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CHART PREVIEW: ASHLEE IN SYNC FOR #1 DEBUT
She’s the Picture of Blonde Ambition, as New Album Scales the Heights
It's Monday-morning at the HITS Retail Accounting and 15-minute Tune-Up and Oil Change Center, and as the various technicians move about in a whirlwind of counting, extrapolating and lubing, we have once again been given to understand that one Ashlee Simpson and her new album, I Am Me (Geffen), will soon be anointed #1 on this week’s album chart.

At this point, earlier forecasts of 260k-270k for the younger Simpson sister seem to be holding. That’ll be much more than enough to topple last week’s topper, Alicia Keys.

Jumping back a couple of generations, we see that the latest installment of Rod Stewart’s Great American Songbook series, Vol. IV (J Records) is crooning its way toward #2 on the chart, with first-week sales estimated at 190k-200k.

But wait, there’s a third debut coming up that will make it three new records in the top three chart positions this week: Martina McBride’s Timeless (RLG) is tracking at 140k-150k, putting another notch on Joe Galante and Butch Waugh’s Kentucky rifle butt.

Also hitting the chart this week are Depeche Mode, whose Playing the Angel (Reprise) has potential to hit 120k by the time the counting’s done.

And after months and months of delay, Stevie Wonder’s A Time to Love (Motown) actually came out last Tuesday and looks like its first-week was around 110-115k.

Meanwhile, Bun B’s Trill (Asylum) is headed toward 110k, while Thrice’s Vheissu (Island/IDJ) and Billy Currington’s Doin’ Somethin’ Right (Mercury Nashville) each appear to be headed for first-week totals approaching 60k.
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