With no new albums from major artists this week, country boy band Rascal Flatts managed to dominate the chart a third week in a row, selling another 143,000 copies of their latest album, Me and My Gang, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Otherwise there was little change to the Top Ten melting pot -- running the gamut of hip-hop, tween tunes, pop radio hits and singer-songwriter debuts -- with most of last week's charting artists shuffling positions.
Moving one spot to Number Two (130,000) was the twenty-first installment of the blockbuster hits compilation, Now That's What I Call Music!, with singles by Mariah Carey, All-American Rejects, Rihanna and Chris Brown. Following at Number Three (116,000) is the runaway tween hit, the soundtrack to the Disney Channel movie, High School Musical.
But country continues to be the cool kid in the Top Ten popularity contest, with some of the genre's top artists still rounding out the list. Toby Keith's White Trash With Money slid just two places to Number Four (109,000), and Tim McGraw's Greatest Hits, Volume 2 climbed one spot to Number Six (59,000).
T.I. is closing in on some serious bling. King, the Atlanta rapper's fourth studio album, held tight to Number Five (86,000) for the second week, just shy of giving the budding actor (see his big-screen debut, ATL) platinum credit. But one should never underestimate the power of the sensitive singer-songwriter: James Blunt's Back to Bedlam refused to leave the Top Ten, selling another 54,000 CDs to move the British crooner up three spots to Seven. And piano rocker Daniel Powter's self-titled debut held fast to Number Nine (47,000) in its second week out.
Veteran rapper LL Cool J's eleventh album, Todd Smith (after his birth name), couldn't hold onto the Top Ten in its second week, dropping five places to Number Eleven (42,000). But Latin bombshell Shakira belly-danced her way back into the mix, up four spots to Number Eight (52,000).
A solid indie debut was made by cabaret rock act the Dresden Dolls, who made their first-ever chart dent with their sophomore release, Yes, Virginia (Number Forty-Two, 19,000). And Southern rockers Drive-By Truckers saw their latest, A Blessing and a Curse, earn their highest chart position yet, selling 17,000 copies to land at Number Fifty.
Next week look out for Bruce Springsteen's new album, We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions, a critically lauded collection of American odes inspired by legendary folk artist Pete Seeger. Also expect some action from the Goo Goo Dolls' Let Love In -- the adult contemporary band's last album, 2002's Gutterflower, hit Number Four.
This week's Top Ten: Rascal Flatts' Me and My Gang; Now That's What I Call Music! 21; High School Musical: The Original Soundtrack; Toby Keith's White Trash With Money; T.I.'s King; Tim McGraw's Greatest Hits, Vol. 2; James Blunt's Back to Bedlam; Shakira's Oral Fixation, Vol.2; Daniel Powter's Daniel Powter; Pink's I'm Not Dead.