In the dead of January, a number of acts are taking advantage of the traditionally slow period for new album releases. Veteran Christian singer/songwriter Chris Tomlin, along with rock bands Hollywood Undead, Black Veil Brides and Dropkick Murphys, are set to arrive in the top 10 on the Billboard 200 albums chart next week.
Tomlin could open atop the list with his latest album, "Burning Lights." It would mark his first No. 1 on the tally and second top 10 effort. Label sources suggest that the title might sell around 70,000 copies by the end of the tracking week on Jan. 13.
The new Billboard 200 chart's top 10 will be revealed on the morning of Jan. 16.
Looking to bow in the runner-up slot is Hollywood Undead's "Notes From the Underground" with perhaps 50,000, or so. Also on tap for a top five entry is Black Veil Brides' "Wretched and Divine: The Story of the Wild Ones" with around 45,000. The latter rock band has never been in the top 10 before, while Hollywood Undead has claimed one entry in the region (2011's "American Tragedy," No. 4).
Also on course for a likely top 10 arrival is Dropkick Murphys' "Signed & Sealed in Blood." It might sell around 30,000 -- a bit less than the 43,000 that greeted its last album ("Going Out In Style") in its debut frame, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
On SoundScan's Building chart (below), Hollywood Undead leads the tally, while the "Les Miserable" soundtrack is No. 2. The Building tally is a precursor to the final Billboard 200 ranking, reflecting the first four days (Monday through Thursday) of SoundScan's tracking week as reported by six major merchants.
Elsewhere on the Building Chart, Taylor Swift's "Red" is No. 3, the "Pitch Perfect" soundtrack is No. 4 and Tomlin is at No. 5.
How can Tomlin be at No. 5 if he's in the running for No. 1 on the Billboard 200? Because the Building Chart doesn't include sales from many Christian bookstores and non-traditional retailers (where Tomlin sells strongly), his position on the chart is deceiving. He will end up much higher on the Billboard 200 chart, which includes sales from the Christian marketplace and other non-traditional retailers.
Absent entirely from the top 10 on the Building Chart entirely is Black Veil Brides' new album. The title is missing because of a processing error. Never fear, the album will certainly rank in the top 10 on the Billboard 200 next week.
As for the rest of the Building Chart's top 10, we have Bruno Mars' "Unorthodox Jukebox" at No. 6; Dropkick Murphys at No. 7; P!nk's "The Truth About Love" at No. 8; the Lumineers' self-titled album at No. 9; and Mumford & Sons' "Babel" at No. 10.