Billboard Hot 100 Analysis: 4/24/2014

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. Talk Dirty by Jason Derulo f/2 Chainz
  4. Dark Horse by Katy Perry f/Juicy J
  5. Let It Go by Idina Menzel
  6. Pompeii by Bastille
  7. Turn Down For What by DJ Snake & Lil Jon
  8. Not A Bad Thing by Justin Timberlake
  9. Loyal by Chris Brown f/Lil Wayne et al.
  10. Team by Lorde

At long last, we have some new entries and an overall shakeup to the Top 10. As I predicted last week, Justin Timberlake and Chris Brown (two familiar faces in the annals of pop history) see their newest singles reach the uppermost echelon this week. For Timberlake, “Not A Bad Thing” becomes his third Top 10 from The 20/20 Experience and his ninth overall as a lead artist. For Brown, it’s his first Top 10 since “Don’t Wake Me Up” in 2012, and his highest peak since “Look At Me Now” hit #6 in 2011. In addition to the new entries, Jason Derulo’s album release last week bumps “Talk Dirty” back to its previous peak position.

BIGGEST MOVERS THIS WEEK

20 Spots: Latch by Disclosure f/Sam Smith (79-59)

19 Spots: Fancy by Iggy Azalea f/Charli XCX (37-18)

16 Spots: Girls Chase Boys by Ingrid Michaelson (98-82)

14 Spots: Me And My Broken Heart by Rixton (55-41)

12 Spots: Classic by MKTO (51-39)

12 Spots: She Looks So Perfect by 5 Seconds of Summer (66-54)

  1. This raunchy club hit is gaining a major following amongst the college demographic, and the French duo find themselves rapidly ascending the chart.
  2. Strong first-week sales of The New Classic give the Aussie rapper a fourth consecutive appearance on this list, and her first Top 20 single.
  3. Similar to Iggy Azalea, a full week’s worth of new album sales prompt a nice jump for Michaelson’s newest single. (Fun fact: she is playing the Riviera Theatre in Chicago tonight.)
  4. The British group continues their breakout in the US with their debut single penned by Matchbox Twenty’s Rob Thomas.
  5. “Classic” can now officially validate my prediction as a sleeper hit, as it reaches the Top 40 in its 10th week on the chart.
  6. I’m quite surprised by this, but the One Direction sound-alikes continue to score with this US debut single.

HOT 100 DEBUTS THIS WEEK

West Coast” by Lana Del Rey (#17)

  • The perfect storm of initial iTunes sales combined with a much-viewed early audio release on YouTube easily gives Lana Del Rey her highest debut ever, as well as the Top Debut this week. I’m personally not a big fan of her plodding deliberate style, but if you are a fan of that, then this is everything you’ve hoped for.
  • Best Case Scenario: Unless this song gets the radio-friendly “Summertime Sadness” remix treatment, this song will not peak any higher than #17. The success of the forthcoming music video will determine how long the song’s decline lasts.
  • Worst Case Scenario: I don’t think “West Coast” will fall completely off the charts after one week, but I could easily see it log just one more week on the Hot 100 before dropping off for good.

You & I” by One Direction (#68)

  • Continuing their trend of more mature music in recent months, the British heartthrobs hit the same vein with “You & I,” their latest single from Midnight Memories. It’s not as anthemic as “Story Of My Life,” but it’s still nice to see them continue to expand their overall artistry.
  • Best Case Scenario:  The music video already dropped, so a big spike is unlikely. However, airplay is possible with this song, so it could easily give 1D another song reaching the Top 40.
  • Worst Case Scenario: The music video debut boost fails to give the song anything more, and it suffers the same one-and-done fate as previous singles “Diana” and “Midnight Memories.”

Love Runs Out” by OneRepublic (#81)

  • Combining their love for pianos with the more intense production values of their newest album, OneRepublic debuts with their latest single from Native. Very bluesy in nature, the song reminds me a little bit of Fitz And The Tantrums.
  • Best Case Scenario: “Love Runs Out” is quite catchy, and well-suited to pop radio. I can see it peaking in the lower teens or upper 20s, in the pattern of “All The Right Moves” or “Secrets.”
  • Worst Case Scenario: As the fourth charting single from Native, the material might “run out” (pun intended), sinking this song to only a few weeks on the chart and a peak no higher than #70.

Midnight” by Coldplay (#84)

  • Clearly trying to expand their genre tendencies, Coldplay has decided to go ethereal with “Midnight,” their newest preview single for Ghost Stories. Multiple layers of synths and a heavily-autotuned Chris Martin lead the way in this track which never really gets going.
  • Best Case Scenario: “Midnight” won’t get much Hot 100 help until Ghost Stories comes out next month, but I could see the song spending another week or two on the chart in this leg of its run.
  • Worst Case Scenario: It’s a pretty fair bet to assume that “Midnight” will only spend one week on the charts and fall off next week. Whether or not it returns upon the album’s release is still yet to be determined.

I Don’t Dance” by Lee Brice (#89)

  • It sure seems like every country artist that was successful in 2012 or 2013 is trotting out a new song in time for summer 2014. Brice had a big country hit a few years ago with “Hard To Love” and a minor one last summer with “Parking Lot Party.” He claimed the year-end Country #1 single in 2010, so his history could work in his favor.
  • Best Case Scenario: Brice could repeat his prior success with this track and score another hit in the Country Top 10 and the Hot 100’s Top 50.
  • Worst Case Scenario: The song isn’t quite upbeat enough to conjure up thoughts of summer, so “I Don’t Dance” might get stuck in the 70s or 80s and give Brice another disappointing year.

Am I Wrong” by Nico & Vinz (#91)

  • I initially guessed that this duo was of Hispanic origin, based on their name and the very soulful Latin groove of their maiden US chart effort. But it turns out that they’re from Norway, how cool is that! This song is an easy-listening gem, and I can see pop radio coming on to it eventually.
  • Best Case Scenario: If pop airplay kicks in, this song could ride a summer wave into the Top 30.
  • Worst Case Scenario: Like fellow Norwegians Madcon (“Beggin'”), Nico & Vinz might hang around on the chart for a month or two without improving their peak position much before falling off the Hot 100 by the end of May.

We Dem Boyz” by Wiz Khalifa (#92)

  • He’s still featured on nearly every rap track, but it’s been a while since Wiz Khalifa had a turn as lead artist on the Hot 100. Unfortunately for him, this unbelievably generic beat and uninspired shouted lyrics don’t stand out to me at all.
  • Best Case Scenario: Wiz is a consistent hitmaker. That being said, I don’t see “We Dem Boyz” reaching any higher than #60.
  • Worst Case Scenario: I can easily see this song spending only one week on the chart, maybe three weeks tops.

Where It’s At” by Dustin Lynch (#94)

  • Copy and paste exactly what I just said about Lee Brice for Lynch. He hasn’t had a hit since “Cowboys And Angels” in 2012, so he must figure that he’s due to try again.
  • Best Case Scenario: He made the right move making a more upbeat song than his prior hits, so he could be rewarded with another trip into the Top 50.
  • Worst Case Scenario: It’s a given assumption now that the country field is crowded right now, so “Where It’s At” might only be able to stay “where it’s at” right now and not rise above #80.

Most of the songs debuting this week are just a bit too melancholy and not uptempo enough to be considered potential summer hits for me. The only one which jumps out to me is “Love Runs Out.” Perfectly released just as “Counting Stars” is starting to decline, I think OneRepublic could have themselves an excellent summer riding the success of this song. Let’s see if it can reach the Top 20 or even the Top 10 if the airplay is right. I’ll also personally be rooting for “Am I Wrong” because rooting for Scandinavia is always the right choice.

#1 SONGS ON THE GENRE CHARTS

  • POP: All Of Me by John Legend (#2 on Hot 100)
  • COUNTRY: Play It Again by Luke Bryan (#15 on Hot 100)
  • ROCK: Pompeii by Bastille (#6 on Hot 100)
  • ALTERNATIVE: The Walker by Fitz And The Tantrums (#71 on Hot 100)
  • R&B/HIP-HOP: Happy by Pharrell Williams (#1 on Hot 100)
  • RAP: Fancy by Iggy Azalea f/Charli XCX (#18 on Hot 100)
  • DANCE/ELECTRONIC: Turn Down For What by DJ Snake & Lil Jon (#7 on Hot 100)
  • LATIN: Odio by Romeo Santos f/Drake (not on Hot 100)

FINAL THOUGHTS

  1. Logging its 52nd week on the Hot 100 this week, “Demons” gives Imagine Dragons their second song to spend at least a full year on the chart. This makes them only the fourth act to achieve this feat, the others being Faith Hill (“Breathe” and “The Way You Love Me”), Lifehouse (“Hanging By A Moment” and “You and Me”), and Train (“Drops Of Jupiter” and “Hey, Soul Sister).
  2. Falling from #42 to #48 this week, this very well could be the last chart appearance for “Radioactive.” It’s been a phenomenal run for the song, so expect a proper tribute and sendoff next week if my hunch is correct.

 

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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