Apparently the wait was worth it. After several delays, Usher's Raymond v. Raymond finally made it into stores last week, paving the way for a #1 debut on the Billboard 200 albums chart. The disc, which sold more than 329,000 copies, is the R&B singer's third #1 debut in a row, and it knocks last week's top dog, protégé Justin Bieber's My World 2.0, down a notch to #2. The Bieb has nothing to worry about, though, since, according to figures provided by Nielsen SoundScan, his second album in four months sold another 291,000 copies, putting him near the 600,000 mark in just two weeks.
The relentless hype over her slow striptease in the "Window Seat" video clearly helped soul sister Erykah Badu, as her New Amerykah Part Two: Return of the Ankh debuts at #4 on sales of 110,000. The only other debut in the top 10 is from country star Alan Jackson, whose Freight Train bows at #7 (72,000).
The rest of the top 10: Now 33 (#3, 123,000), Lady Antebellum, Need You Now (#5, 87,000); Monica, Still Standing (#6, 81,000); Justin Bieber, My World (#8, 63,000), Lady Gaga, The Fame (#9, 50,000); and Black Eyed Peas, The E.N.D. (Energy Never Dies) (#10, 43,000).
Wu-Tang compatriots Method Man, Raekwon and Ghostface Killah debut at #12 with their Wu-Massacre album (38,000), while Canadian popsters Barenaked Ladies pop in at #23 with All in Good Time (23,000), their first album without singer/guitarist Steven Page, who left the group last year after an arrest on cocaine possession charges. Veteran rapper E-40 lands two albums in the top 50, with Revenue Retrievin': Day Shift debuting at #47 (12,000) and the companion piece, Revenue
Retrievin': Night Shift, just behind at #49 (12,000).
It was a short trip to the top for indie duo She & Him, whose second album of bubblegum pop, Vol. 2, drops 22 spots to #28 in week two on sales of 19,000.
Things should be relatively quiet next week, as the only major releases are the first solo album from former Guns N' Roses guitarist Slash and a live Madonna CD/DVD.