The Big News: Josh Groban's Noel is the biggest thing to hit Christmas since Santa's tubby ass and Tickle Me Elmo. The album once again dominated the charts, selling another 669,161 copies for its fourth straight Number One finish. Alicia Keys' As I Am held off the Eagles' Long Road Out of Eden to keep the number two spot for a second consecutive week -- and Keys sold 292,273 copies to near, and the Eagles sold 241,104 copies to pass, double-platinum status. It looks like Black Friday came late this year, or panicked last-minute gift shoppers are resorting to purchasing CDs, because all thirty of the week's top sellers experienced an increase in sales over the previous week, with only three of the top fifty experiencing sales slides. That means you, Blake Lewis, whose Audio Day Dream fell below Jordin Sparks on its second week on the charts.
Debuts: Like last week, and the week prior, hip-hop albums made up the majority of noteworthy debuts. Leading the way was Omarion & Bow Wow's collabo Face Off, which landed at eleven. Birdman's 5 Stunna took eighteen with 85,631 copies, the Dream's LoveHate came in at thirty and Beanie Sigel's Solution entered at thirty-seven. At twenty-five, the Wu-Tang Clan's 8 Diagrams sold 68,478 discs, besting Ghostface Killah's Big Doe Rehab debut the week before. Breaking artist Gucci Mane debuted strongly at fifty-seven with Back to the Traphouse.
Last Week's Heroes: Keeping with the trend, last week's top ten changed minimally, with Mannheim Streamroller reclaiming the top ten spot they lost to Blake Lewis last week. Lewis tumbled from ten to thirty-two. The top four remained exactly the same, with Groban, Keys, Eagles and Now! 26 refusing to budge. In next week's column, we predict we'll be writing about how this week's release of new Mary J. Blige, Rivers Cuomo and Lupe Fiasco albums all failed to dethrone King Groban.
UPDATE 12/21: To no one's surprise, Groban's Noel has become the year's top-selling new release, surpassing High School Musical 2 in sales.