Without much competition from new releases, Outkast will maintain their grip on the #1 spot on the Billboard albums chart for the second straight week.
Speakerboxxx/ The Love Below sold more than 86,000 copies last week to hold its position at the top, according to SoundScan. The duo have been the kings of the mountain a total of six times, a feat helped by the fact that the first few weeks of 2004 saw relatively few new releases.
Dre and Big Boi’s next challenge will be to keep their place next week, when they’re faced with Twista’s Kamikaze and the second solo effort from Destiny’s Child’s Michelle Williams.
The compilation 2004 Grammy Nominees is the only new album to crack the top 30. Having sold more than 67,000 copies, the 21-track LP, featuring golden-gramophone-worthy contributions from Beyoncé and Jay-Z (“Crazy in Love”), Eminem (“Lose Yourself”), Evanescence (“Going Under”) and Justin Timberlake (“Cry Me a River”), will come in at #4.
The Very Best of Sheryl Crow will stay at #2 for the second consecutive week thanks to an 11 percent increase in weekly sales, bringing its seven-day total to 81,000. Evanescence’s Fallen also benefited from an 11 percent rise. The group’s debut album will jump up six places to #3, with a weekly draw of more than 69,000 copies.
“Toxic” seems to be anything but harmful to sales of Britney Spears’ In the Zone. After falling as far as #16 two weeks ago, the album’s second single has propelled it back into the top 10, at #10. Spears’ fourth album sold more than 60,000 copies to climb the one notch it took to re-enter the upper echelon.
Ruben Studdard’s Soulful will move up three spots to #5 (with more than 66,000 copies sold), while Toby Keith’s Shock’n Y’all will move down two pegs to #6 (65,000). With each having sold more than 63,000 copies, fewer than 1,000 copies separate Now That’s What I Call Music! 14, which will slip one place to #7, Josh Groban’s Closer, which will fall three notches to #8, and Alicia Keys’ The Diary of Alicia Keys, which will plunge six places to #9.
Once again, Maroon 5 will charge up the chart with a full head of steam. After moving up 20 spots last week, Songs About Jane will leap up another 14 places to #23 after a 40 percent sales surge. Among the albums that have also made impressive headway are Alan Jackson’s Greatest Hits Volume II, moving from #63 to #27; Jet’s Get Born, which will crack the top 40 for the first time since its release 16 weeks ago; and the Ying Yang Twins’ Me & My Brother, thanks in part to their Britney buzz (“(I Got That) Boom Boom”) and their latest single, “Salt Shaker.”
Staunch DIY artist Ani DiFranco has the only other notable debut on next week’s chart. Her latest album, Educated Guess, will come in at #37.