Is hard rock back? Depends who you ask. If you're Staind or the Deftones, then yes. Staind's ''14 Shades of Grey'' debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard album chart this week and sold 221,000 copies, according to Soundscan, while the Deftones' self-titled disc opened right behind it, shifting 167,000 units. On the other hand, if you're Marilyn Manson or Cold, whose new discs entered the chart at No. 1 and No. 3 last week, you're probably rattled that your CD plunged more than 20 spots this week (Manson's ''The Golden Age of Grotesque'' is at No. 23, while Cold's ''Year of the Spider'' is at No. 29). Even Staind must be a little disappointed; two years ago, their ''Break the Cycle'' sold more than three times as many records its first week.
No doubt buoyed by the ''American Idol'' season finale, Kelly Clarkson's ''Thankful'' rose four spots to No. 3. Evanescence's ''Fallen'' held on to fourth place, while 50 Cent's ''Get Rich or Die Tryin''' slid three slots to No. 5.
The week's other new top-10 debut, rapper David Banner's ''Mississippi: The Album'' entered the chart at No. 9. Slipping one slot each were the soundtrack to ''The Matrix Reloaded'' (No. 6), Norah Jones' ''Come Away With Me'' (No. 7), and ''The Very Best of Cher'' (No. 10). Holding at No. 8 was the soundtrack to ''The Lizzie McGuire Movie.'' Missing out on top-10 debuts were Ricky Martin's new Spanish-language album ''Almas del Silencio'' (No. 12), Jo Dee Messina's ''Greatest Hits'' (No. 14), and Weird Al Yankovic's ''Poodle Hat'' (No. 17).