Daughtry returns to No. 1 as a bland Feb. 27 release slate generates a sleepy Billboard 200 chart ... Nelly Furtado returns to the top 10 on the big chart for the first time since August ... Ciara makes a big jump ... We've got a look at the next month's worth of big album releases ... In Progress Reports, we have news on the return of a "Better" Guns N' Roses to the radio charts, Hilary Duff's fragrant debut and John Mayer's "World" record week on the AC/Adult Contemporary chart.




FLASH POINTS



• A dreary release schedule last week yields a less than exciting Billboard 200 chart as Daughtry returns to No. 1 for a second week with a so-so 90,000 units (up 7%). The chart's highest debut belongs to B.G. and the Chopper City Boyz's "We Got This" at No. 21 (27,000). In the top 10, Akon's "Konvicted" bolts 5-3 (73,000; up less than 1%) while Norah Jones' "Not Too Late" slips 1-2 (74,000; down 26%). Perhaps Target's sale pricing of "Konvicted" at $11.98 helped the singer's cause, though it seems like Circuit City's $11.98 tag on Jones' album couldn't prevent its slide ... Fall Out Boy shows some staying power as "Infinity on High" goes 3-4 (67,000; down 15%) in its fourth week. Robin Thicke spends a sixth week in the top 10, climbing to his highest chart position yet, as "The Evolution of Robin Thicke" skips 6-5 (57,000; down 16%). Rounding out the top 10 we have Justin Timberlake's "FutureSex/LoveSounds" (7-6, down 14%), Nelly Furtado's "Loose" (14-7, up 4%; see below), the soundtrack to "Dreamgirls" (16-8, up 19%), Corinne Bailey Rae's self-titled debut (9-8, down 21%) and Dixie Chicks' "Taking the Long Way" (11-10, down 21%).


• Renewed interest in Nelly Furtado's album sparks a 14-7 move for the set (up 4%), giving the singer her first taste of the top 10 since the Aug. 12, 2006, chart. Figure that her "Say It Right" single spending a fourth week at No. 1 on the CHR/Top 40 radio chart has a lot to do with the album's current popularity. For the week ending March 4, its overall radio audience stood at 99 million from play at 304 stations. The song was the most-played tune at 35 outlets last week, including KSLZ St. Louis and WIHT Washington, D.C. The videoclip for the song was No. 3 on VH1 last week (25 airings) and No. 4 on MTV Tres (30 plays) ... It also helps greatly that Target and Best Buy sale-priced the album for $11.99 last week, while Circuit City carried it for $9.99.


• This week, the "Kidz Bop 11" set slides 4-14 with a 53% drop in sales. Don't fear -- it will likely stage a comeback as parents head to the stores in search of ideal Easter basket items ... An $11.98 sale tag for Hinder's "Extreme Behavior" helps it move 35-25 (down a scant 3%). It's current CHR/Top 40 single "Better Than Me" scoots 31-29 on that chart this week ... Ciara's "The Evolution" zips 43-29 (up 3%). The album went for $11.98 last week at Kmart. This week, her new single "Like a Boy" debuts at No. 40 on the Rhythmic Top 40 chart and No. 27 on the Hip-Hop radio chart. The track garnered 15.7 million in radio audience for the week, and was ranked top 10 at four stations -- WBLK Buffalo, N.Y.; WERQ Baltimore; WUSL Philadelphia; and WKHT Knoxville, Tenn. ... Last week's big debut from tobyMac's "Portable Sounds" collapses 10-38 with a 66% decline. Additionally, Anberlin's "Cities" falls 19-71 (down 65%) in its second week.


• An unsexy Feb. 27 release slate (no offense to Bill Engvall's debut at No. 93) explains why The Billboard 200 looks so bland. The March plate of new albums doesn't get truly exciting until March 27, when superstar sets from Tim McGraw and Jennifer Lopez arrive. The latter is a wild card, since it's a Spanish-language effort and her last English album was a relative disappointment (727,000 sold so far) ... The upcoming significant releases, including this week's batch of new albums, are as follows: On March 6, hits sets dropped from Gary Allan and the Notorious B.I.G., as well as new ones from Finger Eleven, Relient K, Korn (going the unplugged route) and Arcade Fire ... March 13: James Morrision, Lloyd, Musiq Soulchild and Amy Winehouse ... March 20: Joss Stone, Elliot Yamin, Modest Mouse, Casting Crowns, Marques Houston and LCD Soundsytem ... March 27: McGraw, Lopez, Good Charlotte, Joe, Mika, "Now That's What I Call Music! 24," Mims, Third Day, Macy Gray, Redman, Kaiser Chiefs, Lil Flip and a hits set from Stevie Nicks ... April 3: Martina McBride, Hilary Duff, Timbaland, Paul Wall, Larry the Cable Guy, Chevelle, Alison Krauss, Kings of Leon, Bobby Valentino and a live album from George Strait, Alan Jackson and Jimmy Buffett.



The Billboard 200

Sales data provided and compiled from Nielsen SoundScan
*1 2 DAUGHTRY Daughtry (RCA / RMG) 11 13 FERGIE The Dutchess (will.i.am / A&M / Interscope)
2 1 NORAH JONES Not Too Late (Blue Note / BLG) 12 15 NICKELBACK All The Right Reasons (Roadrunner )
*3 5 AKON Konvicted (Konvict / Upfront / SRC / Universal Motown / UMRG) 13 12 VARIOUS ARTISTS Grammy Nominees 2007 (Grammy / Sony BMG CMG)
4 3 FALL OUT BOY Infinity On High (Fueled By Ramen / Island / IDJMG) 14 4 KIDZ BOP KIDS Kidz Bop 11 (Razor & Tie )
5 6 ROBIN THICKE The Evolution Of Robin Thicke (Star Trak / Interscope) 15 18 CARRIE UNDERWOOD Some Hearts (Arista / Arista Nashville / RMG)
6 7 JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE FutureSex/LoveSounds (Jive / Zomba) 16 9 GERALD LEVERT In My Songs (Atlantic / AG)
*7 14 NELLY FURTADO Loose (Mosley / Geffen / Interscope) 17 21 GWEN STEFANI The Sweet Escape (Interscope )
*8 16 SOUNDTRACK Dreamgirls (Music World / Columbia / Sony Music) 18 17 JOHN MAYER Continuum (Aware / Columbia / Sony Music)
9 8 CORINNE BAILEY RAE Corinne Bailey Rae (Capitol ) 19 22 RASCAL FLATTS Me And My Gang (Lyric Street / Hollywood)
10 11 DIXIE CHICKS Taking The Long Way (Columbia / Sony Music) *20 23 CELTIC WOMAN A New Journey (Manhattan / BLG)
* indicates titles with greatest sales gains this week





MARKET WATCH

• Album units, current chart week: 8.49 million units
• DOWN 7.52% from last issue's charts: 9.18 million units
• DOWN 22.8% from same week, 2006: 11 million units
• This week: No albums sell more than 100,000 copies.
• This week last year on The Billboard 200: Singer/songwriter Ne-Yo started at No. 1 with "In My Own Words" (301,000). The "High School Musical" soundtrack dropped a spot to No. 2 despite a 26% increase while Hawthorne Heights and Alan Jackson debuted at Nos. 3 and 4, respectively. The top four albums sold more than 100,000 units.



BORDERLINES

• The No. 10 album this week, Dixie Chicks' "Taking the Long Way," (Wide Open/Columbia) sold 42,000.
• The No. 10 album for the same week of 2006, Andrea Bocelli's "Amore" (Sugar/Decca/Universal Classics Group), sold 59,000.
• Average total of the No. 10 album for the same week of the year during the past 10 years (1998-2007): 75,096.



PROGRESS REPORTS

• Guns N' Roses makes their first appearance on a singles chart since 1999 as "Better" debuts on Active Rock at No. 39. The track was leaked via the Internet two weeks ago and was among four demos that made their way onto the airwaves in early 2006, only to be quickly pulled because of legalities. One of those four demos, "I.R.S.," briefly appeared on some of rock audience charts in February 2006, but didn't make our main detections-based radio charts. The last time Guns N' Roses appeared on a radio chart was in 1999 with "Oh My God" from the "End of Days" soundtrack. The single went to No. 27 on Active Rock, No. 26 on Mainstream Rock and No. 22 on Heritage Rock ... "Better" is of course from the upcoming "Chinese Democracy" album. Though the set was pushed back again from its March 6 release date, a recent update on the band's official Web site states that it has finished recording and is now mixing the album.

• A slightly more grown-up Hilary Duff enters the CHR/Top 40 chart at No. 37 with "With Love." The dance/pop number is the first single from "Dignity," due April. 3. "With Love" is only Duff's fourth single to reach the CHR/Top 40 chart. Of her three previous hits, only "Come Clean" reached the top 10 (No. 9) ... The sexy video that accompanies the song doubles as an advertisement for Duff's new fragrance for Elizabeth Arden, appropriately named "With Love." The cosmetics company is also home to fragrances from Britney Spears, Elizabeth Taylor and a Jeff Gordon-endorsed cologne.

• John Mayer's "Waiting On the World to Change" holds at No. 1 on the AC/Adult Contemporary chart with 2,055 spins. That's the biggest week for a No. 1 on the AC chart in four years. The last time a chart-topper cleared a greater amount was when Dixie Chicks' "Landslide" earned 2,099 detections on the March 15, 2003, chart. Recently, the number of radio stations that report to the AC chart grew from 90 to 105, likely causing the significant increase in the spin count ... Trace Adkins enjoys a second week at No. 1 on Hot Country Songs with "Ladies Love Country Boys," though Kenny Chesney's surging "Beer in Mexico" (5-2, up 14% in audience) is threatening to overtake Adkins. Meanwhile, Rascal Flatts collects its 16th top 10 hit as "Stand" moves 12-8 with a 22% jump in audience. Farther down the chart, Rick Trevino returns for the first time since 2003, as "Separate Ways" debuts at No. 59.





Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums

Sales data provided and compiled from Nielsen SoundScan
1 2 ROBIN THICKE The Evolution Of Robin Thicke (Star Trak / Interscope)
2 1 GERALD LEVERT In My Songs (Atlantic / AG)
*3 3 AKON Konvicted (Konvict / Upfront / SRC / Universal Motown / UMRG)
*4 98 B.G. AND THE CHOPPER CITY BOYZ We Got This (Choppa City / Koch)
*5 6 SOUNDTRACK Dreamgirls (Music World / Columbia / Sony Music)
6 7 JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE FutureSex/LoveSounds (Jive / Zomba)
7 5 PRETTY RICKY Late Night Special (BlueStar / Atlantic / AG)
8 8 YOUNG JEEZY The Inspiration (Corporate Thugz / Def Jam / IDJMG)
9 9 CORINNE BAILEY RAE Corinne Bailey Rae (Capitol )
*10 New SLIM THUG PRESENTS BOSS HOGG OUTLAWZ Serve & Collect (Boss Hogg Outlawz / Koch)
* indicates titles with greatest sales gains this week
Top Country Albums

Sales data provided and compiled from Nielsen SoundScan
1 1 DIXIE CHICKS Taking The Long Way (Columbia / Sony Music)
2 2 CARRIE UNDERWOOD Some Hearts (Arista / Arista Nashville / RMG)
3 3 RASCAL FLATTS Me And My Gang (Lyric Street / Hollywood)
4 5 TAYLOR SWIFT Taylor Swift (Big Machine )
5 4 KEITH URBAN Love, Pain & The Whole Crazy Thing (Capitol Nashville )
6 6 RODNEY ATKINS If You're Going Through Hell (Curb )
7 7 JASON MICHAEL CARROLL Waitin' In The Country (Arista Nashville / SBN)
8 8 JOSH TURNER Your Man (MCA Nashville / UMGN)
9 9 BRAD PAISLEY Time Well Wasted (Arista Nashville / SBN)
10 10 SUGARLAND Enjoy The Ride (Mercury / UMGN)
* indicates titles with greatest sales gains this week
Top Heatseekers

Sales data provided and compiled from Nielsen SoundScan
*1 4 UNK Beat'n Down Yo Block (Big Oomp / Koch)
2 7 BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE The Poison (Trustkill )
*3 10 PETER BJORN AND JOHN Writer's Block (Almost Gold )
*4 18 XTREME Haciendo Historia (La Calle / UG)
5 2 EVERLIFE Everlife (Buena Vista / Walt Disney)
6 9 IMOGEN HEAP Speak For Yourself (RCA Victor )
7 5 K-OS Atlantis: Hymns For Disco (Virgin )
*8 New LOS CUATES DE SINALOA Puro Sierreno Bravo (Sony BMG Norte )
9 13 RODRIGO Y GABRIELA Rodrigo Y Gabriela (ATO )
*10 New ALEGRES DE LA SIERRA Lagrimas En La Sierra (Universal Latino )
* indicates titles with greatest sales gains this week
Top Pop Catalog Albums

Sales data provided and compiled from Nielsen SoundScan
1 2 SELAH Hiding Place (Curb )
*2 3 GUNS N' ROSES Greatest Hits (Geffen / Interscope)
3 1 NORAH JONES Come Away With Me (Blue Note / BLG)
*4 4 BOB SEGER & THE SILVER BULLET BAND Greatest Hits (Capitol )
*5 5 RASCAL FLATTS Feels Like Today (Lyric Street / Hollywood)
*6 7 THE DOORS Best Of The Doors (Elektra / Asylum / Elektra)
*7 8 CREED Greatest Hits (Wind-up )
8 6 TIM MCGRAW Greatest Hits (Curb )
*9 13 PINK FLOYD Dark Side Of The Moon (Capitol )
10 11 MICHAEL BUBLE It's Time (143 / Reprise / Warner Bros.)
* indicates titles with greatest sales gains this week




A LOOK AHEAD

• Among the titles released this week, due on next week's charts: Arcade Fire's "Neon Bible," Korn's "MTV Unplugged," Air's "Pocket Symphony" and Mary Chapin Carpenter's "The Calling."
• Next week's Billboard 200 competes with the same week in 2006 when: Juvenile's "Reality Check" entered at No. 1 with 174,000 while James Blunt's "Back to Bedlam" surged 9-2 with 161,000. Other big debuts that week included Matisyahu's "Youth" at No. 4 (119,000) and David Gilmour's "On an Island" at No. 6 (96,000). The top five albums sold more than 100,000 units.