The CD cover image for the latest release by The Weeknd, "Trilogy." (Universal Republic / Associated…)
In the battle for falsetto-heavy lust-cyborg supremacy on the Billboard charts this week, we have may have an unexpected victor.
No, we're not talking about One Direction, whose second studio album, "Take Me Home," is a lock to claim the top spot this week. The gloomy R&B project The Weeknd, helmed by singer Abel Tesfaye, appears to be a sleeper pick for the No. 2 slot with "Trilogy."
The album, a physical compilation of the group's three free mixtapes from 2011 and some bonus material, is expected to move around 100,000 units in its first week for XO/Republic.
The project earned rapturous buzz for its narcotic, decadent soundscapes and initially cryptic Internet presence, but has since moved into the limelight with high-profile Drake collaborations and major festival appearances. The act will play a prime slot at next month's Cali Christmas in L.A., hosted by mainstream hip-hop tastemaker Power 106.
The loser in this standoff? Christina Aguilera. Despite years of stardom and an ongoing judgeship on "The Voice," her new studio record, "Lotus," looks to debut at around 80,000, likely trailed by Soundgarden, Lana Del Rey and Green Day's new records.
The lesson? That TV fame perhaps can't provide the same buzz as previously free Internet mix tapes about semi-consensual group sex and drug binges.
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