When one of the hottest producers in the land releases an album featuring an all-star cast of collaborators like Justin Timberlake, 50 Cent, Fall Out Boy and Nelly Furtado, you'd expect that LP to have a fighting chance for a #1 debut on Billboard's albums chart. And last week, had you asked music-industry insiders where they figured Timbaland's latest, Timbaland Presents Shock Value, would open, odds are they'd have told you the chart's peak position was well within Timbaland's reach.
While Shock Value did sell more than 138,300 copies during its first week, it simply wasn't enough for a first-place finish. Instead, Timbaland's disc occupies the chart's #5 slot, behind the latest releases from tween queen Hilary Duff and contemporary country singer Martina McBride. But none of them could contend with the 24th installment of the long-running Now That's What I Call Music! compilation series, which claims this week's crown with more than 213,000 scans.
The set, featuring tracks from the likes of Fergie, Furtado, Ciara, Beyoncé, Nickelback and Daughtry, settled for the chart's #2 slot last week, behind country star Tim McGraw's Let It Go. This week, though, the two albums traded places, with McGraw's latest moving 176,600 units during its second week, according to the latest SoundScan totals.
Following at #3 is Duff's Dignity, which scanned more than 143,300 units during its first week, making for the weakest studio-LP debut of the pop star's career. Metamorphosis (2003) sold 203,700 units, opening at #2, while 2004's self-titled effort sold close to 191,900 copies, with the same chart position. Duff's 2005 Most Wanted collection opened at #1, selling to the tune of 207,600. Meanwhile, McBride's Waking Up Laughing bows at #4, having sold more than 138,600 copies.
Surging ahead 63 positions to #6 this week is Beyoncé's B'Day, thanks to 126,000 scans; sales increased by 903 percent, chiefly because a deluxe edition of the 2006 album was released last week, with unreleased tracks and updated renditions of three songs, sung in Spanish. The self-titled debut offering from "American Idol" season-five finalist Chris Daughtry's rock outfit slips one spot to #7 with 98,500 copies sold, followed at #8 by rapper Paul Wall's latest, Get Money, Stay True, which sold more than 92,300 units during its first week on shelves. Akon's Konvicted clings to the top 10 at #9, selling 74,600 copies, while A Hundred Miles or More: A Collection, the retrospective offering from country artist Alison Krauss, rounds things out at #10 with 72,700 scans.
Altogether 27 new releases debut on next week's top 200, including Chi-Town rockers Chevelle's Vena Sera, which sold 61,900 copies to open at #12. Kings of Leon resurface at #25, thanks to sales of 41,900 for their newest, Because of the Times, while the Academy Is ... follow at #32, selling 33,100 copies of their latest, Santi. Static-X's Cannibal claims the chart's #36 slot, scanning 30,400 units, while the debut disc from Underoath offshoot the Almost, Southern Weather, bows at #39 with 29,100 sold.
The major-label debut from New England metallers Shadows Fall, Threads of Life, sold close to 24,300 copies during its initial week, which was good enough to finish in the chart's top 50 — the disc sits in the #46 spot. Black Sabbath's The Dio Years collection follows at #54 with sales reported at 20,600, and popping up at #76 is The Story, the new one from singer/songwriter Brandi Carlile, which generated 14,700-plus scans.
Anthony Hamilton's Southern Comfort follows at #90 with 12,500 scans, and Fountains of Wayne return to the top 200 this week at #97, with their Traffic and Weather selling 11,500 copies. Poison the Well's Versions claims the #147 slot with sales of 7,700 and then some, while Ozomatli's Don't Mess With the Dragon trails at #154 with 7,500 copies sold. The Chariot's The Fiancée opens at #169 with 6,800 sold, while Sick Puppies' Dressed Up as Life bows at #181 with 6,200 units scanned.