Billboard Hot 100 Analysis: 4/17/2014

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. Turn Down For What by DJ Snake & Lil Jon
  9. The Man by Aloe Blacc
  10. Counting Stars by OneRepublic

Hot 100 history was made this week, although it’s not as exciting a story as you might hope. For the first time in the chart’s 56-year history, the top seven songs remain completely stationary for the third consecutive week. In addition to that, the entire Top 10 comprises the same songs as last week. The only interesting movement is “Turn Down For What”‘s rise to a new peak of #8. With Chris Brown’s “Loyal” and Justin Timberlake’s “Not A Bad Thing” sitting at 11 and 12 respectively, I think it’s safe to say that one or both of these tracks will break up the logjam next week.

BIGGEST MOVERS THIS WEEK

25 Spots: Summer by Calvin Harris (72-47)

19 Spots: Fancy by Iggy Azalea f/Charli XCX (56-37)

17 Spots: Automatic by Miranda Lambert (58-41)

12 Spots: Play It Again by Luke Bryan (26-14)

12 Spots: Magic by Coldplay (66-54)

  1. Harris’ genius timing of release pays off big time this week, as the warming weather coincides with “Summer” easily gaining the Online Streaming Gainer award this week.
  2. Making the list for the third week in a row, Iggy Azalea gains her first Hot 100 Top 40 single, while Charli XCX gains her second (following being featured on Icona Pop’s “I Love It” last year).
  3. Country radio can’t get enough of Miranda Lambert right now, and as one of only two female country artists on the chart right now (Sara Evans is the other), she has an exclusive path to continue riding “Automatic” into the Top 40.
  4. Earning the Digital Sales Gainer award this week, Bryan’s newest Crash My Party single becomes his highest-charting song ever. Clocking in at #14, that’s the highest rank for a country song since Florida Georgia hit #4 with “Cruise” last summer.
  5. As Coldplay begins to hit the festival circuit in preview of their upcoming Ghost Stories album, the lead single starts its gradual journey back towards its #24 debut and peak.

HOT 100 DEBUTS THIS WEEK

Sing” by Ed Sheeran (#15)

  • By taking the Top Debut this week, the English singer-songwriter instantly claims his highest chart ranking in his young career, besting that of “The A Team.” Much more funky than the output we’ve heard from him thus far, Sheeran clearly embraces the allure of pop with this single, conjuring memories of 2002 Justin Timberlake in my mind.
  • Best Case Scenario: Sheeran doesn’t quite have the star power to elevate the peak position much higher, but I could see this song peaking at #7 at #8 if airplay pans out in his favor.
  • Worst Case Scenario: The strong first-week sales don’t hold up well, and “Sing” starts a steady decline next week, perhaps only logging two or three weeks in the Top 40.

We Are One (Ole Ola)” by Pitbull f/Jennifer Lopez & Claudia Leitte (#88)

  • I for one am not surprised that Pitbull was tapped to handle the official song duties for the upcoming World Cup in Brazil. With Lopez lending a verse to the track, this marks the fourth time in as many years that Mr. Worldwide and J-Lo have had a collaborative chart entry. Drake and Lil Wayne still have them by quite a few, but the two superstars are well on their way to catching up.
  • Best Case Scenario:  These World Cup songs are always worldwide smash hits, but they never seem to do quite as well in the United States (Ricky Martin in 1998 and Shakira in 2010 only barely reached the Top 40). With Pitbull’s eminent superstardom, this song definitely has a chance. As the summer builds closer to the World Cup, I could see this song peaking in the ballpark of #25.
  • Worst Case Scenario: “Ole Ola” will spend a good chunk of weeks on the chart, but it could fall off the charts next week and not return again until World Cup buzz reaches its apex in June.

Cut Her Off” by KCamp f/2 Chainz (#89)

  • Yet another newcomer in the over-produced hip-hop genre, KCamp begins his maiden chart voyage with a little help from the ever-present 2 Chainz. It’s not DJ Mustard, but the beat is very reminiscent of what we’ve come to expect in 2014.
  • Best Case Scenario: Even with 2 Chainz, this track lacks the star power to likely dent the Hot 100 too much. That being said, it could easily reach the 60s.
  • Worst Case Scenario: The generic nature of the track dooms it to a week or two at best before falling off the chart.

Birthday” by Katy Perry (#91)

  • With her foray into trap music behind her, Perry returns to her pure pop roots with the fourth single from Prism. There’s clearly some disco inspiration at play here, and the chorus reminds me a lot of Prince’s 1980 hit “I Wanna Be Your Lover.” Perry has never released a single that hasn’t reached the Top 40, and this infectious nugget of pop gold shouldn’t change that trend.
  • Best Case Scenario: Katy Perry was the last artist to hold the #1 spot before Pharrell’s stranglehold, so why not Perry to overtake him? That’s right, “Birthday” definitely has potential to become a huge summer hit, and possibly even a chart-topper.
  • Worst Case Scenario: I can’t see this song not becoming a Top 40 (after all, an official music video hasn’t even been released yet). The lowest I see “Birthday” peaking is somewhere around #29 or #30.

Bad Blood” by Bastille (#95)

  • Continuing to ride the wave of popularity brought on by “Pompeii,” the English band makes their second appearance. Although its instrumentation is much more punchy than the previous single, “Bad Blood” is undeniably more of a relaxed groove. It makes perfect sense as a follow-up single, showcasing another facet of the band’s talent. Don’t tell anyone that the song was actually released in summer 2012.
  • Best Case Scenario: Walking in the shadow of “Pompeii,” “Bad Blood” could become a sleeper summer hit and peak somewhere within the Top 20.
  • Worst Case Scenario: With “Pompeii” still hanging on at #6, it could easily overshadow “Bad Blood” on pop radio over the next few weeks. It could easily get stuck in the 70s or 80s.

Feelin’ Myself” by will.i.am f/Miley Cyrus, French Montana, Wiz Khalifa & DJ Mustard (#96)

  • Not quite done with his #willpower album, the Black Eyed Peas frontman pulls out all the stops with this third single. It’s a star-studded cast, just like “23,” with Miley in a similar role and the can’t-miss producer DJ Mustard lending the beat as he’s done so many times this year.
  • Best Case Scenario: It won’t be as big as “Scream & Shout,” but “Feelin’ Myself” could be next in the lengthy line of successful all-star club tracks. A peak in the Top 30 isn’t out of the question.
  • Worst Case Scenario: It’s  been almost a year since the first two singles charted, so demand for will.i.am could be on the decline. A one-and-done for “Feelin’ Myself” is very possible.

Girls Chase Boys” by Ingrid Michaelson (#98)

  • It’s been almost six years since Michaelson last appeared on the chart with “Be OK.” It’s a good thing then that this is some of her best work, as the simple, yet meaningful lyrics work well with much more instrumentation then we’re used to seeing from her work. Throw in a music video reversing the roles of Robert Palmer’s “Simply Irresistible” video, and you’ve got a powerful concoction.
  • Best Case Scenario: The song is a bit too ethereal to get much airplay on pop radio, but it could ride a peculiar mix of adult contemporary and alternative airplay into the 50s or 60s.
  • Worst Case Scenario: The six-year layover proves too much for Michaelson’s chart prospects, and “Girls Chase Boys” logs just one solitary week on the Hot 100.

 

It would be easy to tag Sheeran’s hit as the one with the most potential, since it already has debuted so high. However, while I think that “Sing” still has room to move upward, I think Katy Perry’s newest has perhaps the best chance to reach the Top 10. I could be proven wrong, but the infectious sound mixed with the ideal summer-song release date seems like a winning combination. Once a music video officially drops in the next few weeks, that should be all “Birthday” needs to soar up the chart and give Perry her 4th Top 20 from Prism, and possibly even her 10th #1 single. Definitely keep an eye out for “Bad Blood” as well.

#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 (#16 on Hot 100)
  • ROCK: Pompeii by Bastille (#6 on Hot 100)
  • ALTERNATIVE: Come With Me Now by KONGOS (#93 on Hot 100)
  • R&B/HIP-HOP: Happy by Pharrell Williams (#1 on Hot 100)
  • RAP: Timber by Pitbull f/Ke$ha (#17 on Hot 100)
  • DANCE/ELECTRONIC: Turn Down For What by DJ Snake & Lil Jon (#8 on Hot 100)
  • LATIN: Odio by Romeo Santos f/Drake (#100 on Hot 100)

FINAL THOUGHTS

  1. Although it falls from #8 to #10 this week, OneRepublic’s “Counting Stars” logs its 25th consecutive week in the Top 10. That’s good enough to claim a sixth-place tie for the longest Top 10 stay in Hot 100 history. Coincidentally, that tie is with OneRepublic’s own breakout single “Apologize,” which eerily also peaked at #2 and spent 25 weeks in the Top 10.
  2. With “Play It Again,” “This Is How We Roll,” and “Bottoms Up” making significant gains this week, there are currently three country songs in the Top 20. I can’t remember the last time this happened (and no, Taylor Swift does not count as a country artist in my book), but I do remember writing a few months ago about how country songs were peaking lower than they did in 2013. I guess all it took was the promise of summer to get the country crowd flocking to the radio once again. We’ll see if Luke Bryan’s “Play It Again” has the momentum to even reach the Top 10, which would mark an exceedingly rare occurrence.

 

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

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s