While it's no great surprise that Now That's What I Call Music! 7 and 'N Sync's Celebrity spent another week at Numbers One and Two on the charts, with sales of 394,483 and 243,624, respectively, according to SoundScan, the top of the charts weren't void of surprises. For starters, Usher's 8701, his first album of new material since 1997's My Way, mustered sales of 210,902 in its debut week -- hardly shabby, but with his single, "U Remind Me," running well, the factors seemed to suggest that Usher would be a contender for the top spot.
Meanwhile, the Isley Brothers, who formed a full quarter-century before Usher was born, busted into the charts at Number Three with Eternal, whooping the young R&B crooner by scanning 225,419 copies of what is only their third album of new material in the past decade. With a closer look, the Isleys' success isn't a complete surprise. As music sales continue to sag, R&B has shown little sign of fatigue: With Alicia Keys' Songs in A Minor still hovering around 200,000 units sold per week, the genre has past and present showing chart prowess, and the Isleys secured an audience for Eternal by getting next-generation soul artists like Raphael Saadiq, Jill Scott and R. Kelly to appear on the album.
Ruff Ryders rapper Jadakiss also fared well with his solo debut, Kiss the Game Goodbye, which cleared 200,000 units in its first week, and pop prince Aaron Carter's second release, Oh Aaron debuted at Number Seven.
As for next week's chart? Well, yesterday's new releases do little to suggest much change, as Ozzfest 2001: The Second Millennium stands as the week's biggest release.
This week's Top Ten: Now That's What I Call Music! 7 (394,483 copies sold); 'N Sync's Celebrity (243,624); Isley Brothers' Eternal (225,419); Usher's 8701 (210,902); Jadakiss' Kiss Tha Game Goodbye (203,751); Alicia Keys' Songs in A Minor (191,200); Aaron Carter's Oh Aaron (132,534); Staind's Break the Cycle (105,060); Linkin Park's Hybrid Theory (93,183); and D12's Devil's Night (89,854).