As expected. Carrie Underwood enters the Billboard Album chart at the #1 position with her new album “Play On”. 318,00 country fans made their way over to the cash registers for this one, making it Carrie’s third consecutive chart topper.  While it’s less than the 527,000 scans her second album, “Carnival Ride” garnered in it’s debut week, it’s about on pace with what her debut, “Some Hearts” scored in it’s first week (314,000). That particular album went on to sell 7 million copies. While I think the chances of that happening again are pretty much nil, it does look like Carrie has a hit on her hands.

“Play On” is the highest of the 5 debuts in this week’s Top Ten. Andrea Bocelli’s holiday album, “My Christmas” enters at #3 with a healthy 149,000 units sold. Expect this to be the holiday-themed blockbuster of 2009. Right behind it is the first soundtrack for the TV series “Glee” (easily the highest-charted television soundtrack in recent memory). The 32nd version of the “Now That’s What I Call Music” series checks in at #5 with 102K, while Weezer’s latest, “Raditude”, opens up at a mediocre #7 with 66K sold. The Foo Fighters and Slayer also bow in the Top 20, at positions 11 and 12, respectively.

If you thought people were waiting with baited breath for the return of R&B thrush Amerie, you were wrong. Her Def Jam debut, “In Love & War” starts off at an anemic #46 with 13,000 units sold. Her previous two albums were Gold sellers. It’s safe to say “War” will not follow that trend.

Thanks to a reissue with bonus tracks, Taylor Swift’s “Fearless” has overtaken Michael Jackson’s “Number Ones” for the title of biggest selling album of 2009. Swift’s album has sold 2.1 million units this year, a scant 30,000 units more than MJ’s 2003 hits package. At this stage, it’s still anyone’s game.

Over on the digital download side, Rihanna’s “Russian Roulette” opens with a healthy 132,000 downloads, landing at #4 on this week’s chart, behind Owl City’s “Fireflies”, Iyaz’s “Replay” and Jay-Z’s “Empire State of Mind”. For sake of comparison, Chris Brown’s latest, “I Can Transform Ya” sits at #17 in it’s fifth week out.

Next week, Carrie could score a second week at the top if the dropoff isn’t too sharp. She’ll be competing with the new one from Bon Jovi and a hits package from Britney Spears. Who’ll come out on top? Check back with us in 7 days!! In the meantime, here’s this week’s complete top 20.

1) Carrie Underwood “Play On”

2) Michael Jackson “This is It”

3) Andrea Bocelli “My Christmas”

4) Soundtrack “Glee Vol. 1”

5) Various Artists “Now That’s What I Call Music 32”

6) Taylor Swift “Fearless”

7) Weezer “Raditude”

8) Michael Buble “Crazy Love”

9) Sting “If on a Winter’s Night”

10) Soundtrack “Twilight: New Moon”

11) Foo Fighters “Greatest Hits”

12) Slayer “World Painted Blood”

13) Rod Stewart “Soulbook”

14) Creed “Full Circle”

15) Jay-Z “Blueprint 3”

16) Tim McGraw “Southern Voice”

17) Miley Cyrus “Time of Our Lives EP”

18) Michael Jackson “Number Ones”

19) Owl City “Ocean Eyes”

20) Casting Crowns “Peace on Earth”