Billboard Hot 100 Analysis: 4/3/2014

 

 

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. All Of Me by John Legend
  3. Dark Horse by Katy Perry f/Juicy J
  4. Talk Dirty by Jason Derulo f/2 Chainz
  5. Let It Go by Idina Menzel
  6. Pompeii by Bastille
  7. Team by Lorde
  8. The Man by Aloe Blacc
  9. Counting Stars by OneRepublic
  10. Turn Down For What by DJ Snake & Lil Jon

With the entire top seven songs remaining stationary, and numbers 8 and 9 switching places, there is only one worthwhile storyline in the Top 10 this week. And boy, is it an unexpected one. With a 15-10 jump, DJ Snake records his first ever Top 10 single, and Lil Jon returns to the region for the first time since he featured on Jay Sean’s “Do You Remember” in 2010. When “Turn Down For What” debuted in the Top 40 back in January, I assumed that the craze surrounding the song would result in a brief spark of chart success followed by a swift fizzle (in the vein of “Don’t Drop That Thun Thun”). Yet, against all odds, the staple of party playlists everywhere has been slowly and steadily building its digital sales week after week, superseding its unsurprising lack of mainstream radio airplay. Not even “Harlem Shake” lasted this long in the consciousness of popular culture! It probably doesn’t have the legs to reach the Top 5, but “Turn Down For What”‘s already-overwhelming success continues to pave the way for multi-drop Vine anthems on the Hot 100.

BIGGEST MOVERS THIS WEEK

22 Spots: Sleeping With A Friend by Neon Trees (78-56)

20 Spots: Move That Doh by Future f/Pharrell, Pusha T & Casino (95-75)

17 Spots: Loyal by Chris Brown f/Lil Wayne et al. (31-14)

16 Spots: Automatic by Miranda Lambert (79-63)

13 Spots: Play It Again by Luke Bryan (53-40)

13 Spots: Fancy by Iggy Azalea f/Charli XCX (83-70)

  1. Taking far less time to catch on than “Animal” or “Everybody Talks,” Neon Trees might just claim their third Top 40 hit by the end of the month.
  2. Anything with Pharrell turns to gold these days. Add this awful track by Future to that ever-expanding list.
  3. Adding a version with Tyga contributing a verse, “Loyal” now can be downloaded three different ways. That cornering of the R&B/Hip-Hop market gives Chris Brown his highest-charting single since “Don’t Wake Me Up” in 2012.
  4. Positive responses from country radio return Lambert’s latest single to its debut position and peak.
  5. In just three chart weeks, Bryan logs his 10th consecutive Top 40 single. With “This Is How We Roll” at #1 on the Country charts, Bryan could conceivably replace himself at the top in a few weeks. If that happens, that would be the first such occurrence on the Country Charts since Tim McGraw turned the trick in 2002.
  6. The Australian 20-something sees her inaugural US chart appearance make a nice leap toward securing her legitimate hit song.

HOT 100 DEBUTS THIS WEEK

Empire” by Shakira (#58)

  • In the same week that her self-titled album debuts at #2 on the Billboard Albums chart, Shakira’s multi-genre followup to “Can’t Remember To Forget You” claims Top Debut honors. As the years go by, the Voice coach continues to show more and more stylistic range to remain a relevant force on the charts.
  • Best Case Scenario: Just like her previous single, the release of the music video last week will be enough to bump “Empire” into the Top 40.
  • Worst Case Scenario: The slow ebb of “Can’t Remember To Forget You” is even more pronounced, and “Empire” flees the charts within four or five weeks.

G.U.Y.” by Lady Gaga (#76)

  • Following a music video (oh, I beg your pardon, short film) release, Lady Gaga matches Katy Perry’s Prism output with her fourth charting single from ARTPOP.
  • Best Case Scenario:  The song gains a little radio airplay to go with the consistent YouTube views, potentially sending “G.U.Y.” into the 50s or 60s.
  • Worst Case Scenario: Gaga’s habit of high debuts and quick falls continues, and “G.U.Y.” lasts for one solitary week on the charts.

Fever” by The Black Keys (#77)

  • Their first new release in nearly three years, the Akron duo teases their upcoming album with “Fever.” Containing the same frantic vocals, heavy bass, grimy synthesizers and blues guitar that everyone has come to love, “Fever” shows the Keys’ continued commitment to the style that has made them commercial and critical darlings.
  • Best Case Scenario: Its debut already makes it their second-best charting vehicle. “Do I Wanna Know?” has shown an increased longevity factor for songs of the type, so “Fever” could ride the album’s hype into the 50s and potentially even the 40s.
  • Worst Case Scenario: The song fades off the charts in the next few weeks, before the album’s May release gives it a modest re-entry. It peaks no higher than its debut position.

Me And My Broken Heart” by Rixton (#87)

  • Sounding like a younger, reggae-fied blend of Maroon 5 and Coldplay, the British band makes their US debut this week. It’s been a good year for young Brits on the charts (ask John Newman and Naughty Boy), so that bears well for this catchy uptempo track.
  • Best Case Scenario: Rixton’s debut turns into a solid sleeper hit, possibly cresting the Top 40 when summer rolls around.
  • Worst Case Scenario: Strong post-music video sales fade fast, making “Me And My Broken Heart” a one-week charter.

John Doe” by B.o.B. f/Priscilla (#89)

  • It seems like B.o.B. is losing his star power, lacking a big-name feature credit on his second single from Underground Luxury. So far, this album has been a major flop compared to his previous two efforts, yielding no Top 40 singles. For reference, The Adventures of Bobby Ray  and Strange Clouds had three apiece.
  • Best Case Scenario: Like the previous single “HeadBand,” the song has legs and hovers in the 70s and 80s for a few months.
  • Worst Case Scenario: B.o.B. continues his steady decline in recent years, and can’t elevate “John Doe” above its debut position.

Beachin’” by Jake Owen (#94)

  • It’s been almost a year (an eternity in country terms) since Jake Owen had a big hit (“Anywhere With You”), so it’s only fitting that his newest single debuts in one of the first warm weeks of 2014. His biggest hits have been unquestioned summer anthems, and “Beachin'” looks to be no different. The song was released back in November, so it took this long for listeners and meteorologists alike to warm up to this one.
  • Best Case Scenario: Like “Barefoot Blue Jean Night” and “Anywhere With You”, Owen’s latest is an eponymous summer country hit, bringing him back into the Top 40.
  • Worst Case Scenario: The single was released a little too early to capitalize on summer airplay, and the song falls off the charts before the warm temperatures can bolster its prospects.

Whiskey In My Water” by Tyler Farr (#98)

  • Following the unexpected success of his debut hit “Redneck Crazy,” Tyler Farr returns with a similarly-themed midtempo ballad rife with redneck iconography.
  • Best Case Scenario: Thomas Rhett and Randy Houser are following their big 2013s with rising hits to start 2014, so “Whiskey In My Water” could easily follow suit and be Farr’s second consecutive song to reach the Top 40.
  • Worst Case ScenarioThe perpetually-crowded country charts have no room for Farr’s latest, keeping him mired in the 80s and 90s.

Virtually every popular genre out there today is present in the debuts this week. The knee-jerk reaction is to give my favorable prediction to Shakira’s latest, by virture of its high debut. But high debuts have had trouble in the past few weeks, so I will have to be careful. I am a big fan of “Fever”, but the group’s lack of lasting Hot 100 success make me wary of the song’s prospects as well. I won’t do a coin flip, but know that I give both “Empire” and “Fever” an equal chance of improving upon their debut positions. For the time being though, I’ll give the slightest edge to “Empire”, since music video chart points will continue to help it next week. As a bit of a footnote, “Me And My Broken Heart” has the potential to be a capable sleeper hit, so pay attention to its chart movements in the next few weeks.

#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 (#26 on Hot 100)
  • ROCK: Pompeii by Bastille (#6 on Hot 100)
  • ALTERNATIVE: Come With Me Now by KONGOS (not yet on Hot 100)
  • R&B/HIP-HOP: Happy by Pharrell Williams (#1 on Hot 100)
  • RAP: Timber by Pitbull f/Ke$ha (#13 on Hot 100)
  • DANCE/ELECTRONIC: Turn Down For What by DJ Snake & Lil Jon (#10 on Hot 100)
  • LATIN: Odio by Romeo Santos f/Drake (#99 on Hot 100)

FINAL THOUGHTS

  1. We have now completed 15 official Hot 100 chart weeks in 2014. Through that many weeks, a whopping total of  35 songs have been on the charts for all 15. Among those songs, “Counting Stars” has spent each of those weeks firmly entrenched in the Top 10. On the other side of the chart, the Arctic Monkeys’ “Do I Wanna Know” has not climbed any higher than #70, yet has stayed on the charts all the same.
  2. With “Hold On, We’re Going Home” leaving the Hot 100 this week, Drake is without a lead artist credit on the chart for the first time since January 2013, the week before “Started From The Bottom” debuted.

 

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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