The Chart

Moving 'Closer'

Josh Groban's 2001 debut sold nearly 4 million copies in the U.S. -- while never getting above No. 8 on the sales chart. There won't be any such asterisk next to the tally for the operatic singer's sophomore disc, Closer. Just a month ago, it was a lowly No. 42, but this week it unexpectedly soared from No. 11 to No. 1 on sales of 111,000 units. The upsurge occurred despite a lack of major media appearances...though Groban might enjoy another spike after he sings ''You Raise Me Up'' on the pre -- Super Bowl telecast. Last week's toppers, OutKast, fell to third but remained in the three-figure range (102K) with their twofer.

POP ALBUMS

LAST WEEKS WEEK ON CHART

1 11 JOSH GROBAN Closer, Reprise 9 2 2 ALICIA KEYS The Diary of Alicia Keys, J 6 3 1 OUTKAST Speakerboxxx/The Love Below, Arista 16 4 5 NO DOUBT The Singles 1992 -- 2003, Interscope 7 5 9 TOBY KEITH Shock'n Y'all, DreamWorks Nashville 10 6 4 SHERYL CROW The Very Best Of..., A&M/Interscope 10 7 3 VARIOUS ARTISTS NOW That's What I Call...Vol. 14, Columbia 10 8 10 RUBEN STUDDARD Soulful, J 5 9 7 EVANESCENCE Fallen, Wind-up 45 10 6 JAY-Z The Black Album, Roc-A-Fella 9 11 23 BEYONCE Dangerously in Love, Columbia 29 12 16 LINKIN PARK Meteora, Warner Bros. 42 13 8 G-UNIT Beg for Mercy, Shady/Interscope 9 14 15 SARAH MCLACHLAN Afterglow, Arista 10 15 39 MICHAEL JACKSON Number Ones, Epic 8

(c)2004 VNU BUSINESS MEDIA, INC./NIELSEN SOUNDSCAN. USED WITH PERMISSION FROM BILLBOARD, JAN. 24, 2004.

IN STORES FEBRUARY 3

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IN STORES FEBRUARY 3

INCUBUS A Crow Left of the Murder (Epic) Brandon Boyd & Co. expand their alt-metal stylings, adding elements of jazz and blues.

FIVE FOR FIGHTING The Battle for Everything (Aware/Columbia) The Grammy-nominated pop act enlisted producer Bill Bottrell (Sheryl Crow) for its new CD.

THE WALKMEN Bows and Arrows (Record Collection) Fresh listening for those who've been digging the rockers' ''Rue the Day'' on the Yes New York comp.

CHROMEO She's in Control (Vice) The irreverent Canadian funk duo -- heaped with hype after 2002's 12-inch ''You're So Gangsta'' -- dish out their debut.

IF YOU LIKE...

Psychedelic pop-rock like LOVE's, pick up...And This Is Our Music, the latest long-player from West Coast weirdos THE BRIAN JONESTOWN MASSACRE.

The power pop of FOUNTAINS OF WAYNE, seek out the '77 debut by the obscure (and terrific) Memphis quartet THE SCRUFFS, Wanna Meet the Scruffs?

Obnoxious, pervy metal in the MOTLEY CRUE mold, grab the new one by THE LAST VEGAS, Lick 'Em and Leave 'Em.

Originally posted Jan 23, 2004 Published in issue #747-748 Jan 23, 2004 Order article reprints
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