Billboard Hot 100 Analysis: 2/13/2014

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

No new songs in the Top 10 this week, but there are some major shakeups in terms of actual positioning. Most notably, “Happy” skips up six spots from #8 to claim the runner-up position, becoming his highest-ever ranking as a lead artist. “Dark Horse” will be tough to dethrone, but Pharrell’s track has undoubtedly the best chance among all these others of doing so. Also in the top 5, “Talk Dirty” and “Let Her Go” reach new peaks, bumping “Timber”, “Counting Stars,” and “Drunk In Love” out of their previous high points.

BIGGEST MOVERS THIS WEEK

21 Spots: Love Don’t Die by The Fray (81-60)

18 Spots: Neon Lights by Demi Lovato (64-46)

17 Spots: Loyal by Chris Brown f/Lil Wayne & French Montana (80-63)

15 Spots: Na Na by Trey Songz (95-80)

13 Spots: 19 You + Me by Dan + Shay (85-72)

  1. A big surprise to me, the lead single from The Fray’s upcoming album jumps 20% of the chart to reach a new peak. Looks like I was wrong about “Love Don’t Die”‘s prospects, although it needs to crack the Top 20 to even be considered as one of the band’s greatest hits.
  2. Getting a bit nostalgic here, my first ever prediction on the website finally leaps forward into the Top 50 on the chart. With the waning success and chart position of Lovato’s version of “Let It Go”, “Neon Lights” has potential to garner more radio airplay in the coming weeks.
  3. As I said before, “Loyal” just never was going to go away. After lingering in the 80s for three weeks, the track with an East Coast and West Coast version sees a steady jump into respectability, and could become another Top 40 hit for Brown.
  4. DJ Mustard does it again. Despite being a relatively lazy effort on Trey’s part, “Na Na” sees a steady bump in its third week on the chart. Just goes to show what benefits recruiting a well-known producer can have.
  5. Back when I called Dan + Shay “the new Rascal Flatts” a few weeks ago, I had no idea that Rascal Flatts would release a new single the very next week. The momentary success of “Rewind” almost certainly kept the newcomers’ debut single from rising up the charts. Now that the sales frenzy of the first couple weeks has died down for Rascal Flatts, it looks like country radio can get back to spinning “19 You + Me” again. I still contend that this song will reach the Top 50 eventually.

HOT 100 DEBUTS THIS WEEK

The Worst” by Jhene Aiko (#87)

  • Following her success as a featured artist on Big Sean’s “Beware” and Drake’s “From Time”, Jhene Aiko (pronounced “juh-nay I-coe” for conversational use) scores her first solo charting single with “The Worst.” Utilizing an ever-present piano in the background with a dark R&B beat, the track sounds much like a background beat that Drake himself would use for one of his songs.
  • Best Case Scenario: The beat is a little too slow to garner realistic amounts of crossover airplay, so with genre-based radio restrictions, the ceiling for “The Worst” is realistically somewhere in the 60s or 70s.
  • Worst Case Scenario: There’s no album release or video release sparking this debut, so I don’t think it will be a one-and-done run. That being said, it could drop 5-10 spots next week and then vanish from the chart unless R&B radio continues to play it.

Human” by Christina Perri (#90)

  • Having basically cornered the market on the piano-driven ballad market, Christina Perri returns with “Human,” slightly more heavy than “Jar of Hearts” or “A Thousand Years.” Her songs have fared very well on adult contemporary radio in the past, and this shouldn’t be an exception.
  • Best Case Scenario: This isn’t exactly “Jar of Hearts,” but a chart run similar to “A Thousand Years” is very possible. That is to say, a peak in the low 20s or high 30s and 20 weeks spent on the chart, and a spot in the 2014 Top 101 Hits countdown.
  • Worst Case Scenario: Spending a few weeks in the 80s and 90s, the track fizzles out before it catches on with Adult Contemporary radio.

Beat Of The Music” by Brett Eldredge (#97)

  • Last fall, “Don’t Ya” became a smash country hit for newcomer Brett Eldredge, reaching #30 on the Hot 100 and #5 on the Country Singles chart. Hoping to equal the success of that single, Eldredge sees his second hit chart with “Beat Of The Music”‘s modest #97 debut. The song is much more laid-back than “Don’t Ya” and sounds slightly more like Randy Houser than his previous material.
  • Best Case Scenario: I was impressed with how well “Don’t Ya” performed as a first single, so I’d be wrong to underestimate this track as well. Given the right amount of airplay, it could easily crack the Country Singles Top 10, which would place its Hot 100 peak somewhere in the upper 40s.
  • Worst Case Scenario: A crowded country scene right now makes “Beat Of The Music” a quick one-and-done for Eldredge.

Only three songs debuted on the Hot 100 this week, the smallest number I can remember in recent memory. Thus, there is potential for none of these songs to become reasonable hits (much like what happened last week, with none of last week’s debuts making positive moves today). However, “Human” has a very realistic chance of becoming an adult radio staple in the traditional Christina Perri mold. Much like “Jar Of Hearts” was unavoidable in 2011, and “A Thousand Years” made a big splash in 2012, the piano-driven “Human” caters well to the same audience. Also, its recently-released music video has already garnered over 3,000,000 views, so the song is definitely off to a good start.

FINAL THOUGHTS

  1. It’s now official. “Radioactive” has tied “I’m Yours” with its 76th week on the Hot 100. Ranking at #24 this week, it has a better-than-good chance to set an all-time record next week. Congratulations to a true genre chameleon, I’m curious to see if it could reach 80 weeks. Also noteworthy is the fact that “Sail” by AWOLNATION spent its 75th week on the chart this week, just one step behind. If “Sail” can spend two more weeks on the chart as well, then two concurrent chart runs will rank #1 and #2 all-time. Pretty cool.
  2. Two Oscar-nominated soundtrack songs feature in the Top 20 this week, as “Happy” and “Let It Go” reach new peaks. Although it’s not uncommon for this to happen (2 Chainz and Wiz Khalifa hit #17 last year when Fast & Furious 6 came out), what is unnatural is how long these songs have outlived their respective release dates. Despicable Me 2 came out seven months ago, and Frozen is nearing the three month mark, so these are truly impressive feats for both songs. With Oscar buzz carrying through to the ceremony itself on March 2nd, both songs should be able to tally over 20 weeks on the chart.

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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