Four years after his "Confessions" rocked the charts, Usher returns to The Billboard 200 at No. 1 with "Here I Stand." With 433,000 U.S. copies sold, according to Nielsen SoundScan, the LaFace/Zomba album is the second biggest debut this year behind the 463,000 start of Mariah Carey's "E=MC2."
"Here I Stand" was led by the single "Love in This Club" featuring Young Jeezy, which was No. 1 for three weeks on the Billboard Hot 100. Usher's "Confessions" started at the penthouse in 2004 with a whopping 1,096,000 units and spent nine weeks on top. It went on to be the year's best-seller.
Coming in at No. 2 is the New Line soundtrack to the "Sex in the City" movie. The set -- which features tracks from artists as diverse as the Weepies, Jennifer Hudson, Run-D.M.C. and Nina Simone -- moved 66,000 copies. It's the highest debut for a multi-artist theatrical film soundtrack since "Get Rich or Die Tryin'" also started at No. 2 in November 2005.
3 Doors Down's Universal Republic self-titled set falls 1-3 with 63,000, a 59% sales decrease. Bun-B's Rap-A-Lot/Asylum set "II Trill" is down 2-4 with 40,000 (-59%), Leona Lewis' Syco/J album "Spirit" climbs 6-5 with 39,000 (-23%) and Reprise's retrospective Frank Sinatra collection "Nothing But the Best" slips 4-6 with 37,000 (-32%). Duffy's "Rockferry" (Mercury) endures a 19% sales decrease, moving 36,000 and ascending 8-7.
Carey's chart-topping Island Def Jam album "E=MC2" continues its decline 7-8 with a 20% sales decrease to 36,000. Al Green, who is also on the "Sex in the City" soundtrack, starts at No. 9 with "Lay It Down," selling 34,000. The Blue Note effort is Green's highest debut ever and his highest charting album since "I'm Still in Love with You" reached No. 4 in 1972.
Death Cab For Cutie's "Narrow Stairs" (Atlantic) rounds out the top tier, falling 5-10 with 33,000 (-36%).
Only two other efforts bow inside the top 50 this week. Cyndi Lauper's "Bring Ya to the Brink" (Epic) debuts at No. 41 with 12,000. It's the singer's first U.S. pop album since 1996's "Sisters of Avalon." Fergie's "The Dutchess: The Deluxe E.P." -- which contains the four tracks tacked on to the deluxe reissue of that album -- hops on board at No. 46 with 11,000. Interscope's "The Dutchess" reissue, released last week, causes the original album to bounce back up 104-28.
Album sales this week are up 0.44% from last week's sum with 7.24 million units and down 13% from the same week last year.