It's not like they drifted very far, but Nelly and Eminem will retake their places at the top of next week's Billboard album chart.
After being temporarily relocated by new releases by Dave Matthews Band, Toby Keith, and most recently, Bruce Springsteen, Nellyville and The Eminem Show will come at #1 and #2, respectively. Both albums have been in or near the top five since their release more than two months ago. Nellyville moved another 183,000 copies last week, while Eminem's take of more than 178,000 puts his third LP above the 5 million mark, according to SoundScan figures released Wednesday.
Last week's top album, The Rising by Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band, which held its ground for two consecutive weeks, will drop to #3 with more than 166,000 sold.
Poetic singer-songwriter James Taylor, 54, proves that sensitive guys can still pack a wallop on the album chart, despite the abundance of whippersnappers like Avril Lavigne, whose Let Go will move up four places to #5, and Linkin Park, whose Reanimation will slip a spot to #8. Taylor's October Road, his first studio album in five years, will take the #4 spot with more than 153,000 copies.
Another veteran not quite as long in the tooth as Taylor, Keith Sweat proved he can still generate some chart heat after 14 years. The Harlem-born R&B crooner's latest, Rebirth, will come in at #14, with more than 57,000 copies sold.
Other new releases will bring up the rear of the chart's Top 20. Bluegrass trio Nickel Creek's second album, This Side, which features a cover of Pavement's "Spit On A Stranger," will land at #18. Snoop Dogg presents … the Doggy Style All Stars: Welcome to Tha House, Vol. 1, featuring contributions from the pimping Long Beach MC himself as well as Lady of Rage, RBX and Soopafly, will come in at #19. And just two months after dropping their mix tape album Dirty District, Slum Village's Trinity (Past, Present and Future), which marks Elzhi replacing founding member MC/producer Jay Dee, will touch down at #20.
The remainder of next week's top 10 albums find Now That's What I Call Music! Volume 10 slipping a spot to #6; Toby Keith's Unleashed doing the same to #7; the soundtrack to the Vin Diesel-powered "XXX" entering the top 10 at #9 from its previously held #11 spot; and Scarface's The Fix falling farthest of any top 10 LP, moving from last week's #4 debut to #10.
While Scarface slipped, Project Pat plummeted. His Layin' the Smack Down took a beating at record stores following its impressive chart debut at #12. The fourth album by the Memphis mouthpiece will dive 14 spots to #26 (34,000) while selling roughly 50 percent fewer copies than it did the week prior.
Thanks to the new single "Goodbye to You," Michelle Branch's The Spirit Room will set foot on higher ground, rising 16 places to #54. After over a year in the running, the singer/songwriter's debut LP has sold more than 1.1 million copies.
Last week's death of singer Dave Williams (see "Drowning Pool's Williams Remembered As One Of Rock's Nicest") must've made many rock fans realize they were missing out on something as Drowning Pool's Sinner re-enters the chart at #141 with twice as many sales than the previous week.
The biggest leap on next week's chart comes courtesy of the King. Amidst the hoopla surrounding the silver anniversary of Elvis Presley's death, his sensitive side was in high demand as last year's 12-track collection The Very Best of Love, featuring "Love Me Tender," "Can't Help Falling in Love," and "Are You Lonesome Tonight?" rockets up 117 places to #81.
Other notable chart debuts include Chi-town rappers Do or Die's Back 2 the Game at #64; Wiretap Scars by Sparta, one of two offshoots of the now-defunct At the Drive-In, at #71; Mary J. Blige's remix album Dance for Me at #76; pop quintet Jump5's All the Time in The World at 86; the soundtrack to the Disney TV series "Lizzie McGuire," featuring songs from Smash Mouth, Jessica Simpson and Mandy Moore, at #126; the original cast recording of the Broadway musical "Hairspray" at #131; the re-release of 8ball's Lay it Down, featuring tracks from the rapper's underground days, at #143; Lifted or the Story Is in the Soil, Keep Your Ear to the Ground, from Omaha emo-kid Conor Oberst's project Bright Eyes, at #161; and the soundtrack to "Blue Crush," featuring contributions from Lenny Kravitz, Nikka Costa and Doves, at #197.