In a slow week for new album releases, the Dixie Chicks are queens of The Billboard 200 for a second week straight with "Taking the Long Way." Despite a slip of 48% in sales at 271,000 copies, accordi

In a slow week for new album releases, the Dixie Chicks are queens of The Billboard 200 for a second week straight with "Taking the Long Way." Despite a slip of 48% in sales at 271,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan, the Columbia set also remains No. 1 on the Top Country Albums chart.

Out of the 13 albums that have taken No. 1 on the big chart so far this year, only four had a second week sales decline of less than 50%: "Taking the Long Way," Barry Manilow's "The Greatest Songs of the Fifties," Jack Johnson's "Curious George" soundtrack and Il Divo's "Ancora."

The soundtrack to Disney's "High School Musical" holds tight at No. 2 in its 21st week on the chart, selling 103,000 copies (-41%). Red Hot Chili Peppers' "Stadium Arcadium" (Warner Bros.), which sat atop the chart two weeks ago, climbs 5-3 with 87,000 copies, a 22% dip. Rascal Flatts' fourth Lyric Street/Hollywood full-length, "Me and My Gang," shoots up 6-4, though its 79,000 units sold are an 8% decrease from the prior week.

RCA's "American Idol Season 5: Encores" compilation, featuring songs from each of the 12 finalists, falls 3-5 with a sales hit of -56% at 68,000 copies. Season 5 winner Taylor Hicks, who covers "Takin' It to the Streets" on the release, and runner-up Katharine McPhee, who interprets "Think," both scored record deals with RCA-affiliated labels in the last week.

The 21st "NOW! That's What I Call Music" (BMG/Zomba/EMI/UME) installment re-enters the top tier, moving 11-6 with 55,000 (-2%). Tool's "10,000 Days" (Tool Dissectional/Volcano) continues to fall 7-9 with 55,000 (-16%), less than a couple hundred behind "NOW! 21."

Carrie Underwood's "Some Hearts" (Arista/Arista Nashville) ascends 10-8 with 54,000 (-16%) while James Blunt's "Back to Bedlam" (Custard/Atlantic) re-enters the top 10 with a 25-9 explosion. The album sold 51,000 copies, a 53% boost, possibly attributable to Blunt's May 29 appearance on NBC's "Today" show.

With help from the popularity of her "Hips Don't Lie" single featuring Wyclef Jean, Shakira's "Oral Fixation Vol. 2" scoots into the No. 10 spot from No. 13 with 51,000 (+7%), a few hundred short of Blunt's count. It originally peaked at No. 5 in late 2005 and early 2006.

No new releases bowed in the top 100 slots of the Billboard 200. The closest contenders include Mike Patton's new project, Peeping Tom, entering with its self-titled Ipecac debut (No. 103, 10,000) and Les Claypool's third solo studio album, "Of Whales and Woe" (Prawn Song), with 8,000 at No. 115 (his best chart position yet).

At 9.3 million units, overall CD sales were down 7% from the previous week and down 10% compared to the same week a year ago. Sales for 2006 are down 3% compared to 2005 at 231.7 million units.

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboardbiz

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