Billboard Hot 100 Analysis: 2/6/2014

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. Dark Horse by Katy Perry f/Juicy J
  2. Drunk In Love by Beyoncé f/Jay-Z
  3. Timber by Pitbull f/Ke$ha
  4. Talk Dirty by Jason Derulo f/2 Chainz
  5. Counting Stars by OneRepublic
  6. Let Her Go by Passenger
  7. Say Something by A Great Big World & Christina Aguilera
  8. Happy by Pharrell Williams
  9. Royals by Lorde
  10. Team by Lorde

The biggest noticeable change to the Top 10 this week is the arrival of Beyoncé’s track featuring her husband. Although the Grammys were last Sunday, the chart released today reflects the sales week immediately following the awards show, so much of the significant upward movements this week are Grammy-driven. “Drunk In Love” was the performance that opened up the ceremony, propelling it into the Top 5. For Beyoncé, it marks her first Top 5 single since “Halo” back in 2009. Further down, “Happy” continues its surge up the charts, becoming Pharrell’s first Top 10 as a lead artist since “Frontin'” all the way back in 2003.

BIGGEST MOVERS THIS WEEK

46 Spots: Can’t Remember To Forget You by Shakira f/Rihanna (61-15)

44 Spots: Invisible by Hunter Hayes (88-44)

20 Spots: Radioactive by Imagine Dragons (33-13)

16 Spots: Young Girls by Bruno Mars (54-38)

11 Spots: Drunk In Love by Beyoncé f/Jay-Z (13-2)

  1. Following a 33-spot tumble last week, Shakira’s track roars back with force on the strength of a 46-place jump. The huge rise is due almost entirely to the release of the music video this week, which received over 40 million views in just three days, second all-time next to Psy’s “Gentleman”. Expect a run at the Top 10 next week.
  2. With a full week of Grammy-aided sales under its belt, Hayes’ anti-bullying song rises up to the place where it realistically should have debuted.
  3. The redone version of “Radioactive” performed with Kendrick Lamar was released digitally, which allows it to astonishingly rise 20 spots back to #13 in its 75th week on the chart. Unless a 37-spot fall happens next week, the song will tie “I’m Yours” for longest chart run ever next week.
  4. “Young Girls” continues its steady ascent into the Top 40 this week. Since Bruno Mars performed at the Super Bowl on Sunday, a full-week of inspired sales could place this newest single back on the Biggest Movers list next week.
  5. Already talked about this move a little bit earlier, so I’ll just comment on its prospects of reaching #1. “Dark Horse” gained in all Hot 100 metrics this week (airplay, digital, physical sales, and streaming) on the strength of a similar Grammys performance, so it will be very difficult to dethrone. Perry is a favorite of pop radio as well, so Beyoncé might have reached her ceiling this week.

HOT 100 DEBUTS THIS WEEK

Odio” by Romeo Santos f/Drake (#45)

  • Off the strength of his previous single “Propuesta Indecente,” which spent a few months on the Hot 100, Santos returns at a new career-high chart ranking with “Odio.” Stylistically, the song is nearly identical to his previous work and all the pop/Latin music out there right now, but a guest verse from Drake fuels its massive first-week sales.
  • Best Case Scenario: Realistically, “Odio” can’t go any higher than #45, that’s just too high for a genre-specific song to sustain. Best case scenario for this song would be to slowly ebb off the charts, in a maximum of 10 or 12 weeks.
  • Worst Case Scenario: Even though the song debuted this high, it is entirely plausible that it could disappear from the chart by next week. It’s just difficult for a Spanish-language song to garner much radio airplay.

Follow Your Arrow” by Kacey Musgraves (#60)

  • Musgraves performed “Follow Your Arrow” at the Grammys on Sunday, a night that saw her win Best Country Song and Best Country Album. With the high debut, the song already has peaked higher than her breakout single “Merry Go ‘Round.” And why not? The song is extraordinarily fun, features extremely witty lyrics (“if you don’t save yourself for marriage, you’re a whore….ible person”), and reminds listeners of a more simple time for country music.
  • Best Case Scenario: This is the one song with the potential to shine through the rest of the logjam of country music out right now, so “Follow Your Arrow” has the potential to eventually dethrone Luke Bryan’s “Drink A Beer” as the top country song.
  • Worst Case Scenario: Like other Grammy-fueled debuts, there is always that unfortunate lingering chance that it could fall off the chart by next week.

Cop Car” by Keith Urban (#74)

  • I feel like I’m repeating myself just a little bit here. Yes, there is indeed another Grammy performance debut this week. Another track off of Urban’s album Fuse, he performed “Cop Car” with blues guitarist Gary Clark, Jr. last Sunday. Slightly less raucous than “We Were Us” or “Little Bit Of Everything,” Urban was due for a ballad.
  • Best Case Scenario: Keith Urban has had success with slower songs like this (see “You’ll Think Of Me”), so he’s got a chance here to rise into the Top 50 if the airplay is friendly.
  • Worst Case Scenario: High potential for a Grammys-aided one and done, i.e. not appearing on the chart next week.

A Man Who Was Gonna Die Young” by Eric Church (#89)

  • Here we have a rarity on the Hot 100. The studio version of Church’s newest song doesn’t exist yet, only video and audio footage from its performances at concerts. It’s noteworthy then, that this ballad could debut on the chart without any digital or physical sales. It will be included on his The Outsiders album which drops soon. Much like “Give Me Back My Hometown,” this is another slam dunk for Church, a classic country ballad that hits straight to the heart. He is in the creative zone right now.
  • Best Case Scenario: Online buzz of the song keeps it afloat until a physical version of the single is released, which could propel it up towards #50 like Church’s previous two singles.
  • Worst Case Scenario: “Give Me Back My Hometown” crowds it out, and it leaves the chart until the album is released.

Can’t Raise A Man” by K. Michelle (#94)

  • Sounding like a mix of late-90s Mariah Carey and “Dilemma” by Nelly & Kelly Rowland, “Can’t Raise A Man” is K. Michelle’s second appearance on the Hot 100 following the extremely over-produced “V.S.O.P.” This is a much more radio-friendly R&B song.
  • Best Case Scenario: As an unproven artist as far as singles go, K. Michelle’s ceiling for this song has to be set low. That being said, I could see “Can’t Raise A Man” work its way into the 70s with some effort.
  • Worst Case Scenario: If I remember correctly, “V.S.O.P.” spent 5 weeks or so on the Hot 100 back in the fall. Thus, worst case scenario for “Can’t Raise A Man” would be a peak of #94 with fewer than 5 weeks spent on the chart. A one and done is also a possibility.

On Top Of The World” by Imagine Dragons (#100)

  • Wait, there’s more songs on this album? Yes, and “On Top Of The World” becomes the fourth song off of Night Visions to chart. Although it was released as a digital single way back last March, it took quite a while to make this tiny splash on the chart. Compared to Imagine Dragons’ three smash hit singles, this one is much more lighthearted, filled with a clap-along beat that seems very radio-ready.
  • Best Case Scenario: With the exception of “Radioactive”‘s digital boom this week, radio stations are beginning to start turning away from Imagine Dragons. With enough radio airplay, there’s no reason to believe that “On Top Of The World” couldn’t become the band’s fourth Top 20 single.
  • Worst Case Scenario: The #100 debut was fueled only by “Radioactive”‘s increased sales, making its appearance a fluke. It disappears from the chart very quickly.

Ever since it won the Grammy last week, I haven’t been able to stop listening to Musgraves’ album Same Trailer, Different Park. In addition to being traditional country, it is also incredibly radio-friendly music, which bodes well for chart success. With a high debut doing most of the work, I can easily back “Follow Your Arrow” as the song this week with the highest hit potential. That being said, country radio is very idiosyncratic with what new songs receive fair amounts of airplay, so we’ll have to see if they hop on the Kacey Musgraves train and give her a fair shot to try for the chart’s upper rankings. If they don’t, Keith Urban’s new song could swipe those crucial spins.

FINAL THOUGHTS

  1. Aided by a performance with Carole King at the Grammys last week, Sara Bareilles’ “Brave” reaches a new peak at #23 in its 34th week on the chart. I can’t see it rising any higher than this, and should fade down the rankings and off the charts within the next 5 or 6 weeks, but nonetheless, this is quite an impressive achievement for Bareilles.
  2. With “Drink A Beer”‘s #35 ranking representing the highest country song on the chart, it underscores a low point in recent memory for country’s mainstream popularity. In fact, if you wanted to find the last time the highest-charting country song in a given week was lower than #35, you’d have to go all the way back to September 2012, when Blake Shelton’s “Over” peaked at #43.

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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