'HSM2' still in session at top of chart
EmptyNEW YORK -- Even with a 40% decline in sales, the soundtrack to Disney's "High School Musical 2" remains atop the Billboard 200 for a second week. The set moved 367,000 copies in the U.S., according to Nielsen SoundScan. The sales decrease is the smallest second-week slump for an album that started with 500,000 or more since Kenny Chesney's "When the Sun Goes Down" declined by only 36% in February 2004.
Talib Kweli earns his first top 10 album with "Ear Drum," which bows at No. 2 with 60,000. The Blacksmith Music/Warner Bros. effort also provides the rapper with his best sales and charting week yet.
Miley Cyrus' Disney double-disc set "Hannah Montana 2 (Soundtrack)/Meet Miley Cyrus" slips from second to third place with 58,000, a 30% drop in sales. Another soundtrack, New Line's "Hairspray," climbs from No. 5 to No. 4 despite a 17% sales hit with 53,000, while the "Now 25" hits compilation flip-flops with it, from fourth to fifth, with 52,000 (a decline of 20%). Fueled by the popularity of the current single "Big Girls Don't Cry," Fergie's "The Dutchess" (will.i.am/A&M/Interscope) continues its rebound from No. 7 to No. 6 with 50,000 (a 5% decline).
He's helmed hits for artists like Beyonce, T.I. and Jay-Z, but now producer Swizz Beatz earns his own album chart ink with his debut set,"One Man Band Man" at No. 7. The Full Surface/Universal Motown album moved 45,000 copies, enough to also send it to the summit of the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums tally.
San Diego rock act As I Lay Dying easily scores its best debut with "An Ocean Between Us," which opens at No. 8 on the Billboard 200 and No. 1 on Top Rock Albums with 39,000. The Metal Blade act previously topped out at No. 35 with 2005's "Shadows Are Security."
Nickelback's Roadrunner set "All the Right Reasons" re-enters the top tier from No. 13 to No. 9 with 39,000 (up 4%), while UGK's "Underground Kingz" (Jive) slips from sixth to 10th with 35,000 (down 42%).
Eclectic Interscope artist M.I.A. arrives at No. 18 with her sophomore album, "Kala," which moved 29,000. It's the follow-up to 2005's "Arular," which reached No. 3 on the Top Electronic Albums chart and No. 14 on Heatseekers.
Other big debuts this week include Cartel's self-titled Epic album, which was written, recorded and produced inside of a bubble for MTV reality show "Band in a Bubble." The album bows at No. 20 with 28,000. Also new: Rilo Kiley's "Under the Blacklight" (Warner Bros., No. 22, 27,000), Universal South artist Joe Nichols' "Real Things" (No. 23, 26,000), country veteran Travis Tritt's "The Storm" (Category 5, No. 28, 23,000) and indie rock act the New Pornographers' best charting effort yet, "Challengers" (Matador, No. 34, 20,000).
Album sales this week are down 4.9% compared with last week's sum at 8.05 million units and down 15.6% from same week last year.