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Jonas Brothers: Is the magic still there? And chart news on Jay-Z, Pete Yorn and more

June 24, 2009 |  1:02 pm
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Last summer, the Jonas Brothers sold more than half a million copies when they landed atop the U.S. pop charts with “A Little Bit Longer.” What a difference a year makes. The Disney powerhouse still lands at No. 1 with its latest, “Lines, Vines and Trying Times,” but a little of the magic appears to be gone.

First week sales for the newest topped off at 247,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan. That gives the Jonas kids a healthy lead over the Black Eyed Peas' “The E.N.D.” (Interscope), which falls to No. 2 in its second week of release, but may cast some doubt as to just how much is left in the Jonas Brothers' tank.

Disney has had the boys working, as the Jonas Brothers have released four studio albums in less than three years. The brand has also spawned a 3-D concert film, a Disney Channel film in “Camp Rock” and a recent Disney Channel series, “Jonas.”

The marketing blitz has been designed to keep the Jonas Brothers in the lucrative tween-pop world, all while expanding their fan base to a more grown-up market. The Jonas Brothers partnered with Stevie Wonder at last year’s Grammys, and are gradually bringing on more adult themes in their music, but lead-off single “Paranoid” hasn’t been burning up the charts yet.

Fellow Disney peer Miley Cyrus, for instance, is still in the top 25 of iTunes’ bestselling singles with "The Climb,” which sees her making overtures to the country world, but “Paranoid” is languishing farther down – at No. 56 today. On Billboard's Hot 100, the cut hit No. 60 last week, which is down from its peak of No. 37, a high-water mark last month based on first week digital download sales. So far, it's sold 192,000 digital downloads.

Other notes on this week’s chart, including news on the Black Eyed Peas, Jay-Z and Pete Yorn below:

-- The Black Eyed Peas’ “The E.N.D.” falls to No. 2, selling an additional 148,000 copies this week. The album’s two-week total is now at 452,000 copies, but that’s only part of the story. This is a singles  album, and that’s where the Peas are excelling. The initial single, “Boom Boom Pow,” as noted last week, has sold more than 2.9 million copies, and “I Gotta Feeling” isn’t doing too shabby either. The cut has been at the top of iTunes since the album’s release. To date, it's sold 482,000 downloads.

-- Eminems “Relapse” (Shady/Interscope) looks to become the year’s bestselling album thus far, any week now. The set is closing in on the Disney soundtrack for “Hannah Montana: The Movie.” Both have sold a little over 1.1 million copies, and are separated only by around 20,000. The soundtrack has shown incredibly staying power – at No. 7 this week – but Eminem has amassed his total in a much shorter time span, as “Relapse” was released just over a month ago, compared with the soundtrack, which was issued in March.

-- Jay-Z may be re-thinking his approach to the digital marketplace. When he released his companion to “American Gangster” in late 2007, the auteur-rapper forbid sales on iTunes, not wanting the album’s singles sold individually. This year, Jay-Z appears to be down with iTunes, giving the retailer an exclusive window for current Roc Nation single “D.O.A.” The cut was made available for download Tuesday, and has steadily moved into the top 5 on the iTunes list. It's selling there for $1.29; those who want to save a few cents can wait till Tuesday and buy it on Amazon.com for 99 cents. Sales results will be available next week.

-- Speaking of iTunes exclusives, Pete Yorn gave the digital retailer a one-week advance on his “Back & Fourth” (Sony Music). It helped the singer-songwriter debut at No. 44, and sold close to 12,000 copies. The album hit all other retailers Tuesday.

-- Looking ahead: Expect a high debut from R&B newcomer Jeremih. His first Def Jam album is due June 30 via Def Jam, and his single "Birthday Sex" is still gaining steam. It's No. 14 on iTunes today, and according to data from Big Champagne, which monitors traffic on file-sharing networks, it's been the most in-demand song the last two days, based on a mix of searches and downloads. To date, it's sold 691,000 downloads. Next week's charts, however, should see strong marks from Regina Spektor and Dream Theater. 

-- Todd Martens

Photo: Carlos Chavez / Los Angeles Times

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