It's the attack of the killer blondes, at least on Billboard's country chart this week, as Carrie Underwood smacks down Rodney Atkins while Taylor Swift trips up all her competition to reclaim dominion over the album chart. Bubbling up, too, are five first-time songs and three new albums.
Underwood's "All-American Girl" leapfrogs from No. 5 to No. 1, shoving Atkins' "Cleaning This Gun (Come On In Boy)" back to No. 2 after its two-week stay on top. Among the albums, Swift's self-titled package takes back the throne that Chris Cagle momentarily usurped last week with his newest CD, My Life's Been a Country Song. It falls to No. 9.
This round's new songs are Julianne Hough's "That Song in My Head" (climbing into the ring at No. 51), Tim McGraw's "Kristofferson" (No. 53). Emily West's "Rocks in Your Shoes" (No. 54), Toby Keith's "She's a Hottie" (No. 56) and LeAnn Rimes' "Good Friend and a Glass Of Wine" (No. 59).
(Now let's see: Taylor Swift records a song called "Tim McGraw" -- and then Tim McGraw has a song called "Kristofferson." All that remains is for Kris Kristofferson to write a song called "Taylor Swift" to bring all these adulatory impulses full circle.)
Re-entering the song chart this week are the Lost Trailers' "Holler Back" (No. 48) and Mica Roberts and Toby Keith's "Things a Mama Don't Know" (No. 58).
Albums making their first chart bow are the Blake Shelton's Collector's Edition (No. 30), Trent Willmon's Broken In (No. 33) and the SteelDrivers' self-titled collection (No. 57). Making a comeback are the Isaacs' Big Sky (No. 63), Emerson Drive's Countrified (No. 70) and Rhonda Vincent's Good Thing Going (No. 71).
Following "All-American Girl" and "Cleaning This Gun" in this week's Top 5 songs list are Alan Jackson's "Small Town Southern Man," Kenny Chesney and George Strait's "Shiftwork" and Chuck Wicks' "Stealing Cinderella."
Rounding out the Top 5 albums, also in descending order, are Dolly Parton's Backwoods Barbie (which vaults to No. 2 from No. 48), Garth Brooks' The Ultimate Hits, Robert Plant and Alison Krauss' Raising Sand and Underwood's Carnival Ride.
It was widely predicted at the just-concluded Country Radio Seminar in Nashville that Alan Jackson's Good Time, released Tuesday (March 4), will top both Billboard's country and all-genres tabulations next week. Sounds plausible to us.