I’m running out of witty things to say at the start of these things. Someone has to help me out here. Hey, are there any cool songs about Sunday that you can think of? Ah, yes. One of my favorite Maroon 5 songs. Granted, some of you reading this are probably thinking “I thought you said cool songs, but I like ’em, so nyah!!

Anyhow, today’s Billboard charts are brought to you by the letter “B”, the number “8” and appear courtesy of the good men and women at Billboard magazine.

    Billboard Top 20 Albums

1) “The Recession”- Young Jeezy
2) “The Block”- New Kids on the Block
3) “L.A.X.”- The Game
4) “Rock & Roll Jesus”- Kid Rock
5) “All Hope is Gone”- Slipknot
6) “A Little Bit Longer”- Jonas Brothers
7) “Mamma Mia Soundtrack”- Various Artists
8) “Lost in the Sound of Separation”- Underoath
9) “Hello Love”- Chris Tomlin
10) “Tha Carter III”- Li’l Wayne
11) “Love on the Inside”- Sugarland
12) “Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends”- Coldplay
13) “Good Girl Gone Bad”- Rihanna
14) “Breakout”- Miley Cyrus
15) “Now That’s What I Call Country!”- Various Artists
16) “We Sing, We Dance, We Steal Things”- Jason Mraz
17) “The Illusion of Progress”- Staind
18) “Camp Rock Soundtrack”- Various Artists
19) “Just a Rolling Stone”- Donnie Klang
20) “Spirit”- Leona Lewis

    Billboard Top 20 Singles

1) “Whatever U Like”- T.I.
2) “So What”- Pink
3) “Disturbia”- Rihanna
4) “With You”- Chris Brown
5) “Paper Planes”- M.I.A.
6) “I’m Yours”- Jason Mraz
7) “Viva La Vida”- Coldplay
8) “Closer”- Ne-Yo
9) “In the Ayer”- Flo-Rida feat. will.i.am
10) “Dangerous”- Kardinal Offishall feat. Akon
11) “Just Stand Up!”- Various Artists
12) “Can’t Believe It”- T-Pain feat. Li’l Wayne
13) “Hot N Cold”- Katy Perry
14) “When I Grow Up”- The Pussycat Dolls
15) “Got Money”- Li’l Wayne feat. T-Pain
16) “I Kissed a Girl”- Katy Perry
17) “One Step at a Time”- Jordin Sparks
18) “Put On”- Young Jeezy feat. Kanye West
19) “Take a Bow”- Rihanna
20) “Leavin'”- Jesse McCartney

Gavin Rossdale. Photo courtesy of brendaanerl.

Gavin Rossdale. Photo courtesy of brendaanerl.

*The big news is obviously NKOTB‘s new album debuting at #2 on the album charts. It’s their highest charting album since 1990. I can’t even think of a precedent of a band that’s been away for that long and has returned more popular than they were when they broke up. Their greatest hits album is one of the chart’s greatest gainers as well, barreling up 24 spots to #30. Maybe now Danny Wood can afford to buy a new face.

*On the other side of things, it looks like Diddy’s reality-show mojo might be wearing off, as Donnie Klang’s album debuts at #19. It’s by far the lowest-charting of any “Making the Band” artist. O-Town debuted at #5, Bad Boy’s Da Band (remember them?) entered at #2, and both Danity Kane and Day26 made their initial chart entries at the top. Perhaps Mr. Combs should spend less time looking for an assistant or asking his Saudi Arabian brothers to help him out with oil and more time promoting his artists, yes?

*what the hell happened to R&B? While the album charts are littered with R&B-flavored pop (NKOTB, Leona Lewis, Klang, Rihanna), you have to scan all the way down to #28 (Solange) to find an actual R&B album. Talk about a genre in crisis.

*The Jason Mraz resurgence continues, as “We Sing, We Dance, We Steal Things” re-enters the Top 20 and the single “I’m Yours” powers up to a new peak of #6. At least Mr. Mraz can claim one thing that fellow singer-songwriter with the initials J.M.-John Mayer- has found elusive so far-a Top Ten single.

*Interesting semi-successful actor-turned-singer alert: Oscar nominee Terrence Howard debuts at #31 (and #6 R&B) with his first album. Forest Whitaker’s album must not be far behind.

*With “In the Ayer” shooting up 12 spots to #9, I guess we can forget about calling Flo-Rida a one-hit wonder. Damn it.

*The charity single “Just Stand Up”, the proceeds of which support cancer research, and which contains a slew of female artists from Beyonce and Mary J. Blige to Sheryl Crow and Melissa Etheridge, blasts up to #11 this week. It’s the first multi-artist benefit single I can recall charting since 2001’s remake of Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On” and the highest charting one since the mid-Eighties heyday of benefit singles like “We Are the World”.

*We discussed Darius Rucker (AKA Hootie)’s success last week (he moves up five spots to #35 this week). A few spots ahead of him at #31 is Bush’s Gavin Rossdale with “Love Remains the Same”. Who died and made it 1995 again?

*Finally, country singer Jimmy Wayne jumps to #36 on the singles chart this week. I don’t know who Jimmy Wayne is, but how standard and milquetoast is the guy’s name? In my early morning grogginess, my mind flashed on Bruce Wayne, Jimmy Dean (of sausage fame) and the immortal Jimmy Ray before realizing that this guy was none of the aforementioned three. Although it would be kinda neat if the world gave Jimmy Ray another hit. And that provides the lamest segue to a video ever, and the end of this week’s column. See y’all next week!!