Justin Bieber's "My World 2.0" album is back at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, but with a rather dreary sales figure . . . It's the Bieb's fourth nonconsecutive week at the top of the chart . . . the National, the Dead Weather, Charice and As I Lay Dying also see their latest efforts bow in the top 10 . . . Katy Perry's "California Gurls" heats up the Digital Songs chart as it enters at No. 1 with an eye-popping bow of 294,000 downloads sold, according to Nielsen SoundScan.


FLASH POINTS

• We've got some good news . . . and some not so good news.

• Good news: Justin Bieber's "My World 2.0" returns to No. 1 on the Billboard 200 for a fourth nonconsecutive week at the top.

• The not so good news: He does so with slightly more than 60,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan, marking the second-lowest week at No. 1 since SoundScan's sales information began powering the Billboard 200 in May 1991.

• It could have been worse. Last week it seemed likely that the No. 1 album this week—initially predicted to be Lady Antebellum's "Need You Now"—was going to sell less than 60,000, immediately rendering it the lowest-selling No. 1 in the SoundScan era.

• The record low at No. 1 came in January of 2007, when the "Dreamgirls" soundtrack held onto its second of two weeks at No. 1 with a shade more than 60,000 sold. ("My World 2.0" and "Dreamgirls" are both stated to have sold 60,000 in this story because we round SoundScan's sales figures to the nearest thousand. However, "My World" outsold "Dreamgirls," but not by much.)

• Things are much rosier over on the Digital Songs chart this week, where Katy Perry's "California Gurls" (featuring Snoop Dogg) debuts at No. 1 with 294,000 downloads sold. It's Perry's best debut sales week for a single and will certainly garner her a top five debut on the Billboard Hot 100 singles sales chart when it's released Thursday morning (May 20). If it debuts as forecasted, it will be Perry's fourth top 10 hit and highest debut on the sales/airplay-hybrid Billboard Hot 100.

• Last week's Digital Songs No. 1, Eminem's "Not Afraid," falls to No. 4 with 202,000 (down 47%), while Usher's "OMG" is steady at No. 2 with 240,000 (though it's up 13%). The second-highest entry on the Digital Songs chart belongs to the "Glee" TV cast's rendition of Rick Springfield's classic Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 single "Jessie's Girl." The new "Glee" version enters at No. 10 on Digital Songs with 105,000 sold.

• A full recap of all the Hot 100 action will follow on Thursday morning.

• Back on the Billboard 200, the aforementioned Lady Antebellum set "Need You Now" holds at No. 2 with 54,000. It's down 44% in sales, a not surprising decline since it's the week after the Mother's Day shopping week. Any album appealing to women takes a dive this week, following nifty gains the week previous thanks to gains owed to Mom.

• New York rock band the National arrives at No. 3 with its fifth full-length album, "High Violet," selling 51,000—its best week ever. The act's last set, "Boxer," debuted and peaked at No. 68 in 2007. AC/DC's companion album to "Iron Man 2" climbs four rungs to No. 4 with 48,000 (down 11%) while the Dead Weather debuts at No. 5 with "Sea of Cowards," selling 45,000. It's the second album in less than a year for the act, which dropped "Horehound" last July and debuted at No. 6 with 51,000 copies.

• Carole King and James Taylor's "Live at the Troubadour" descends just two slots to No. 6 in its second week with 44,000 (down only 43%), and Usher's "Raymond v Raymond" rises three rungs to No. 7 with 43,000 (down 16%). 18-year-old singer Charice bounds onto the chart at No. 8 with her self-titled debut, selling 43,000 copies. The young singer visited both "The Oprah Winfrey Show" and QVC last week.

• Last week's No. 1 album, Godsmack's "The Oracle," falls to No. 9 with nearly 43,000 (down 63%). Right behind Godsmack is a new entry from metal band As I Lay Dying and its "Powerless Rise" set, bowing at No. 10 with 38,000. The act's last set, "An Ocean Between Us," debuted and peaked at No. 8 with 39,000 in 2007.

• Overall album sales in this past chart week (ending May 16) totaled 5.3 million units, down 12% compared with the sum last week (6.1 million) and down 9% compared with the comparable sales week of 2009 (5.8 million). Year-to-date album sales stand at 115.1 million, down 10% compared with the same total at this point last year (127.9 million).

• Digital track sales this past week totaled 22.2 million downloads, up 2% compared with last week (21.9 million) and up 7% compared with the comparable week of 2009 (20.9 million). Year-to-date track sales are at 444.2 million, up less than 1% compared to the same total at this point last year (445.3 million).

• AND NEXT WEEK:

• After this past week's dreary No. 1 story—where Justin Bieber's "My World 2.0" barely escaped becoming the lowest-selling No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 since Nielsen SoundScan's sales began fueling the chart in May 1991—things are looking up for next week's chart.

• Presently—though it's early in the week—industry gurus seem to think the "Glee: Showstoppers" soundtrack will debut at No. 1, selling perhaps 80,000 to 100,000 copies by week's end on May 23. The cast of "Glee" notched its first No. 1 recently with "The Power of Madonna," when that seven-song mini-album arrived in the penthouse with 98,000. "Showstoppers" is the third proper full-length soundtrack from the hit Fox TV show. The first two volumes arrived in quick succession last November and December.

• Another album looking for a high placement on the Billboard 200 next week is the Rolling Stones' lavish reissue of its 1972 album "Exile on Main Street." There's a chance that the set, which spent four weeks at No. 1 on the chart that year, could give the "Glee" album a run for its money for No. 1 next week.

• Other sets we expect to debut high on the Billboard 200 next week include the Black Keys' "Brothers," Band of Horses' "Infinite Arms," Nas and Damian Marley's "Distant Relatives" and LCD Soundsystem's "This Is Happening."

• On the Digital Songs chart, watch for Miley Cyrus' new single "Can't Be Tamed" to make a splashy entrance very high on the tally. A top five debut seems to be possible, with a top three entry likely.




MARKET WATCH

• Album units, current chart week: 5.3 million units
• DOWN 12% from last week's charts: 6.1 million units
• DOWN 9% from the comparable week in 2009: 5.8 million units
• This week: No album sells more than 100,000 copies.
• This week last year on the Billboard 200: Green Day's "21st Century Breakdown" broke in at No. 1 with 214,000 in its first week, while the previous week's No. 1, Chrisette Michele's "Epiphany," fell to No. 8 with 29,000 (down 65%). The only other album to debut in the top 10 was Cam'ron's "Crime Pays" at No. 3 with 43,000.


A LOOK AHEAD

• Among the albums released this week, due on next week's charts: the "Glee: Showstoppers" soundtrack, the Rolling Stones' reissue of "Exile on Main Street," the Black Keys' "Brothers," Band of Horses' "Infinite Arms," Nas and Damian Marley's "Distant Relatives" and LCD Soundsystem's "This Is Happening."

• Next week's Billboard 200 competes with the same week in 2009 when: Eminem's "Relapse" blasted in at No. 1 with 608,000 copies. The previous week's No. 1, Green Day's "21st Century Breakdown," fell to No. 2 in its second week with 166,000 (down 23%). Five more albums arrived in the top 10, with Kenny Chesney's "Greatest Hits II" earning the second-best bow, debuting at No. 3 with 89,000.