The release of her new album Lotus was supposed to be a glorious victory lap for Christina Aguilera. After the dual duds of 2010′s critical and commercial failures Bionic and Burlesque, the once-platinum-plated pop star set out to reinvent herself: She divorced her husband of five years, became a coach on the hit series The Voice, and recommitted herself to her music.
Only part of that plan seems to be working for her. While her visibility factor is way up thanks to the big ratings for The Voice, it’s still bad news at the cash register. Final numbers won’t be in until next week, but right now, album sales tracking service Hits Daily Double is currently projecting Lotus will sell somewhere between 75 and 80 thousand copies in its opening week.
Even if that prediction ends up being on the low side, it’ll still be hard to spin those numbers positively. Bionic was considered a commercial debacle but still moved six figures in its opening frame (selling 110,000 copies out of the gate). What’s worse is that Aguilera’s is projected to finish well behind next generation pop stars One Direction (who will sell well over 500,000 copies of Take Me Home, their second album released this year) and indie R&B darling The Weeknd (who is essentially selling a series of albums that were given away for free online a year ago). Any way you look at it, the results are rough.
But if The Voice is such a hit and the material on Lotus is crafted by the same people who send the likes of Taylor Swift, Nicki Minaj, and Pink to the top of the charts, what is stopping people from buying this new album?