Music Article

Little Bit Country

Toby Keith tops the charts. The patriotic singer blows away new competition from Sarah McLachlan, Ja Rule and P.O.D.

Toby Keith, Shock'n Y'all | 'SHOCK'N' AWE Keith topped his pop-minded brethren
'SHOCK'N' AWE Keith topped his pop-minded brethren

Who said country isn't cool? Certainly not the fans who forgave Toby Keith's questionable grasp on grammar to snap up 585,000 copies of his latest album, ''Shock'N Y'All.'' Keith's debut left a number of hotly anticipated new albums in the dust, including Sarah McLachlan's No. 2-rated ''Afterglow'' (361,000), Sheryl Crow's greatest hits compilation ''The Very Best of...'' (No. 4 with 247,000), and Ja Rule's ''Blood in My Eye'' (No. 6 with 140,000). As for P.O.D.'s ''Payable on Death,'' the album barely squeaked into the top 10 (No. 9 with 106,000).

With so many new albums hitting stores, it's not surprising that a few oldies but goodies fell further down the charts. Outkast's ''Speakerboxxx/The Love Below'' dropped from the top slot to No. 5 with 148,000 sold, while last week's No. 2, Rod Stewart, dipped to seventh with 121,000 copies of his collection of standards, ''As Time Goes By: The Great American Songbook Part II.'' Even geek god Clay Aiken took a hit, his ''Measure of a Man'' plummeting from No. 3 to No. 8 (113,000).

New or old, none of the acts on the chart should get too comfortable given the flock of new albums coming out this week. Tupac Shakur, who died in 1996, is back with the aptly named ''Resurrection,'' while 50 Cent-signed rap act G-Unit's ''Beg for Mercy'' will fight for elbow room with Jay-Z's ''The Black Album,'' Pink's ''Try This,'' Kid Rock's ''Kid Rock'' and Josh Groban's ''Closer.''

Originally posted Nov 12, 2003