Matchbox Twenty returns with chart-topper

'North' is first No. 1 album for the '90s rock vets

Veteran rock unit Matchbox Twenty scored its first No. 1 album last week with “North,” its first new release in a decade.

Leading a field that boasted no titles selling in six figures, the band’s Atlantic release entered at the top with first-week sales of 95,000, according to Nielsen SoundScan data for the week ended Sept. 9.

Fronted by Rob Thomas, the Florida combo is a top-selling ’90s act that never managed to reach the apex. Its last studio set, 2002’s “More Than You Think You Are,” peaked at No. 6. Band’s first two sets reached the top five in 1996 and 2000. Its last release, the 2007 hits comp “Exile On Mainstream,” topped out at No. 3.

Vegas indie rockers Imagine Dragons’ Interscope debut album “Night Visions” climbed aboard at No. 2, shifting 83,000 copies behind wide online discounting. Full-length set followed an Interscope EP earlier this year and several self-released titles.

Christian hip-hopper Lecrae (né Lecrae Moore) landed his first top-10 set with his sixth studio set “Gravity” (Reach), which arrived at No. 3 with 72,000 sold. He saw a previous personal best with last year’s “Rehab: The Overdose,” which reached No. 15.

It’s been the season for Christian rap: Last week’s No. 1 debut, former DC Talk member TobyMac’s “Eye On It,” downshifts to No. 8 this week with a 26,000-unit frame (off 63%).

Week’s other major bow was Cat Power’s ninth album “Sun” (Matador), which entered at a career-best No. 10, tracking 23,000 units. The singer-songwriter also known as Chan Marshall scored her previous high-water mark with the 2008 collection of covers “Jukebox,” which peaked at No. 12.

The stanza’s top 10 was rounded out by the “Now 43” comp (No. 4, 35,000 sold, off 14%), Carrie Underwood’s resurgent “Blown Away” (No. 5, 29,000, up 7%), Maroon 5’s “Overexposed” (No. 6, just 200 units behind Underwood, off 5%), 2 Chainz’s “Based on a T.R.U. Story” (No. 7, 26,000, down 14%) and Trey Songz’s “Chapter V” (No. 9, 24,000, down 43%).

Next week, the Dave Matthews Band and Bob Dylan — who have respectively logged five and two No. 1 studio albums in a row — will face off against each other for the top of the chart.

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