'HSM 2' starts third week at No. 1


NEW YORK -- For a third week in a row, Disney's "High School Musical 2" soundtrack is No. 1 on the Billboard 200, the first album to do so since Rascal Flatts' "Me and My Gang" in early 2006. "HSM 2" sold 210,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan, a 43% decline over last week. The album has already shifted more than 1.19 million units since its release.

There are four debuts in the top 10 this week, led by Christian act Casting Crowns' "The Altar and the Door" (Reunion) at a career-best No. 2. The album sold 129,000 copies, also a new record for the group. "Altar" is the group's third studio album and easily surpasses its previous chart high -- No. 8 with "Lifesong" (71,000) in 2005.

Yung Joc's "Hustlenomics" lands at No. 3 on The Billboard 200 and No. 1 on Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums after selling 69,000 copies. The Bad Boy set matches the Billboard 200 debut position of his first album, 2006's "New Joc City."

Miley Cyrus' Disney double-disc set "Hannah Montana 2 (Soundtrack)/Meet Miley Cyrus" falls 3-4 in its 10th chart week, despite a miniscule sales increase to 58,000. Fergie's "The Dutchess" (Interscope) rebounds 6-5 with a 400-copy increase to 51,000, while New Line's "Hairspray" soundtrack descends 4-6 on a 16% sales slide to 45,000. The "NOW 25" compilation is down 5-7 after a 16% sales dropoff to 44,000.

New at No. 8 is Atreyu's first Hollywood album, "Lead Sails Paper Anchor," which opens at a career-high No. 8 with 43,000. The band's last studio set, 2006's "A Death-Grip on Yesterday,"bowed at No. 9 with 67,000. Right behind, Ben Harper scores his second top 10 album as "Lifeline" (Virgin) starts at No. 9 with 41,000. 2006's "Both Sides of the Gun" debuted at No. 7 with 59,000.

Also new this week are Lyle Lovett's "It's Not Big It's Large" at No. 18 (Lost Highway, 25,000), Kottonmouth Kings' "Cloud Nine" at No. 44 (Suburban Noize, 14,000) and rapper Aesop Rock's "None Shall Pass" at No. 50 (Definitive Jux, 13,000).

Meanwhile, Akon's "Konvicted" (SRC/Universal) soars 64-23 this week thanks to the release of an expanded edition of the album with several new songs. Sales jumped 112% to more than 22,000 copies in the album's 42nd chart week.

Album sales this week are down 4.9% compared to last week's sum at 7.65 million units and down 18.6% from same week last year.