Who’s Keeping Up With Jones? So Far, No One, but Here Come Young Gunz, J.C. Chasez, Trillville & Lil Scrappy
Looks like it’ll be three in a row for Norah.

Yes, the mellow piano-playing superstar vocalist will remain at #1 for a third week, according to early reports from national accounts. Her smash sophomore album, Feels Like Home (Blue Note) has already sold about 1.4 million in two weeks. Expect that number to be higher by next week.

Now that we’ve stated the obvious, on to some new stuff: Hitting the streets yesterday and headed for next week’s chart was Roc-A-Fella/IDJ’s Young Gunz, whose Tough Love is expected to move a first-week total of about 125k, which should be good for a Top 5 debut.

Also streeting yesterday was NSYNC member J.C. Chasez’s solo debut, Schizophrenic (Jive). According to early reports, the album should sell 60k or so by week’s end.

And then there’s Hotlanta’s Trillville and Lil Scrappy, whose Reprise albums feature all the same tracks—just in a different order depending on whether the title says “Trillville” or “Lil Scrappy.” Both are featured equally, but the two different titles have two different UPC codes, so they’re two different albums, dammit! As our retail analysts explain it, the dual rollout is an effort on the label’s part to give retailers in different regions the ability to market the albums according to local taste, or some such rarefied mercantile theory.

Anyway, Trillville and Lil Scrappy are looking like they’ll have a first week of a little over 50k combined.

As for the music market as a whole, data from the sales cycle ended Sunday indicates that sales were down 27.2% (4.7 million units) compared to the previous week, which of course makes sense, given that the previous week was the explosive Grammys-Norah Jones-Valentine’s Day sales extravaganza.

However, overall sales were still up 8.2% (950k units) compared to the same week last year, continuing the streak of improved sales compared to year-earlier periods for every week in 2004 so far.

And in what is perhaps an even more positive sign as we approach the two-month mark, cumulative sales for the year so far are up 12.4% (10.9 million units) over ’03.

Have a nice day.