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CHART PREVIEW: ROB THOMAS’ SOMETHING TO BE TO BE #1

Matchbox 20 Frontguy’s Solo Debut Looks to Knock Mimi off Her Pedestal
With the sales week tally in full swing, early indications for this week’s album chart are that Matchbox 20 leader-gone-solo Rob Thomas will come out on top with a first-week total of around 230k-240k for Something to Be (Atlantic).

At this point, that looks like it’ll be plenty to outpace Mariah Carey’s The Emancipation of Mimi (Island), which appears to be seeing the typical 50% second-week drop-off following her spectacular 400k-plus debut. Those doing the number crunching say Mimi should come in at around 205k or so this time around.

Following Mariah should be the second Warner Music Group act to debut in the Top Five this week: Houston rapper Mike Jones, whose Who Is Mike Jones (Swishahouse/Asylum/Warner Bros.) is on track to come in at #3 on sales of around 180k or better. Along with Thomas, Jones will give WMG one of its best weeks in recent memory.

European “popera” sensations Il Divo—think Josh Groban times four, but with accents—are looking like the third-biggest debut this week, as their self-titled Columbia album heads for first-week sales of around 150k, making them look very good for #4.

50 Cent’s Massacre (Shady/Aftermath/Intrscope), meanwhile, is on track for #5, racking up another 130k or so on its massive, multimillion-unit roll.

Following 50, things get a little less clear, with Three 6 Mafia’s Choices II (Columbia) and The KillersHot Fuss (Island) fighting it out for #6 with sales for each looking like 65k or so. Meanwhile, Gwen Stefani’s Love. Angel. Music. Baby. (Interscope) appears at this point to be headed for a 60k week, so she could very well be in that mix by the time all the counting’s done.

That takes care of #6 through #8. Rounding out the Top 10 two of the following three albums: Mudvayne’s Lost and Found (Epic), looking like it will debut at 55k at the moment, making it a good bet for #9; Now 18 (Epic), looking like 53k; and Green Day’s American Idiot (Reprise), also looking like 53k.
REPUBLIC UPS GOLDSTEIN, ROPPO TO CO-PRESIDENTS
Team Lipman doubles up. (11/26a)
CHART FINAL:
THE BIGGEST BOW
OF THE YEAR
Big numbers for "30." (11/29a)
COUNTRY GRAMMYS' ROOTS ARE SHOWING
Deck the Grammys with boughs of Holly. (11/24a)
THE BRITISH
ARE COMING
Rolling out our U.K. Special print issue (11/24a)
PUTTING THE POP
IN POPCORN
Putting the audio into audio-visual. (11/29a)
TURKEY
Basting.
STUFFING
Stuffing.
YAMS
Candying.
PUMPKIN PIE
Stuffing (in face).
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