The queen of hip-hop soul, Mary J. Blige, will cause the biggest stir at the top of next week's Billboard 200 albums chart, which remains relatively stagnant save for the 18-spot leap to #10 by her No More Drama. The LP, Blige's fifth studio effort, sold more than 61,000 copies last week, according to SoundScan figures released Wednesday (February 6).
No More Drama's sales spike, more than double the total of the week before, can be attributed to its January 29 reissue, which features the single "Rainy Dayz," a collaboration with Ja Rule; a new song, "He Don't Think I Know"; and remixes of "Dance for Me," featuring Common, and the title track by P. Diddy, the pair's first collaboration since Blige's 1994 album, My Life (see "Mary J. Blige Plans Even More No More Drama"). The original version of No More Drama was released August 28.
Alan Jackson will remain in next week's pole position for the third consecutive week with Drive, which sold more than 188,000 copies, followed by Creed's three-week lock on #2 with Weathered (108,000), and Linkin Park's Hybrid Theory at #3 (90,000), a slot the rap-metal quintet has held for the past four weeks. With last week's tally tacked to its total, Hybrid Theory has sold more than 6 million copies since its release in October 2000.
Ludacris continues to improve at the cash register, moving about 5,000 more copies of Word of Mouf last week than the week before. Despite the retail surge, a top-10 phenomenon that only Blige can share with the Atlanta rapper, Word of Mouf will remain in the #4 slot.
Besides No More Drama, all the other albums in the top 10 will retain their present position on next week's chart: Nickelback's Silver Side Up at #5; Ja Rule's Pain Is Love at #6; Nas' Stillmatic at #7; Usher's 8701 at #8; and Pink's Missundaztood at #9.
More than five weeks past Christmas, notable debut albums are beginning to return to the top chart slots, and next week will find two landing in the top 20. The soundtrack to "State Property," a film starring Beanie Sigel, who is part of the State Property musical collective along with Freeway, the Young Guns and Oschino & Sparks, will land at #14, with more than 51,000 copies sold. It's followed by the 42-track collection Essential Barbra Streisand at #15 (51,000).
Other notable debuts will include dance music duo the Chemical Brothers' Come With Us at #32; progressive metalheads Dream Theater's two-disc Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence at #46; Denials, Delusions and Decisions, the debut by onetime Jay-Z backing vocalist Jaguar Wright, at #56; SoCal skatepunks Unwritten Law's first album in four years, Elva, at #73; and Hank Williams III's Lovesick, Broke & Driftin' at #156.
Puddle of Mudd's Come Clean is the third of the three top 20 albums to experience a rise in sales, and will advance four places on next week's chart to #13 with more than 54,000 in sales. Its weekly total has grown for the second week thanks to the album's second single, "Blurry." While the band's debut will make strides ahead, Enya's A Day Without Rain, down seven spots to #18, and Now That's What I Call Music Vol. 8, which takes a six-spot plunge to #19, seem on their way out of the upper bracket where they've resided since November. Meanwhile, No Doubt's Rock Steady appears to be on shaky ground at #20, slipping six places and losing more than 7,000 in sales.
Rounding out the top 20 will be the "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" soundtrack at #11; Alicia Keys' Songs in A Minor retaining its #12 slot; Shakira's Laundry Service at #16; and P.O.D.'s Satellite at #17.
After making a 30-spot jump on this week's chart, following a performance on "Saturday Night Live," the Strokes fall back 25 places to #58, putting them among next week's biggest chart sliders. The New York quintet falls in behind even bigger divers, such as the compilation Totally Hits 2001 and Jaheim's Ghetto Love, each plunging 31 spots to #33 and #52, respectively. The deepest sinker, however, comes courtesy of California punk stalwarts Bad Religion, whose 10th album, The Process of Belief, freefalls to #100, after debuting this week at #49.
The most unusual success in next week's chart is Keke Wyatt's Soul Sista, which will appear at #43 with nearly 25,000 copies sold last week. When the R&B album was released in mid-November, it debuted at #60 but fell to #190 by Christmastime. Then over the holidays, Wyatt allegedly stabbed her husband five times with a steak knife. Ever since, Soul Sista has been steadily rising up the chart, moving to #143, #95, #77, #67, #50 and #43 in the weeks following the alleged incident. The single "Nothing in This World" has been receiving major spins at radio, and the LP has sold more than 250,000 copies.