John Mayer wasn't kidding when he named his new album Heavier Things. The singer/songwriter's second LP will outweigh all others on next week's Billboard albums chart.
With the force of the single "Bigger Than My Body" behind him, the troubadour moved more than 316,000 copies of the album last week, according to SoundScan, to best the closest competition, Hilary Duff, by more than 200,000 copies.
Prior to the album's release, Mayer wasn't sure how the album would be received, though at least it passed muster with his toughest critic, himself.
"There are no punches that are pulled on this record," he said. "So I don't know if it's a one-star record, I don't know if it's a five-star record. I don't know if on [the day the album comes out] I should have the car running and be ready to drive up to Canada, find a little cabin and just give it up. But what I do know is that at every turn of this record, I felt like I was doing something right."
Comparatively, Mayer's last album, Room for Squares, took roughly nine months to even crack the top 200. And then it went on to sell more than 3 million copies, so Heavier Things has its work cut out for it.
Former king of the mountain Duff's Metamorphosis sold 107,000 copies to retain high placement three weeks after its release.
Seal's first album in five years, Seal IV, will make a strong first-week showing, landing at #3. After such a lengthy drought, "Get It Together" must have helped the fanbase of the former Sealhenry Samuel to keep it together to the tune of more than 81,000 copies sold.
Mary J. Blige's Love & Life moving from #2 to #8 (59,000) is the largest variation in the top 10. In its third week out, weekly sales of Blige's sixth album dropped by nearly 50,000 copies.
With the exception of the two debuts, every other album in the top 10 also took a significant dip in weekly sales. Alan Jackson's Greatest Hits Vol. 2 moves a spot lower to #4 (more than 79,000 copies sold); Beyoncé's Dangerously in Love does the same to #5 (74,000); The Neptunes Present ... Clones holds at #6 (60,000) and cracks the half-million mark in total sales; Evanescence's Fallen, among the chart's most stubborn after 28 weeks among the best-sellers, drops two spots to #7 (60,000); Chingy's Jackpot descends by two steps to #9 (58,000); and the "Bad Boys II" soundtrack slips a notch to #10 (53,000).
Last week's deaths of two greats, Warren Zevon and Johnny Cash, renewed awareness in both artists, which translated to a boost in their album sales. Zevon's 3-week-old The Wind will move up 28 spots to #12 with an almost 25,000-copy increase in weekly sales. Further down the chart, Genius: The Best of Warren Zevon re-enters the top 200 at #168, 10 months after its release.
Since Cash passed on Friday, only three days of shopping helped his latest album, American IV: The Man Comes Around, jump from #94 to #22, goosed by a 24,000-copy increase. A reissue of The Essential Johnny Cash also resurfaced at #130, with more than 8,300 in sales last week.
Thanks to a single featuring the Clipse, "Quarterbackin'," Bay Area veteran E-40 takes over the #16 spot with his eighth album, Breakin News. Heavy metal icons Iron Maiden's latest LP, and second since the return of singer Bruce Dickinson, Dance of Death, debuts with a #18 placement.
Other notable debuts on next week's chart include the soundtrack to "The Fighting Temptations," featuring contributions from the film's star, Beyoncé, at #39; skate punks Pennywise's From the Ashes at #54; mostly bearded Texas rockers ZZ Top's Mescalero at #57; spastic party animal Andrew W.K.'s The Wolf at #61; metal-tinged screamers From Autumn to Ashes' Fiction We Live at #73; metalheads Spineshank's Self-Destructive Pattern at #89; and Southern sad sacks My Morning Jacket's It Still Moves at #121.