next week looks to be another slow one, as the only new titles are from masked rap rockers Hollywood Undead, makeup metalers Black Veil Brides and English singer Conor Maynard.