For the past two months, a cluster of four or five albums have been playing musical chairs with the top spots on the charts. OutKast reclaimed the Number One slot this week, selling 97,000 copies of Speakerboxxx/The Love Below, according to SoundScan.
The annual winter lull has set in, and sales are looking for a jump start. Sheryl Crow’s The Best of Sheryl Crow was a distant second with sales of 73,000. Alicia Keys’ The Diary of Alicia Keys, Toby Keith’s Shock N Y’all and last week’s chart-topper Josh Groban’s Closer round out the Top Five with sales of 69,000, 66,000 and 65,700, respectively.
Again, a dearth of new releases has kept buyers out of stores. The wrestling compilation WWE Originals was the week’s highest debut at Number Twelve with sales of 48,000. Keith Sweat’s The Best of Keith Sweat (Number Thirty-one, 29,000 copies sold) and Crystal Method’s Legion of Boom (Number Thirty-six, 25,000) were the other Top Fifty debuts.
The only drama next week’s chart seems to offer is the continuation of the Number One scramble. Crow, Keys, Keith, Groban, Ruben Studdard, Evanescence and the latest Now That’s What I Call Music! set are all moving sufficient numbers to make a run at Number One, though OutKast’s figure this week makes it the favorite. This week’s releases don’t look to provide much help, as U.K. rapper Dizzie Rascal has generated plenty of buzz, but not on the level of America’s own, established hip-hop talent. Ani DiFranco’s Educated Guess will be worth watching, however. With sales so low, her faithful fans could push her latest into a Top Twenty debut, remarkable given her defiant independence.
This week’s Top Ten: OutKast’s Speakerboxxx/The Love Below; Sheryl Crow’s The Best of Sheryl Crow; Alicia Keys’ The Diary of Alicia Keys; Toby Keith’s Shock N Y’all; Josh Groban’s Closer; Now That’s What I Call Music! 14; No Doubt’s Singles 1992-2003; Ruben Studdard’s Soulful; Evanescence’s Fallen; Jay-Z’s The Black Album.