Eric Church could have his first No. 1 album by this time next week! Billboard is reporting that 'Chief' is on pace to sell between 120,000 and 130,000 units in its first week in stores and at digital retailers. That would far outpace the country competition, as well as artists from all genres.

Just behind Church, the projected No. 2 is pop singer Kelly Rowland, with only 75,000 copies of her new album 'Here I Am' sold.

Church's previous effort, 'Carolina,' debuted at No. 4 on the country charts and No. 17 overall in 2009, but went on to sell over 500,000 copies. That kind of consistency over 122 weeks is almost unheard of; Billboard reports that only six times did the album sell fewer than 2,000 copies during a week.

The Granite Falls, N.C. singer tells Taste of Country his new album is a blend of all the things he got right on his previous two, but is still far from perfect. "This one, I’m happy top to bottom," he says. "I think it’s a living thing. It feels alive to me. I love records that aren’t perfect. I think imperfection is what harvests that creativity and gives it a heartbeat. For me, that’s the kind of music that I like. It’s raw at times. It’s really about the music and that moment. I think in doing it that way, the fans are going to feel the same energy that I feel when I’m listening to it."

'Chief' features the single 'Homeboy,' which Church has sold over 500,000 digital copies of so far. Our review of the album agrees with Church's statement that he is continuing to get better with each album, but he still has room for growth. The raw energy does indeed make it special.

Watch Eric Church Perform 'Like Jesus Does'