Billboard Hot 100 Analysis: 3/20/2014

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. Counting Stars by OneRepublic
  8. Drunk In Love by Beyoncé f/Jay-Z
  9. We Might Be Dead By Tomorrow by Soko
  10. The Man by Aloe Blacc

The top six songs remain in their previous week’s positions. At #10, Aloe Blacc sees his second overall trip to the Top 10, and his first ever as a lead artist. “The Man” also becomes Elton John’s first songwriting claim in the Top 10 in 15 years, by virtue of the “You can tell everybody” lifted from “Your Song.” At #9, Soko’s song becomes the highest debut of 2014 thus far. If the song name is unfamiliar to you, just know that it is the song playing in the background during “First Kiss,” the YouTube viral smash that has received 40 million views in its first week on the site. Ever since Billboard allowed YouTube to factor into the charting equation, songs like this have experienced huge boosts.

BIGGEST MOVERS THIS WEEK

25 Spots: Not A Bad Thing by Justin Timberlake (67-42)

23 Spots: Mmm Yeah by Austin Mahone f/Pitbull (93-70)

12 Spots: Ain’t It Fun by Paramore (75-63)

11 Spots: La La La by Naughty Boy f/Sam Smith (71-60)

11 Spots: Na Na by Trey Songz (46-35)

  1. My prediction from a few weeks ago sees a surge without the release of a music video, so when it’s inevitably released, look for “Not A Bad Thing” to rocket into the Top 30.
  2. Nothing revives a struggling song like a new music video, so Mahone’s “Virtual Insanity” inspired hidden treadmill video helps boost the song back into chart respectability.
  3. Two weeks in a row for Paramore’s latest effort. We’ll see if it maintains this momentum and reaches the Top 40 by mid-April.
  4. Ditto for the Brits this week, who registered consecutive Biggest Mover appearances. So far its trajectory matches up well with “Love Me Again”‘s example.
  5. I can’t believe I’m still writing about this song, but the DJ Mustard production sees its fourth appearance in this segment as it steadily is becoming Trey’s biggest hit since “Bottoms Up.”

HOT 100 DEBUTS THIS WEEK

We’ve got a massive 11 songs debuting on the chart this week, so in the interest of keeping this article flowing and preventing you from getting bored, I’ll keep these short. Nothing more for each new song than a one sentence description and a prediction.

“We Might Be Dead By Tomorrow” by Soko (#9)

  • As mentioned before, the viral video theme song scores the highest chart debut of any song since Lady Gaga’s “Dope” bowed at #8 in November.
  • Prediction: Like Yael Naim’s “New Soul” in 2008, the song will likely hover in the Top 10 for a week or two, then begin a steady decline down the chart.

“Love Is An Open Door” by Kristen Bell & Santino Fontana (#49)

  • Not quite sure what brought this high debut about (probably the album’s sixth nonconsecutive week at #1), but the Frozen soundtrack has its fifth charting single.
  • Prediction: The warming weather will finally stunt Frozen‘s dominance, so expect this song’s stay on the Hot 100 to be unfortunately brief, just like Hans’ affection for Anna.

“Who Do You Love?” by YG f/Drake (#78)

  • Still riding the success of “My Hitta”, YG’s album My Krazy Life dropped on Tuesday, so the second single hopes to reach similar levels of success. Don’t worry, DJ Mustard tagged along as well.
  • Prediction: DJ Mustard is rolling, and having Drake is a huge asset, so look for “Who Do You Love” to become YG’s second consecutive Top 40 single.

“Headlights” by Eminem f/Nate Ruess (#86)

  • After all the chart records Eminem broke in November, he looks to keep his streak of hits rolling by apologizing to his mom and bringing in the fun. singer.
  • Prediction: It might not become his fifth Top 40 single from the album, but look for this song to hang around in the bottom half of the chart for a while.

“Slow Me Down” by Sara Evans (#89)

  • The release of her newest album last week leads to Evans’ first chart appearance since 2011.
  • Prediction: The single itself has been milling around country radio for six months now, with little success, so look for the song to spend a few weeks on the chart and then make its exit.

“Or Nah” by Ty Dolla $ign f/Wiz Khalifa & DJ Mustard (#91)

  • The latest Vine craze reunites Ty Dolla $ign and DJ Mustard, with the former looking for two straight Top 40 singles to start his career.
  • Prediction: There’s a few too many of these songs out there right now, so I can’t see this getting any higher than #60.

“Red Lights” by Tiesto (#97)

  • Feeling pressured by Avicii to adapt to the changing world of EDM, Tiesto’s foray into adding acoustic elements results in his first appearance on the Hot 100.
  • Prediction: It’s #1 in the US clubs and #6 in the UK, so prospects look good for this track. I’ll set its ceiling somewhere in the Top 40.

“I Luh Ya Papi” by Jennifer Lopez f/French Montana (#98)

  • Despite making a few random appearances in featuring roles throughout the past year or so, this new track serves as the lead single for J. Lo’s forthcoming album.
  • Prediction: It’s ridiculously catchy, I’ll give it that. Were this 2012, it could reach the Top 20. I won’t say that it can’t, but this probably has flop written all over it.

“Move That Doh” by Future f/Pharrell, Pusha T & Casino (#99)

  • I’m officially done with Future and his shtick. He’ll never be T-Pain, and it’s time for him to realize that. One of these days, Jay-Z’s predicted Death Of Auto-tune will happen.
  • Prediction: He’s still got some star power to him, and Pharrell will help, but don’t expect this track to get any higher than #75.

“Latch” by Disclosure f/Sam Smith (#100)

  • The French teens made it big with Rolling Stone showering them with praise for their debut album Settle. Following the overseas success of “When A Fire Starts To Burn,” they make their Hot 100 debut with this followup.
  • Prediction: I like it a lot, but it’s a bit too mellow for US clubs, so this song won’t get too much airplay. I see it stalling in the 70s or 80s.

Of these 11 songs, Soko’s is likely the only one that will reach the Top 10, by virtue of its debut within the region. However, its longevity will be short-lived as the YouTube views start to plateau. Thus, in picking a hit with modest potential and reasonable longevity prospects, my money’s on YG’s newest effort. “My Hitta” has now spent over six months on the charts, so I see no reason why “Who Do You Love” can’t achieve similar successes.

#1 SONGS ON THE GENRE CHARTS

  • POP: Happy by Pharrell Williams (#1 on Hot 100)
  • COUNTRY: This Is How We Roll by Florida Georgia Line f/Luke Bryan (#29 on Hot 100)
  • ROCK: Pompeii by Bastille (#5 on Hot 100)
  • ALTERNATIVE: Do I Wanna Know? by Arctic Monkeys (#74 on Hot 100)
  • R&B/HIP-HOP: Happy by Pharrell Williams (#1 on Hot 100)
  • RAP: Timber by Pitbull f/Ke$ha (#11 on Hot 100)
  • DANCE/ELECTRONIC: #SELFIE by The Chainsmokers (#18 on Hot 100)
  • LATIN: Odio by Romeo Santos f/Drake (#94 on Hot 100)

FINAL THOUGHTS

  1. I’m a little late in talking about this milestone, but I’ll discuss it anyway. Even though he was on “Drop It Like It’s Hot” and “Blurred Lines,” “Happy” is Pharrell’s first chart-topper as the lead artist. Since he’s 40 years old, that makes him the oldest lead artist to score their first #1 since Dr. Dre (44 at the time) shared top billing with Eminem on 2009’s “Crack A Bottle.” If you want a song without multiple lead artists by someone older than Pharrell, you’ll have to go all the way back to “Smooth,” when Carlos Santana was 52 in 1999.
  2. After next week, we’ll have finished three full months of 2014 (hard to believe, right?). So, along with next week’s analysis of the Hot 100, look for the Top 25 Songs of 2014 through the first quarter. This will be our first check-in on our way to recognizing the 101 Biggest Hits of 2014.

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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