Watch out, Carlos Santana, Usher's gunning for you. With its return to the top of the Billboard album chart this week, Usher's ''Confessions'' becomes the first album since Santana's 1999 smash ''Supernatural'' to spend at least nine weeks at No. 1. (''Supernatural'' occupied the slot for 12 weeks total.) ''Confessions'' sold another 194,000 discs this week, according to SoundScan, just 1 percent less than last week, but enough to dethrone last week's champ, Avril Lavigne's ''Under My Skin,'' which debuted in the top slot but slipped to second place this week on sales of 170,000 copies, a drop of 55 percent.
Gretchen Wilson's ''Here for the Party'' rose one notch to No. 3 and sold another 111,000 copies. Prince's ''Musicology'' had a strong week, thanks to album purchases rung up at four concerts, climbing from No. 8 to No. 4 on the chart and seeing sales rise 35 percent to 95,000. Slipknot's ''Vol. 3: The Subliminal Verses,'' slid three slots from last week's debut, landing at No. 5 on sales of 85,000, a 65 percent drop.
Holding in place were Hoobastank's ''The Reason'' (No. 6) and D12's ''D12 World'' (No. 7). Rising one rung to No. 8 was the ''Shrek 2'' soundtrack. ''NOW That's What I Call Music! Vol. 15'' returned to the top 10, jumping four spots to ninth place. Falling five places was Method Man's ''Tical 0: The Prequel,'' landing at No. 10.