Singer/songwriter Sara Bareilles nets her first No. 1 album—with her best sales week—as her sophomore effort, "Kaleidoscope Heart," starts atop the Billboard 200 with 90,000 sold, according to Nielsen SoundScan . . . Total album sales in this past chart week (ending Sept. 12) totaled 4.8 million units—the lowest weekly sales figure since SoundScan began tracking sales in 1991 . . . Though we'll feel the full impact of Sunday night's (Sept. 12) MTV Video Music Awards on next week's charts, award-winning performers Florence + the Machine make a big jump on both the Billboard 200 and the Digital Songs charts . . . Digital Songs also says hello to a new No. 1: Bruno Mars' "Just the Way You Are," which climbs one spot to the top with 209,000 (up 19%).


FLASH POINTS

• Sara Bareilles scores her first No. 1 album—and best sales week—as her sophomore effort, "Kaleidoscope Heart," bows atop the chart with 90,000 sold, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

• Bareilles' first set, "Little Voice," peaked at No. 7 in 2008. It has so far sold 997,000 copies in the United States.

• Though Bareilles is one of four new entries in the top 10, expect the chart to get a lot more exciting in a week's time. That's when the biggest albums of the fall season will start arriving, including anticipated high bows from Linkin Park's "A Thousand Suns" and Trey Songz' "Passion, Pain & Pleasure."

• And those albums can't arrive any faster, either. Overall album sales in this past chart week (ending Sept. 12) totaled 4.8 million units, the lowest weekly sales figure since SoundScan began tracking sales in 1991. Last week's sum falls below the record low of 5 million sold, which was only set in the week ending Aug. 15.

• Last week's No. 1 album, Disturbed's "Asylum," falls to No. 5 in its second week with 57,000 (down 68%). Eminem's "Recovery" moves up one notch to No. 2 (81,000; down 12%) while the "Now 35" compilation declines one to No. 3 (63,000; down 40%). Katy Perry's "Teenage Dream" holds at No. 4 (59,000; down 33%) while Stone Sour debuts at No. 6 with "Audio Secrecy" (46,000). The band's last album, 2006's "Come What(ever) May," debuted and peaked at No. 4 with 81,000.

• Interpol starts at No. 7 with its self-titled set (38,000). It's the second top 10 album for the latter act, as its 2007 effort "Our Love to Admire" topped out in its first week at No. 4 with 73,000. Just behind them is Justin Bieber's "My World 2.0." It stays steady at No. 8 but still notches a gain of 14% (35,000).

• Rounding out the top 10 are Anberlin's No. 9 debut with "Dark Is the Way. Light Is a Place" with 31,000 and the soundtrack to "Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam," down one to No. 10 with 31,000 (up 11%, but trailing Anberlin by a small margin). It's the first top 10 set for Anberlin, which previously topped out at No. 13 with its last set, 2008's "Surrender."

• Outside the top 10 this week, Florence + the Machine's "Lungs" vaults from No. 100 to No. 44 with 8,000 (up 70%—the largest percentage gain on the chart). The act was nominated for a number of MTV Video Music Awards for its video "Dog Dogs Are Over" and played the tune on the Sept. 12 show. "Dog Days" also debuts at No. 52 on the Digital Songs chart, shifting 27,000 downloads (up 276%).

• Because the VMAs took place on a Sunday night, and since SoundScan's sales tracking week ends at the close of business on Sunday each week, the show's impact on the charts this week is a bit muted. Thus, any punch felt from the VMAs will be distributed over two weeks.

• At the top of the Digital Songs chart this week is a new No. 1: Bruno Mars' "Just the Way You Are," which moves up one notch with 209,000 (up 19%). It displaces Perry's "Teenage Dream," as it falls to No. 2 with 197,000 (down 11%). It's the first time Mars has been No. 1 on the chart as a lead artist. He previously guested on B.o.B's No. 1 "Nothin' on You."

• Overall album sales in this past chart week (ending Sept. 12) totaled 4.8 million units, down 7% compared with the sum last week (5.2 million) and down 28% compared with the comparable sales week of 2009 (6.7 million). Year-to-date album sales stand at 205.4 million, down 13% compared with the same total at this point last year (235.7 million).

• Digital track sales this past week totaled 20 million downloads, up 3% compared with last week (19.4 million) and down less than 1% stacked next to the comparable week of 2009 (20.1 million). Year-to-date track sales are at 801.8 million, down less than 1% compared with the same total at this point last year (807.8 million).



MARKET WATCH

• Album units, current chart week: 4.8 million units
• Down 7% from last week's charts: 5.2 million units
• Down 28% from the comparable week in 2009: 6.7 million units
• This week: No albums sold more than 100,000 copies.
• This week last year on the Billboard 200: Jay-Z's "The Blueprint 3" bowed atop the list with 476,000. The previous week's No. 1, Whitney Houston's "I Look to You," fell in its second week with 88,000 (down 71%).



A LOOK AHEAD

• Among the albums released this week, due on next week's charts: Linkin Park's "A Thousand Suns," Trey Songz' "Passion, Pain & Pleasure," Brandon Flowers' "Flamingo," Weezer's "Hurley," Jamey Johnson's "The Guitar Song" and Robert Plant's "Band of Joy."

• Next week's Billboard 200 competes with the same week in 2009 when: Jay-Z's "The Blueprint 3" held atop the list for a second week with 298,000 (down 37%). Muse's "The Resistance" was the highest new entry, bowing at No. 3 with 128,000.

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboardbiz

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