With two consecutive #1 albums, it's safe to say Staind are no longer on the outside looking in.
The band's fourth album, 14 Shades of Grey, will take the pole position on next week's Billboard albums chart, having sold more than 220,000 copies its first week in stores, according to SoundScan. Its predecessor, Break the Cycle, also placed above all others when it was released two years ago, though it sold considerably more copies — about a half million.
Emotionally disturbed frontmen seem all the rage at retail, as the Deftones' eponymous fourth album will come in at #2, with more than 167,000 copies sold. Thanks to nail-biting anticipation that culminated in a distinct and refreshingly fierce single, "Minerva," the Sacramento quintet retained much of its fanbase in the three years since the release of White Pony. Although Deftones placed one spot higher on the chart, White Pony sold about 10,000 more copies in its first week.
Kelly Clarkson, we hardly knew ye. A need to bask in the past might explain why the first-season "American Idol" winner's debut album, Thankful, has been making steady progress on the chart just as the TV program's second idol, Ruben Studdard, was being anointed. Next week, Clarkson's LP will move up four spots to #3 (105,000), after having increased its weekly total by nearly 27,000 copies.
Evanescence's Fallen hasn't yet begun to act like its title. Since its release three months ago, the tumultuous emotional rocker has been a fixture in the top 10 as the first single, "Bring Me to Life," continues its rock radio reign. With more than 1.1 million in total sales, Fallen will retain its hold on the #4 spot by selling more than 103,000 copies, a weekly increase of more than 6,000 copies.
Pimpin' came easy to Southern thug David Banner, whose major-label debut, Mississippi: The Album, will place at #9, with more than 75,000 copies sold. One half of late-'90s duo Crooked Lettaz owes a debt of gratitude to "undaground legend" Lil' Flip, who helped make "Like a Pimp" a hit at rap radio.
The rest of next week's top 10 finds 50 Cent's Get Rich or Die Tryin' finally easing up on the throttle and moving from #2 to #5 (101,000); the soundtrack to "The Matrix Reloaded" dropping a spot to #6 (94,000); Norah Jones' Come Away With Me cracking the 6 million mark at #7 (83,000); the soundtrack to "Lizzie McGuire" holding at #8 (77,000); and The Very Best of Cher slipping a spot to #10 (73,000).
Ricky Martin's Almas Del Silencio, his first Spanish-language studio album since 1998's Vuelve, will land at #12, with more than 65,000 in first-week sales. Country singer Jo Dee Messina's Greatest Hits will place at #14, and the clown prince of parody "Weird Al" Yankovic will proudly wear his Poodle Hat at #17.
With more guests than the Hilton during a Shriners convention, DJ Kay Slay's The Streetsweeper, Vol. 1 will find itself at #22. If the beef farmer and self-professed drama king has a problem with his placement, bet on hearing all about it on his next mixtape.
Two current chart champions will take massive nosedives following their big first-week debuts. Marilyn Manson, whose The Golden Age of Grotesque took the #1 slot, will plummet 20 spots, thanks to a 73,000 dip in weekly sales. Cold's Year of the Spider, meanwhile, will take a chilling 26-spot descent to #29 as weekly sales withered from 101,000 to just 37,000.
Other notable debuts on next week's chart include Powerman 5000's long-awaited and completely redone third album, Transform, at #27; Birds of Pray, Live's follow-up to 2001's V, at #28; horny punks Less Than Jake's Anthem at #45; singer/songwriter semi-supergroup (Shawn Mullins, Matthew Sweet, Pete Droge) the Thorns' self-titled debut at #62; the various-artist collection Punk-O-Rama Vol. 8 at #79; and California pop band Rooney's self-titled LP at #141.