Jay-Z & Outkast Duel For Top Spot, U2, Godsmack, ICP Continue Rock Revival
Jay-Z's "The Dynasty" (Roc-A-Fella/IDJ) and Outkast' s "Stankonia" (LaFace/Arista) will battle it out for the #1 spot on next week's charts, as both new albums will hurtle past the 525k mark, surpassing retail expectations. Much like the current Presidential contest, this one's a real horse race, with Jay-Z given the slight edge due to his strength in the Northeast and his substantial independent base. The forces of both labels have been mobilized for maximum exposure at retail as the fight goes down to the bitter end.

U2's critically acclaimed "All That You Can't Leave Behind" (Interscope) continues rock's recent revival with an impressive opening day that indicates it could go as high as 350-400k, much bigger than anyone thought. See, sometimes good records with guitars still do sell. Meanwhile, the other top debuts go to Universal's Godsmack, which is right at projections of 300k, while the simultaneous Insane Clown Posse releases, imaginatively titled "Bizzar" and "Bizaar" (Island Def Jam) should do around100k apiece.

Coming on the heels of surprisingly impressive showings by Limp Bizkit and Linkin Park, it would appear the rumors of rock's demise are a bit premature. Are you listening, Joe Lieberman?