Skin spelled the end of Usher's chart reign. The R&B star's Confessions fell to Number Three with sales of 197,000 -- it has spent eight of its ten weeks of release at Number One. Slipknot continue to bring the noise on the charts, landing in the Number Two spot with Vol. 3: The Subliminal Verses. While several new metal bands (Korn, Limp Bizkit) are beginning to show some chart fatigue, the masked metal men are holding steady. Vol. 3 sold 243,000 copies, only 7,000 fewer than their last record, Iowa, did three years ago.
A handful of other records made strong debuts: Nouveau country troupe Lonestar sold 54,000 copies of Let's Be Us Again at Number Fourteen, American Idol also-ran Tamyra Gray sold 39,000 copies of Dreamer at Number Twenty-three and Wilson Phillips moved 32,000 copies of California at Number Thirty-five.
Elsewhere, Prince's Musicology showed new life, jumping back into the Top Ten behind a 20,000 copy sales spike to 71,000 at Number Eight. Toby Keith's Academy of Country Music Awards sweep helped bump Shock N Y'all from Number Forty-four to Number Twenty-nine with sales of 34,000.
As for next week, it might be a bit early to call any sort of permanent end to Usher's reign. Confessions' sales decreases have been minimal for the past three weeks, and with Under My Skin poised to take a sales hit of about fifty-percent, it could be a close call for Number One.
This week's Top Ten: Avril Lavigne's Under My Skin; Slipknot's Vol. 3: The Subliminal Verses; Usher's Confession; Gretchen Wilson's Here for the Party; Method Man's Tical 0: The Prequel; Hoobastank's The Reason; D12's D12 World; Prince's Musicology; the Shrek 2 soundtrack; and New Found Glory's Catalyst.