[artist id="1933910"]Carrie Underwood[/artist] will score her second #1 debut in a row next week, when her third album, [article id="1625358"]Play On,[/article] tops the Billboard 200 chart, thanks to sales of 318,000. While the strong debut was cause for celebration, sales were more than 200,000 below the first week bid for the former "American Idol" champ's smash 2007 Carnival Ride disc, which moved more than 527,000 in its first week.
Regardless, the numbers were more than enough to beat out the #2 album, the soundtrack to "Michael Jackson's This Is It," which will slip from the top perch in its second week thanks to a nearly 50 percent dip to 196,000, according to figures provided by Nielsen SoundScan. But the double disc of mostly previously released material from the late pop star has easily crossed the half-million mark in two weeks and is likely to have strong sales thanks to the extension of the theatrical run of the documentary.
The top 10 will get some other fresh blood, including a #3 bow for tenor Andrea Bocelli's My Christmas (149,000) and a #4 debut for the [article id="1625718"]soundtrack to the hit choir competition show "Glee,"[/article] which moved more than 113,000 copies after dominating the iTunes singles download charts for weeks. Also dropping in are the latest in the hits series Now That's What I Call Music, Vol. 32 at #5 (102,000) and [article id="1622477"]Weezer's Raditude,[/article] which lands at #7 (66,000).
The rest of the top 10: Taylor Swift's Fearless (#6, 70,000), Michael Bublé's Crazy Love (#8, 59,000), Sting's If on a Winter's Night (#9, 59,000) and the "New Moon" soundtrack (#10, 52,000).
Just outside the top tier, the [article id="1625346"]Foo Fighters hit #11 with their first greatest-hits compilation[/article] (44,000), followed by metal stalwarts Slayer with the cheerily titled World Painted Blood (#12, 41,000). The news was not great for reunited rockers Creed, whose first album in eight years, Full Circle, drops 12 spots to #14 in week two, after sales plummeted 65 percent to 39,000. Jay-Z's The Blueprint 3 has fallen out of the top 10 for the first time since its debut two months ago, dropping to #15 (38,000).
Strokes frontman Julian Casablancas had a decent debut week for his first solo effort, Phrazes for the Young, which comes in at #35 (14,000), two spots ahead of the Live at Reading disc from '90s grunge icons Nirvana (#37, 14,000). After multiple delays, former R&B It Girl Amerie lands softly at #46 with In Love & War (13,000), which puts her just ahead of singer Ryan Leslie, whose Transition musters a #50 bow on sales of 12,000. The second album from Southern California beach-rap bum Shwayze, Let It Beat, drops in at #55 (11,000).
A number of anticipated releases appear to be hitting the skids, including the second album from Black Sabbath-loving [article id="1617385"]Aussies Wolfmother, Cosmic Egg[/article] (#62, down 46 spots and 64 percent to 10,000); once-dominant radio titans Train, whose Save Me San Francisco slides more than 50 spots in week two to #70 on sales of 9,000; and R&B crooner Brian McKnight, whose Evolution of a Man nosedives 60-plus spots to #84 in its second week (down 69 percent to 8,000).
Look for debuts next week from Bon Jovi and Britney Spears' greatest-hits album, as well as discs by Flyleaf, a live CD/DVD from the Killers and the latest from Dashboard Confessional.