In a slow sales week that saw drops in purchases of all but two of the top 50 albums, the big success stories were Usher and Hoobastank. Even Usher saw a 34 percent sales drop this week to 302,000 copies, according to SoundScan, but still, his ''Confessions'' held the top spot on the Billboard chart for the fourth of four weeks since its release. As for Hoobastank, a modest 6 percent sales boost (to 74,000) was enough to propel ''The Reason'' from No. 18 all the way to No. 3; credit for the album's rise after 19 weeks on the chart should go to the use of the band's music in a recent Visa ad.
Holding in second place was ''NOW That's What I Call Music! Vol 15,'' which sold 122,000 copies, down 56 percent from last week. Janet Jackson's ''Damita Jo'' dropped one spot to No. 4, while Guns N' Roses' ''Greatest Hits'' rose four places to No. 5. Norah Jones' ''Feels Like Home'' felt like sixth place. Jessica Simpson's ''In This Skin'' skidded three spots down to No. 7. Evanescence's ''Fallen'' fell two places to No. 8. Lil' Flip's ''U Gotta Feel Me'' slid one notch to ninth place, and Kanye West's ''The College Dropout'' reentered the top 10 at No. 10.