Apparently it pays to be promiscuous.
Just ask Nelly Furtado. Powered by the Timbaland-produced hit "Promiscuous," the Grammy-winning songbird's latest album, Loose, took the big out of Busta's Bang and debuted atop the pop chart, moving 219,000 for the week ended Sunday, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
For maximum effect, Loose features different radio singles directed at different markets. "Promiscuous" helped the album top the charts in the U.S. and Canada, while "Maneater" topped the charts in the U.K., Portugal and Luxembourg. A Spanish-language single, the reggaeton-flavored "No Hay Igual," has also been released. The strategy has paid off: Loose opened at number one in Germany and Switzerland and made a Top 10 bow in the U.K., Mexico and the Netherlands.
Overall, it was a slow retail week--down 10 percent from last week and 8 percent off the same week in 2005--with Furtado landing the only six-figure sales. Underoath debuted at two on 98,000 copies of Define the Great Line, while the Dixie Chicks are still clucking with Taking the Long Way selling 87,000 copies at three.
At number four, American fans showed they're keen for Keane as the U.K. group sold nearly 76,000 copies of Under the Iron Sea. This follow-up to their Grammy-nominated debut, Hopes and Fears--which sold over 5 million copies worldwide--already topped the charts across the pond with help from its smash hit, "Is It Any Wonder?"
The week's final Top 10 newcomer was Field Mob, whose third album, Light Poles & Pine Trees, lit up the seven spot with 63,000 copies. The Peach State rap duo is signed to Ludacris' Disturbing Tha Peace label, and their new disc features the new hit "So What" as well as "Georgia," a collaboration with Ludacris, DJ Green Lantern and Jamie Foxx.
Finally, after spending the last few weeks at 11, Gnarls Barkley's St. Elsewhere crept into the Top 10 at eight. The disc sold nearly 58,000 copies in its seventh week of release.
Meanwhile, last week's number one, Busta Rhymes' The Big Bang, dropped four spots to five with 69,000, while the chart-topper before him, AFI's Decemberunderground, dropped another six spots to nine on 57,000 in sales. The two remaining Top 10 albums were both soundtracks: High School Musical at six and Cars at 10.
Nearly three months after its release, Top 10 mainstay Me & My Gang by Rascal Flatts finally fell out, down from eight to 11. The disc holds the current record for 2006 first-week sales, 722,000 copies, and is the year's only album to hold the number one spot for three consecutive weeks.
Elsewhere, Chi-town R&B crooner Donell Jones, who got his start writing and producing songs for artists like Usher, smoothed his way into the 15 spot as Journey of a Gemini sold 48,000 copies. Guster mustered up a number 25 bow with Ganging Up on the Sun selling 30,000, while Madonna's live CD/DVD combo I'm Going To Tell You a Secret sold 25,000 units at 33.
Other noteworthy debuts included the Fast & the Furious: Tokyo Drift soundtrack at 40, the Counting Crows' New Amsterdam: Live at Heineken Music Hall at 52, Cute Is What We Aim For's Same Old Blood Rush with a New Touch at 75, Dragonforce's Inhuman Rampage at 103 and Smokey Robinson's Timeless Love at 109.
Here's a recap of the Top 10:
1. Loose, Nelly Furtado
2. Define the Great Line, Underoath
3. Taking the Long Way, Dixie Chicks
4. Under the Iron Sea, Keane
5. The Big Bang, Busta Rhymes
6. High School Musical soundtrack, various
7. Light Poles & Pine Trees, Field Mob
8. St. Elsewhere, Gnarls Barkley
9. Decemberunderground, AFI
10. Cars soundtrack, various