Musiq Soulchild's debut record, Aijuswanaseing, was one of 2000's quietest successes. Without ever cracking the Top Ten, the album perked along discreetly, and its sales pushed into the millions with nary a boast about doing so. Two years later and Musiq has dropped the "Soulchild," and his second record, Juslisen, into the Number One slot. Juslisen crushed the competition, selling 260,000 copies, according to SoundScan, nearly doubling the 142,000 copies of the Number Two record, Celine Dion's A New Day Has Come. Perhaps more impressive is that Musiq's latest topped another anticipated R&B entry, Lauryn Hill's MTV Unplugged 2.0, which sold 122,000 to debut at Number Three.
Other debuts also faired well. Naughty by Nature returned with some gusto. The hip-hop trio's Iicons jumped in at Number Fifteen with sales of 49,000. And Tom Waits' pair of new albums held their own: Blood Money sold 32,200 copies at Number Thirty-two, edging Alice, which sold 32,000 and landed one slot lower. Coal Chamber's Dark Days was the week's other Top Fifty debut, at Number Thirty-four with sales of 31,000.
Norah Jones took the week's most improved award. Her Come Away With Me is living up to it's can't-miss label, zipping from Number Thirty-seven last week to Number Seventeen this week, riding a 14,000 copy sales spike to 45,000. There were other signs of life on the charts. Josh Groban's Josh Groban (Number Ten, 75,000 copies sold), O Brother, Where Art Thou? (66,000), Pink's Missundaztood (Number Twelve, 60,000), Shakira's Laundry Service (Number Fourteen, 58,000), Alan Jackson's Drive (Number Sixteen, 49,000), and No Doubt's Rock Steady (Number Twenty-three, 39,000) all enjoyed sales increases from last week. And were one to think that the Behind the Music propellant has lost some of its muscle, Foreigner's Complete Greatest Hits zipped in out of nowhere to Number Eighty with sales of 15,000.
Next week looks to be an interesting logjam up top. Moby's 18 will be feeding fans hungry since Play's release three years ago, while Weezer's Maladroit finds the band more popular than ever and striking quickly after the surprise success of last year's self-titled effort.
This week's Top Ten: Musiq's Juslisen; Celine Dion's New Day Has Come; Lauryn Hill's MTV Unplugged 2.0; Ashanti's Ashanti; Kenny Chesney's No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems; Spider-Man; Sheryl Crow's C'mon, C'mon; Big Tymers' Hood Rich; Now That's What I Call Music! 9; and Josh Groban's Josh Groban.