Nickelback hit Number One this week, selling 325,000 copies of their fifth effort, All the Right Reasons, according to Nielsen SoundScan. This is a career high for the Canadian rockers, who came closest to the top spot in 2001, when Silver Side Up bowed at Number Two. In a distant second is veteran Chicago rapper Twista, whose latest The Day After moved 129,000 units for his own career watershed.
Nashville artist Sara Evans has made her crossover with her sixth album, Real Fine Place: While 2003's Restless came in at Number Twenty on the pop chart, her latest bowed at Number Three (126,000). And country bad girl Gretchen Wilson's sophomore album, All Jacked Up, last week's Number One, dropped three spots to Number Four (120,000). Sheryl Crow's fifth studio album, Wildflower, also fell three spots, to Number Five (106,000). Down one place is hip-hop superstar Kanye West's sophomore effort, Late Registration, which has finally dropped out of the Top Five in its sixth week (Number Six, 94,000).
Other big debuts this week come from Fiona Apple, whose much-delayed third album, Extraordinary Machine, sold 94,000 CDs for the crooner's highest chart debut yet, at Number Seven. (1999's When the Pawn . . . peaked at Number Thirteen.) And Glasgow dance rockers Franz Ferdinand took their sophomore effort, You Could Have It So Much Better, to Number Eight (81,000).
Meanwhile, chart mainstay Black Eyed Peas' Monkey Business climbed a spot to Number Nine (80,000). And country crossover queen Faith Hill's seventh album, Fireflies, made a surprise return to the Top Ten (Ten, 79,000) on the strength of "Mississippi Girl," a song written for her by Big and Rich that has been topping the country chart for weeks now.
Other debuts in the Top Twenty include Miami rapper Trina's third album, Glamorest Life, which opened at Number Eleven (77,000). And rocker Melissa Etheridge's Greatest Hits: The Road Less Traveled moved 66,000 CDs to come in at Number Fourteen.
Slipping this week were Dirty South rap posse Three 6 Mafia, whose The Most Known Unknown fell thirteen spots from their Number Three debut to Sixteen (62,000). And dancehall artist Sean Paul's third effort, The Trinity, dropped ten places to Seventeen (61,000). But unhappiest of all is incarcerated rapper Lil' Kim: the pint-sized hip-hop diva's fourth album, The Naked Truth, plunged from Number Six to Twenty-Five (44,000) in just its second week on the chart. So much for a comeback.
Next week, expect Alicia Keys' Unplugged album, featuring special guests from Common to Maroon 5's Adam Levine -- as well as two new songs -- to battle Nickelback.
This week's Top Ten: Nickelback's All the Right Reasons; Twista's The Day After; Sara Evans' Real Fine Place; Gretchen Wilson's All Jacked Up; Sheryl Crow's Wildflower; Kanye West's Late Registration; Fiona Apple's Extraordinary Machine; Franz Ferdinand's You Could Have It So Much Better; Black Eyed Peas' Monkey Business; Faith Hill's Fireflies.