Usher has started unpacking atop The Billboard 200, as "Confessions" shows no sign of moving out of the slot for its eighth week. Despite a 6% U.S. sales drop to 214,000 copies, according to Nielsen S

Usher has started unpacking atop The Billboard 200, as "Confessions" shows no sign of moving out of the slot for its eighth week. Despite a 6% U.S. sales drop to 214,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan, the LaFace/Zomba set reigns by a significant 50,000 copies.

Leading four debuts into the top 10, East Coast rapper Method Man's "Tical 0: the Prequel" (Def Jam) debuts at No. 2 with 164,000 copies. His third solo effort charts in the same spot as its predecessor, "Tical 2000: Judgement Day," which opened in 1998 with 411,000 copies and has sold 1.6 million to date.

Punk-poppers New Found Glory enter the chart at No. 3 with 147,000 copies. The Coral Springs, Fla. quintet's "Catalyst" (Drive-Thru) comes in one slot higher than the group's 2002 album "Sticks and Stones" (Universal), which debuted with 91,000 copies.

Selling 115,000 copies, Alanis Morissette debuts at No. 5 with her Maverick set "So-Called Chaos." It's a dip for the Canadian songstress from her 2002 album "Under Rug Swept," which arrived at No. 1 with 215,000 copies.

Country duo Montgomery Gentry corral the No. 10 slot this week with "You Do Your Thing" (Columbia), which sells 58,000 copies.

Though last week's Hot Shot Debut Gretchen Wilson almost upset Usher from his perch with her Epic album "Here for the Party," she drops 39% this week to No. 4 with 139,000 copies.

At No. 11, not only does Morrissey score the highest position of his solo career, but his "You Are the Quarry" (Attack), which opens with 56,000 copies, also beats out any chart placement he had with the Smiths.

Lenny Kravitz's "Baptism" (Virgin) debuts at No. 14 with 52,000 copies. This is just two notches lower than the arrival of 2001's "Lenny," which bowed with 93,000 and has sold 716,000 copies to date.

Overall U.S. album sales are up 2.5% to 10.6 million, about 1.6% ahead of the comparable week last year. Sales for the year are beating those of 2003 by 7.5%.

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboardbiz

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