Rap superproducer Kanye West continued to fare well with his recording debut, College Dropout, which sold 196,000 at Number Two, pushing him past 600,000 albums sold. One of last year's biggest sellers, Evanescence, still hasn't spent a week at Number One, but their Fallen refuses to go away. The record climbed back up to Number Three behind sales of 127,000, which with the right set of circumstances could become a chart-topper yet.
And while those records posted strong sales, numbers across the board cooled from last week's record-setting, Valentine's Day-frenzied movement. Total sales in the Top 200 dropped from 8.1 million to 4.9 million, in no small part due to a dearth of big-selling new releases like Jones and West offered on last week's chart. Eamon proved that singles can still be an effective means of hyping an album in advance. His buzzy hit "F**k It" has been on top of the singles chart for weeks and garnering plenty of radio play, priming listeners for his record I Don't Want You Back which debuted at Number Seven with sales of 106,000. The Indigo Girls registered the week's next highest debut, selling 34,000 copies of All That We Let In at Number Thirty-five.
Singles have also helped push a few older albums back from the nether regions of the charts. Art rockers the Yeah Yeah Yeah's Fever to Tell climbed to Number Ninety-three behind "Maps," while R&B singer Joss Stone's gender-flipped cover of the White Stripes' "Fell In Love With a Girl" has helped push Soul Sessions from Number 146 two weeks ago to Number Seventy-one.
Next week there shouldn't be much shaking. 'N Sync's JC Chasez was Tuesday's biggest release and should make a strong debut, while Norah, Kanye and Evanescence continue to scrabble towards the top.
This week's Top Ten: Norah Jones' Feels Like Home; Kanye West's College Drop Out; Evanescence's Fallen; OutKast's Speakerboxxx/The Love Below; Kenny Chesney's When the Sun Goes Down; Josh Groban's Closer; Eamon's I Don't Want You Back; Twista's Kamikaze; Sheryl Crow's The Very Best of Sheryl Crow; and Incubus' A Crow Left of the Murder.