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Not princess of charts yet, but not bad either

Los Angeles, April 17 (Reuters): Some 25 years after the death of her legendary father, Lisa Marie Presley claimed her own place in the pop charts on Wednesday with a respectable No. 5 opening for her debut album, To Whom It May Concern.

The album, an introspective collection of songs whose lyrics were written mostly by the 35-year-old performer, sold 1,42,000 copies its first week in release from EMI Group Plc’s Capitol Records, according to retail sales tracker Nielsen SoundScan.

That was enough to edge out R&B love man Ginuwine’s latest release, The Senior, from the top five for the week ended on Sunday. But Presley was crowded out of the chart’s highest rungs by the No. 1 opening of hard rock group Godsmack’s third album, Faceless, followed by metal band Linkin Park’s Meteora, rap artist 50 Cent’s Get Rich or Die Tryin’ and the latest Now compilation of various artists.

Still, the debut of Elvis Presley’s only child, coming a quarter century after the “king of rock ’n’ roll” passed into history, marked a solid start for the latest in a long line of pop music progeny following in their parents’ footsteps.

Whether Lisa Marie Presley achieves the success of Jakob Dylan, Julian Lennon or Hank Williams Jr. remains to be seen. Her recording debut poses the twin challenges of overcoming inevitable comparisons to her father and years of tabloid headlines borne of her high-profile former marriages to pop star Michael Jackson and actor Nicolas Cage.

Still, Presley, who bears a striking resemblance to her famous dad, has drawn generally warm reviews. Billboard magazine said her first album “stands on its own and is far better than many might expect.” Similarly, Los Angeles Times critic Robert Hilburn wrote: “Presley wants to pass the credibility test, and she does.”

“I really went back through a lot of the dark corridors of my life in this record,” Presley said in a recent interview with the Times. “I wanted people to know who I am based on my music, not on what they read in the tabloids.”

Indeed, the singer-songwriter has been surprisingly frank about her personal life in a promotional blitz that has seen her show up everywhere from the cover of Rolling Stone magazine to ABC television’s “Primetime Thursday”.

Presley also benefited from considerable airplay and favourable notices for her album’s bluesy first single, Lights Out, which contains an eerie reference to her heritage.

Someone turned the lights out there in Memphis/That’s where my family’s buried and gone/Last time I was there I noticed a space left/Next to them there in Memphis in the damn back lawn,” she sang of the family grave site at Graceland.

She also pays tribute to her father, who died in 1977 when she was nine years old, in the song Nobody Noticed It.

Although she penned the album’s lyrics almost entirely herself, Presley received songwriting help from Glen Ballard, the producer who signed her five years ago to this then-Capitol-distributed label and is best known for his work on Alanis Morissette’s blockbuster album Jagged Little Pill.

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