Billboard Hot 100 Analysis: 1/16/2014

Welcome back for another analysis of the Billboard Hot 100! Here’s all you need to know about the chart released today.

THIS WEEK’S TOP TEN

  1. Timber by Pitbull f/Ke$ha
  2. Counting Stars by OneRepublic
  3. The Monster by Eminem f/Rihanna
  4. Dark Horse by Katy Perry f/Juicy J
  5. Say Something by A Great Big World & Christina Aguilera
  6. Let Her Go by Passenger
  7. Royals by Lorde
  8. Wake Me Up! by Avicii
  9. Demons by Imagine Dragons
  10. Story Of My Life by One Direction

Everything’s pretty static in the Top 10 this week, with the exception of Dark Horse rising into the top five. One Direction’s newest single returns to the upper region of the chart, but none of these songs are new to the top 10. Lurking just outside at numbers 11 and 12 are “Team” by Lorde and “Pompeii” by Bastille, both of which had strong gains this week. Don’t be surprised to see one or both of them make the big jump next week.

BIGGEST MOVERS THIS WEEK

55 Spots: The Man by Aloe Blacc (79-24)

42 Spots: Happy by Pharrell Williams (98-56)

23 Spots: Love Me Again by John Newman (59-36)

20 Spots: Talk Dirty by Jason Derulo f/2 Chainz (49-29)

18 Spots: Young Girls by Bruno Mars (94-76)

15 Spots: 19 You + Me by Dan + Shay (96-81)

  1. Aloe Blacc, best known for his vocals on Avicii’s “Wake Me Up,” sees a massive jump in his first American solo single. This rise is due to massive digital gains spurred on by “The Man”‘s use in multiple NBA commercials for Beats By Dre.
  2. My pick last week for biggest hit potential leapfrogs almost half of the Hot 100 in its second week.The Despicable Me 2 track also got a Oscar nomination today for Best Original Song, so that should provide some momentum for weeks to come.
  3. It’s truly great to see this neo-soul track by the British Newman finally find its footing in America. I called it the 4th best song of 2013, and this massive leap into the Top 40 could make it one of the catchiest hits of 2014.
  4. Impressively, the newest Jason Derulo single makes the Biggest Movers list for the second straight week, moving from 85 to 29 in two short frames. Could it become his first Top 10 single since “In My Head”? We’ll have to see.
  5. and 6. My other two flags for hit potential last week experience strong second week surges. “Young Girls” will likely gain further exposure with the Super Bowl nearing, and “19 You + Me” is building its way towards the Country Songs Top 10.

HOT 100 DEBUTS THIS WEEK

You Sound Good To Me” by Lucy Hale (#88)

  • The debut single from the Pretty Little Liars actress, “You Sound Good To Me” is an upbeat country song with absolutely no ties to Hale’s acting career. This is a good thing, as the bubbly track reminds me more of a young Sara Evans than a celebrity trying to show that they can make music as well.
  • Best Case Scenario: The successes of similar acts Danielle Bradbery and Cassadee Pope bode well for Hale, and she sets her course in motion to becoming a viable country act as well as a known actress.
  • Worst Case Scenario: The novelty of her celebrity doesn’t translate into chart longevity, and her debut single fails to break out of the 80s on the chart.

Partition” by Beyoncé (#90)

  • Here we have yet another release from Queen Bey’s eponymous surprise release. Technically, this song is a bit of a mess. Most of the song has a snare beat similar to Destiny’s Child’s “Lose My Breath,” but Beyoncé tries to sing-rap along with it, resulting in an awkward mix. Furthermore, the beat never really settles in, switching styles and tempo randomly throughout the song’s four minutes.
  • Best Case Scenario: The novelty of the new album propels “Partition” similar to Justin Timberlake’s “TKO”, becoming a moderate success behind the two first singles.
  • Worst Case Scenario: Nobody really knows what to do with this song, and it spends its weeks languishing in the bottom 25.

Goodnight Kiss” by Randy Houser (#93)

  • Following a hugely successful 2013 with “How Country Feels” and “Runnin’ Out Of Moonlight,” Randy Houser is back with another single from his How Country Feels album. Compared to the more raucous prior singles, “Goodnight Kiss” is slightly more tender, yet invokes the similar brand of country that made Houser one of the most-played country artists of last year.
  • Best Case Scenario: Houser scores another huge hit on country radio, and a 3rd consecutive peak inside the Hot 100’s Top 30.
  • Worst Case Scenario: Too many songs like this have already come out in the past few months, and Houser gets crowded out of one last hit from his album.

Get Me Some Of That” by Thomas Rhett (#94)

  • Much like Houser, Thomas Rhett looks to build off of a breakout 2013 with another successful single. “Get Me Some Of That” utilizes the recent trend of pop-friendly beats interspersed with traditional country guitars and vocals, much like Rhett’s recent Country #1 “It Goes Like This.”
  • Best Case Scenario: Same level of success as “It Goes Like This,” that is to say, another #1 country single and a peak in the 20s.
  • Worst Case Scenario: People find “Get Me Some Of That” too similar to Rhett’s previous single and keep it stuck below #50.

Give Me Back My Hometown” by Eric Church (#95)

  • Eric Church is a bit of an angry singer these days, isn’t he? Following the raucous rebel anthem “The Outsiders,” Church released “Give Me Back My Hometown,” a slyly biting criticism of southern lifestyle nay-sayers. On the surface, this song is much more calm than “The Outsiders”, but it delivers much more of a lyrical punch.
  • Best Case Scenario: Country fans dig the slightly toned-down version of “The Outsiders” and reward Church with a country radio staple like “Like Jesus Does.” Could peak inside the Top 40.
  • Worst Case Scenario: Much like “The Outsiders” “Give Me…” polarizes country audiences, leading to an unstable chart run with a peak in the 60s or lower.

She Knows” by J. Cole f/Amber Coffman & Cults (#96)

  • The third single off of J. Cole’s huge album Born Sinner is the first to rely exclusively on the lead artist’s notoriety. With no TLC or Miguel to help him here, first-time charters Amber Coffman and indie duo Cults come along for the ride on this progressive R&B track.
  • Best Case Scenario: The J. Cole train keeps rolling, and Born Sinner receives its third consecutive Top 40 single.
  • Worst Case Scenario: The lack of star power on the feature credits hinders the ability of “She Knows” to cross over from R&B radio, preventing it from climbing any higher than the 60s.

How I Feel” by Flo Rida (#98)

  • Although released a few months ago, this single that features the oft-covered “Feeling Good” received exposure this past weekend as the song of choice for CBS’ NFL Playoffs coverage. Flo Rida hopes to continue his successful practice of heavy sampling and creatively changing the song title. (e.g. “I Cry” sampling “Piano in the Dark”)
  • Best Case Scenario: The 12-month gap between “I Cry” and now leaves fans hungering for more Flo Rida, and the spark provided by CBS propels this track into the Top 10 and an early hit for this spring.
  • Worst Case Scenario: The 12-month gap between “I Cry” and now gives fans little incentive to listen to this new single, and Flo Rida hits a rut in his otherwise stellar first five years as a pop star.

Ride” by SoMo (#100)

  • Released almost a year ago, the debut single from R&B singer/songwriter SoMo (neé Joseph Somers-Morales) finally makes the Hot 100 by sneaking into the final spot. The track sounds like a combination of a Miguel beat with some elements of Christian pop with maybe a slight touch of Enrique Iglesias.
  • Best Case Scenario: Listeners recognize SoMo from his popular YouTube covers and give him a boost on R&B radio. Realistically though, a peak any higher than 70 is pushing it.
  • Worst Case Scenario: SoMo becomes another name in the long list of acts with one charting single spending exactly one week at #100.

There are a lot of debuts this week, and more than half of them are country tunes. Amongst the country songs, I’m giving the edge to Thomas Rhett’s “Get Me Some Of That” for this week. “It Goes Like This” was one of the biggest country hits of 2013, and this song offers fans more of the same. But for my actual pick for the song with the most hit potential this week, I’m going to have to go with Flo Rida. When I heard this song a few months ago, I knew it had commercials written all over it, and with its use in the NFL Playoffs last weekend, I see no reason why “How I Feel” won’t continue to find its way onto popular radio stations. 2013 was quiet, too quiet for Flo Rida, so I’m expecting a return to prominence for him in 2014.

FINAL THOUGHTS

  1. While “Radioactive” holds strong at #31 in its 72nd week on the chart (leaving it four away from the all-time record), “Sail” tumbles nearly ten spots into the 40s this week. Looks as though AWOLNATION’s remarkable run will come up just shy of joining “Radioactive” in the record-breaking. As always, I’ll keep you posted on the progress of these two megahits.
  2. All four songs from Frozen are still hanging around on the Hot 100, nearly two months after the release of the film. Color me impressed, I never thought the Disney film would endure at the box office as well as it did. Further kudos to “Let It Go” for an Oscar nomination today for Best Original Song.

That’s all for this week! I’ll be back on Thursday with a look at the next edition of the Hot 100. More predictions and analysis coming at you in a week!

Until then,

Ryan

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