The house of Usher

Disc still tops chart despite sales slippage

Usher’s “Confessions” saw a slip in sales in its fourth week atop the nation’s album chart, but its sales of 302,000 were nearly triple those of its nearest competitor.

Vol. 15 of “Now That’s What I Call Music” (Capitol) took second position on sales of 121,000, while the week’s biggest chart-climber, Hoobastank’s Island disc “The Reason,” reached No. 3 by selling 74,000 copies.

Sugarcult’s “Palm Trees and Power Lines” (Artemis) earned the highest debut in a week that saw only two albums in the top 50 post gains. The Santa Barbara rockers’ sophomore effort sold 22,000 copies to reach No. 46.

Week’s other gainer was the Wind-Up soundtrack “The Punisher: The Album,” which jumped to No. 22 from 54 in its fourth week on the chart. Album sold 35,000, a spike of nearly 6,000 units. Last week’s B.O. champ, Miramax’s “Kill Bill Vol. 2,” saw its Maverick-released soundtrack debut at No. 58 on sales of 17,000. Original “Kill Bill” soundtrack re-entered the chart at No. 100 on sales of 10,000.

Wind-up’s Evanescence hit another milestone as its “Fallen” disc topped the 4 million mark, selling 64,000 and taking the No. 8 slot. Janet Jackson’s “Damita Jo” tumbled by more than 50% in its third week as the Virgin disc went home with 71,000 customers in the week ended Sunday, according to SoundScan.

Next week’s chart should get a slight shakeup courtesy of Mario Winans’ “Hurt No More” (Bad Boy/Universal), which should easily land in the top five. Also, Columbia released on Tuesday Prince’s “Musicology,” the finished album he brought to the label and has been handing out for free to his concert attendees.

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