Last week, I was talking about Taylor Swift and how she had an outside chance to catch Lady Antebellum and Eminem for the #1 or #2 album of the year spot? Well, with a week left in the proceedings, #2 is slightly within reach, but #1 is a definite no-no. Speak Now holds at #1 on the Billboard 200 for yet another week, with 276,000 copies sold, bringing it’s total to just under 2.9 million. However, Em’s Recovery blasts 22-7, doubling in sales for a haul of over 137K on the week. It puts Eminem’s comeback album over 3.3 million for the year, sealing it’s status as 2010’s #1 album. In between the two? Lady Antebellum’s Need You Now (at #25 with 75K this week), which is now just a hair under 3.1 million sold. It’s gonna be a photo finish, but with inclement weather keeping people out of record stores in week 52, Taylor will very likely have to settle for #3.

In other news, the Top 11 albums all sell over 100,000 units, with three debuts in the bunch. Jamie Foxx’s fourth album, The Best Night of My Life, starts at #6 with 144K. Not a bad number, but way off the totals that greeted his second album, Unpredictable (598K), and the follow up, Intuition (265K). He’s joined by R&B divas Keyshia Cole at #9 (128K) and Keri Hilson (102K, #11).

Healthy holiday traffic has rescued a couple of albums that were initially thought to be duds. The Black Eyed Peas’ The Beginning got off to a slow start, but has sold strongly if not spectacular these last couple weeks, hanging around the Top 20, It’s over the 350K mark with another 94,000 sold.  Further down the chart, Maroon 5’s Hands All Over jumps back into the Top 100 at #83, putting it within striking distance of 400K sold. The album’s sold disappointingly so far, and a recent Billboard article quoted one of the band members (not Adam Levine) as being somewhat disheartened by the response to the album. As a Maroon 5 fan, I can say that Hands has it’s moments, but when compared to the band’s previous album, It Won’t Be Soon Before Long, it’s pretty weak. Too many songs seem like lazy rewrites of other Maroon 5 songs.

Speak Now looks like it’ll hold on to the #1 spot yet again next week, as the charts do their typical after-Christmas switch over from parent-friendly titles to titles their children get in exchange for the wack shit their older relatives bought for them. Must be nice to live in both of those worlds, Taylor. Eminem looks to jump back into the runner-up spot, with Rihanna, Nicki Minaj and Kanye West rounding out the Top Five. With no major new releases scheduled for another couple of weeks and most of the East Coast still shoveling their way out of Snowpocalypse 2010, it looks like the week will be very, very quiet (in Elmer Fudd voice).

Here’s this week’s Top 20.

1. Taylor Swift, Speak Now
2. Susan Boyle, The Gift
3. Glee Cast, Glee: Xmas
4. Jackie Evancho, O Holy Night
5. Michael Jackson, Michael
6. Jamie Foxx, The Best Night of My Life
7. Eminem, Recovery
8. Nicki Minaj, Pink Friday
9. Keyshia Cole, Calling All Hearts
10. Rihanna, Loud
11. Keri Hilson, No Boys Allowed
12. Katy Perry, Teenage Dream
13. R. Kelly, Love Letter
14. Josh Groban, Illuminations
15. Kid Rock, Born Free
16. The Black Eyed Peas, The Beginning
17. Glee Cast, Glee: The Music Vol. 4
18. Jason Aldean, My Kinda Party
19. Kanye West, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
20. Bruno Mars, Doo-Wops & Hooligans

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