Billboard Hot 100 Analysis: 3/13/2014

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. Happy by Pharrell Williams
  2. Dark Horse by Katy Perry f/Juicy J
  3. All Of Me by John Legend
  4. Talk Dirty by Jason Derulo f/2 Chainz
  5. Pompeii by Bastille
  6. Team by Lorde
  7. Drunk In Love by Beyoncé f/Jay-Z
  8. Counting Stars by OneRepublic
  9. Let It Go by Adele Dazeem
  10. Timber by Pitbull f/Ke$ha

Seven songs in the Top 10 this week maintain their previous chart’s position. “All Of Me” and “Talk Dirty” swap places at #3 and #4, giving John Legend a highest career peak. At #9, I hope you caught my purposeful typo, because John Travolta’s Oscar flub is at least partially responsible for “Let It Go”‘s surge to a new peak. With its rise to #9, it becomes the second consecutive Best Original Song to reach the Top 10 (“Skyfall” hit #8 in the fall of 2012, sung by someone actually named Adele).

BIGGEST MOVERS THIS WEEK

27 Spots: #SELFIE by The Chainsmokers (55-28)

21 Spots: Ain’t It Fun by Paramore (96-75)

20 Spots: This Is How We Roll by Florida Georgia Line f/Luke Bryan (56-36)

14 Spots: La La La by Naughty Boy f/Sam Smith (85-71)

12 Spots: Part II (On The Run) by Jay-Z f/Beyoncé (92-80)

  1. Parody or not, The Chainsmokers have a real hit on their hands. In just its second week on the chart, “#SELFIE” roars into the Top 30, just one spot behind “Turn Down For What,” the precise type of song it pokes fun at.
  2. After “Still Into You” became their highest charting hit yet, Paramore’s quest to match or better that mark gets off to a good start with “Ain’t It Fun” making sizable gains in its second week.
  3. The combination of arguably the two biggest artists in country music right now proves to be irresistible, as “This Is How We Roll” bounds up to #2 on the Country Singles chart in just its 5th week.
  4. Following the pattern of John Newman’s “Love Me Again,” the former British #1 is well on its way to a similar trek towards the Top 40.
  5. Following a six-month hiatus on the chart (it lasted one week following the release of Magna Carta…Holy Grail), Jay-Z’s team-up with his wife looks to become the third Top 40 single from the album. Including “Drunk In Love” at #7 this week, this is the 6th time that the power couple has shared billing on a charting single.

HOT 100 DEBUTS THIS WEEK

Magic” by Coldplay (#24)

  • Coldplay finds themselves in familiar territory this week, with a preview single to a new album exploding onto the charts in its first week. This is the 5th time the English band has debuted in the Top 30 (“Speed of Sound” [#8 in 2005], “Viva La Vida” [#15 in 2008], “Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall” [#29 in 2011] and “Paradise” [#16 in 2011]), so all signs point to the easygoing “Magic” having staying power.
  • Best Case Scenario: “Magic” won’t transcend genre like “Viva La Vida” did, but it has the potential to ride the new album’s inevitable success into the Top 10.
  • Worst Case Scenario: A large drop in its second week is likely (“Viva La Vida” fell 26 spots in its second week before rebounding). However, lack of radio airplay could keep “Magic” from rebounding to its debut heights.

Raging Fire” by Phillip Phillips (#58)

  • The American Idol champ looks for his third consecutive hit single with “Raging Fire”, a song which uses the Phil Phillips-patended model of fast acoustic guitar and group vocals. Despite the edgy-sounding title, the track is predictably much more tender lyrically, and fits like a glove into his established canon.
  • Best Case Scenario: Adult Contemporary radio continues its love affair with Phillips, granting “Raging Fire” months of airplay and many, many weeks in the Top 30. Expect a peak similar to “Gone, Gone, Gone.”
  • Worst Case Scenario: The digital-spurred high debut overshadows its radio potential, and the track hovers in the 50s for a while before beginning its decline.

Trophies” by Young Money f/Drake (#73)

  • Singles by rap collectives have become a recent trend, and the group that started it all is back with more. However, unlike “BedRock,” which peaked at #2 in 2010 and featured a bevy of famous rappers, this one is handled entirely by Drake. He’s certainly done better, especially considering the lame “All of the Lights” sound-alike beat he’s forced to rap over.
  • Best Case Scenario: Drake can do no wrong these past few years, so the decline of his own album’s tracks could help push this new effort into the Top 40.
  • Worst Case Scenario: Drake fans have come to expect more from him, and give “Trophies” nothing more than a passing glance, and a swift decline off the charts within a few weeks.

Sanctified” by Rick Ross f/Kanye West & Big Sean (#78)

AND

The Devil Is A Lie” by Rick Ross f/Jay-Z (#86)

  • Ross is the owner of the best-selling album in the country this week, and as such sees the two highest-profile singles make debuts on the chart. This is certainly no new occurrence (Drake had every single song chart the week Nothing Was The Same dropped). The two tracks off Mastermind debuting are unsurprisingly the ones featuring the most established artists (Kanye, Big Sean, and Jay-Z).
  • Best Case Scenario: “Sanctified” rides the star power of the feature credits into a R&B/Hip-Hop airplay stronghold, leading to a peak somewhere between #35 and #50. “The Devil Is A Lie” hangs around forever in the lower realms of the chart, much like Drake’s “The Language.”
  • Worst Case Scenario: Both tracks chart only on the strength of album sales, and disappear from the chart next week.

Fancy” by Iggy Azalea f/Charli XCX (#88)

  • The Australian pseudo-rapper makes her first chart appearance in America with “Fancy,” a song that plays out like a DJ Mustard version of Fergie’s hits “Fergalicious” and “Glamorous”. The track features Charli XCX on the chorus, whose voice graced last year’s debut hit single “I Love It” by Icona Pop.
  • Best Case Scenario: Fergie’s formula boded well for her in 2007, and “I Love It” was arguably the biggest sleeper hit of 2013. It’s very possible for “Fancy” to gain a following enough to reach the Top 20.
  • Worst Case Scenario: The advantageous release of the music video spurred on this debut, and the song falls off the chart within two or three weeks.

Adrenalina” by Wisin f/Jennifer Lopez & Ricky Martin (#94)

  • Back when he was paired with Yandel, reggaeton artist Wisin appeared on the Hot 100 four times between 2005 and 2008 (with “Rakata”‘s #85 peak representing the duo’s highest ranking). Making his first run as a solo artist, he wisely uses two of the biggest Latin artists in history as featured artists.
  • Best Case Scenario: As with any song entirely in Spanish, there is a ceiling. Having J-Lo and Ricky Martin helps, but I can’t see the song rising any higher than #80.
  • Worst Case Scenario: Much like Wisin & Yandel’s three non-“Rakata” charting efforts, the song registers one or two weeks on the chart and falls off entirely.

Today’s decision is a battle of speculation over which song Adult Contemporary will back more heartily. Both “Magic” and “Raging Fire” possess the potential to become perennial airplay tracks, but declaring a tie would be boring, right? In the end, I feel that “Raging Fire” sounds more to me like a “summer hit”, and as he’s proved the past two years, nothing says summer like Phil Phillips. So, expect “Magic” to win the initial race to become a hit single (it could easily reach the Top 20 like “Paradise”), but look for “Raging Fire” to exhibit more staying power as the weather improves.

#1 SONGS ON THE GENRE CHARTS

  • POP: Dark Horse by Katy Perry f/Juicy J (#2 on Hot 100)
  • COUNTRY: Bottoms Up by Brantley Gilbert (#30 on Hot 100)
  • ROCK: Pompeii by Bastille (#5 on Hot 100)
  • ALTERNATIVE: Do I Wanna Know? by Arctic Monkeys (#70 on Hot 100)
  • R&B/HIP-HOP: Happy by Pharrell Williams (#1 on Hot 100)
  • RAP: Timber by Pitbull f/Ke$ha (#10 on Hot 100)
  • DANCE/ELECTRONIC: Hey Brother by Avicii (#20 on Hot 100)
  • LATIN: Odio by Romeo Santos f/Drake (#85 on Hot 100)

FINAL THOUGHTS

  1. While Avicii’s “Wake Me Up” continues to exemplify the slowest decline in popularity I’ve ever seen for an EDM track, Martin Garrix’s “Animals” is making the exact opposite claim. Dance tracks are infamous for seeing spikes in popularity followed by swift declines, but the 17-year-old DJ’s debut single reached a new peak of #26 in this, its 25th week on the Hot 100. Avicii’s own “Hey Brother” is attempting to make a similar run, hitting a new peak at #20 in its 14th week. All three of these songs show just how strong of a foothold EDM has gained in the mainstream in recent years.
  2. 20 songs in the Top 50 this week have already notched over 20 weeks on the Hot 100, with six of those tracks finding themselves in the Top 10. More so than ever, longevity has become the true marker of success on the Hot 100, and surprisingly this trend is extraordinarily equitable. Of those 20 songs, seven are by solo female acts, eight are by solo male acts, and five are by bands. Just goes to show that anyone can do it, not just Imagine Dragons and AWOLNATION.

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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