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ALBUMS

OutKast's 2-disc set is No. 1

October 02, 2003|Robert Hilburn | Times Staff Writer

OutKast, the hit Atlanta hip-hop duo, entered the nation's pop albums charts at No. 1 on Wednesday after its new "Speakerboxxx/The Love Below" sold 510,000 copies in its first week -- the highest first-week total since Linkin Park's "Meteora" sold 810,000 copies in March.

The OutKast album, a two-disc set that consists of separate solo works by the team's Andre 3000 and Big Boi, also is likely to be one of the year's most acclaimed works.

In reviewing the album for The Times, Kris Ex called the Arista release an "artistic triumph." He added, "It's not just that the collection stands so far above much of today's contemporary hip-hop and R&B but that it surpasses the high level of genre-defying craftsmanship that the duo has cultivated for nearly a decade."

In a strong week for new releases, eight other albums debuted in the Top 15. Dave Matthews' solo album, "Some Devil," placed No. 2, selling 469,000 copies last week. The other newcomers: Limp Bizkit (No. 3), R. Kelly (No. 4), Obie Trice (No. 5), Nickelback (No. 6), Murphy Lee (No. 8), Rob Zombie (No. 11) and Fuel (No. 15), according to Nielsen SoundScan.

Because of the rush of new releases, several albums in last week's Top 10 took dramatic falls. A Perfect Circle slipped from No. 2 to No. 14, Erykah Badu fell from No. 3 to No. 17, Thursday sank from No. 7 to No. 46, Sheek Louch tumbled from No. 9 to No. 35 and Bubba Sparxxx plummeted from No. 10 to No. 34.

Given the strong showings by OutKast and Matthews, the two albums are expected to fight it out again next week for No. 1.

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