The Big News: Call it the lull before the storm -- in the week before Kanye, 50 Cent and country star Kenny Chesney released their blockbuster records, sales for the top fifty albums were as slow as they've ever been. The soundtrack to High School Musical 2 stayed on top for a fourth week -- the first album to reign for that long since 50's The Massacre in 2005 -- moving 164,690 units. The slow week helped Fergie jump from number five to number two, despite dropping 4 percent in sales, to 48,590, and the Hannah Montana 2 soundtrack jumped from four to three despite slumping 20 percent to 46,976.
Debuts: Michigan hardcore band Chiodos entered at number five, selling 38,696 albums. The next new record doesn't come until number forty-one, where metal quartet Every Time I Die landed. At number forty-eight, Christian act Israel & New Breed sold 11,703, and global fusion star Manu Chao debuted at seventy-one. Expect considerably bigger action in this space next week.
Last Week's Sales Heroes?: Devotion act Casting Crowns dropped from number two to four in its second week of release. Atlanta rapper Yung Joc took a bigger slide, from three to eleven. Atreyu dropped even further, from eight to twenty-nine, and Ben Harper sank from number nine to twenty-four. The Hairspray soundtrack, Now! 25, and, of course, Nickelback, remain top-ten fixtures.