Lame week on the album chart: ‘Now 49’ on top

The 49th installment of the “Now That’s What I Call Music!” series is the No. 1 album in the country. “Now 49” debuts with 98,000 copies sold, according to Nielsen SoundScan, bumping the soundtrack to Disney’s “Frozen” to No. 2 with 88,000 (-6%).

“Now 49” features hit songs by Lorde, Miley Cyrus, One Direction, Pitbull, Lady Gaga and more. All but the first of the 49 “Now” albums have debuted in the top 10. Last November, “Now 48” entered the charts at No. 3 with 114,000. “Now 50” is set for release on May 6.

At No. 3 is Bruno Mars’ “Unorthodox Jukebox” with 81,000 (+92%), which rose from No. 7 last week thanks to his Super Bowl halftime performance on Feb. 2. It’s the first time since 2003 that an older album by a halftime performer climbed into the top 10 post-game week (the last was Shania Twain’s “Up!”). Mars’ debut album, “Doo-Wops & Hooligans,” nearly made the top 10, but sits at No. 11 with 26,000 (+58%).

Toni Braxton and Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds’ new duets album, “Love, Marriage & Divorce,” enters at No. 4 with 67,000. It’s the highest-charting album ever for Babyface and Braxton’s best debut since “Libra” in 2005, which also bowed at No. 4.

Broken Bells’ “After the Disco” starts at No. 5 with 44,000, while fellow newcomer Little Mix nabs No. 6 with “Salute” (43,000). Broken Bells’ 2010 self-titled debut peaked at No. 7 (49,000). Little Mix’s first album, “DNA,” entered at No. 4 in 2013 (50,000).

Beyonce’s self-titled album slips from No. 5 to No. 7 with 38,000 (-20%) and Lorde’s “Pure Heroine” drops from No. 3 to No. 8 with a little more than 35,000 (-48%). Last week’s No. 2 album, the “2014 Grammy Nominees” compilation, falls to No. 9 with 35,000 (-60%), while Katy Perry’s “PRISM” descends from No. 9 to No. 10 with 27,000 (-12%).

Sales are down 3% this week compared to the previous week and down 22% compared to the same week last year. Year-to-date album sales are down 15% compared with the previous year.