Billboard Hot 100 Analysis: 5/15/2014

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. All Of Me by John Legend
  2. Happy by Pharrell Williams
  3. Fancy by Iggy Azalea f/Charli XCX
  4. Problem by Ariana Grande f/Iggy Azalea
  5. Dark Horse by Katy Perry f/Juicy J
  6. Turn Down For What by DJ Snake & Lil Jon
  7. Talk Dirty by Jason Derulo f/2 Chainz
  8. Not A Bad Thing by Justin Timberlake
  9. Let It Go by Idina Menzel
  10. Ain’t It Fun by Paramore

After a big shake-up on the charts last week, this Top 10 is a lot more stable. At the top, “All Of Me” enjoys its second week at #1. At #3, Iggy Azalea switches places with herself, as “Fancy” reaches the bronze medal position. Ariana Grande’s “Problem” falls to #4 in its second week, but that is little reason for concern. In fact, the tiny drop is actually a positive sign. The previous two singles to debut in the Top 10 fell at least 60 spots in their second week on the Hot 100, so Grande’s ability to avoid this pitfall is impressive. Furthermore, “Problem” earned the Airplay and Streaming gainer awards this week, suggesting that it still has plenty of upward mobility left in its tank.

The biggest story of the week however is Paramore’s ascent to the Top 10. The band has been around for nearly a decade, and has been a frequent inhabitant of the Hot 100 ever since “Misery Business” reached the Top 40 in 2007. But other than singer Hayley Williams’ feature credit on B.o.B.’s “Airplanes,” the band has never had a single reach the Top 10 until this week. With its accessible tone and gospel-infused bridge, audiences have responded well to this single, making it the most successful Paramore hit to date. “Ain’t It Fun”‘s next challenge is to see if it can match the #5 peak of “Pompeii,” the last rock song to reach the uppermost realm of the Hot 100.

BIGGEST MOVERS THIS WEEK

44 Spots: Wiggle by Jason Derulo f/Snoop Dogg (68-24)

40 Spots: My Eyes by Blake Shelton f/Gwen Sebastian (97-57)

23 Spots: Rude by MAGIC! (62-39)

18 Spots: Latch by Disclosure f/Sam Smith (52-34)

  1. Following an expected Vine frenzy of using “Wiggle” as the background song of choice, Jason Derulo has himself another viral hit single in 2014.
  2. #97 was a pretty low debut for a Blake Shelton track, so he uses a huge second week airplay surge to more than make up for his newest single’s slow start.
  3. With a second consecutive huge jump, the Canadian reggae track finds itself in the Top 40 in just its third week. A rarity for an act’s debut single, Nico & Vinz’s “Am I Wrong” turned the same trick last week.
  4. Taking a few weeks off and languoring in the 50s, the French duo rocket into the Top 40 with another strong sales week. They represent the second Top 40 by a group from France this millennium, following Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky” last summer.

HOT 100 DEBUTS THIS WEEK

Good Kisser” by Usher (#70)

  • Usher makes his first solo Hot 100 appearance since 2012 with “Good Kisser,” which he premiered on last week’s episode of The Voice. It’s a little bit monotonous, never quite building above its bass line/cymbal bell potential, but Usher is established enough to make songs like this work. If everything works in his favor, it could mirror the chart run of his 2012 single “Climax,” which peaked at #18 and coincidentally was also his last Top 40 hit.

I Can’t Make You Love Me” by Josh Kaufman (#71)

  • Kaufman is looking like a favorite to win Season 6 of The Voice, as his renditions have been consistently finding their way onto the Hot 100 every week. None of them have lasted more than one week though, and this looks like no exception.

Chandelier” by Sia (#75)

  • Following her 2012 guest appearances on Flo Rida’s “Wild Ones” and David Guetta’s “Titanium”, the Australian singer makes her maiden chart voyage as a lead artist with this powerful ballad. Its appearance this week is fueled by its music video, which is currently #2 on iTunes’ most-bought list. If airplay follows suit, “Chandelier” could make a reasonable run at the Top 40. Without it though, don’t expect the song to last any longer than two or three more weeks on the chart.

How To Love” by Christina Grimmie (#79)

  • Grimmie is the only other Season 6 contestant besides Josh Kaufman on The Voice to place more than one track on the Hot 100. In covering Lil Wayne’s 2011 hit, she does just that, but don’t expect any more than just this one week for the song’s Hot 100 run.

I Choose You” by Sara Bareilles (#81)

  • Although the album is a year old now, Bareilles is still riding high on The Blessed Unrest. Last week, the music video centering around marriage proposals for “I Choose You” received a lot of attention and views. As for the song itself, it’s a lot more laid-back than her previous singles, but I judge that as points in her favor. It likely won’t have the same staying power as “Brave,” but I could see the song reaching the 30s or 40s with a little airplay help.

Come Get It Bae” by Pharrell Williams (#82)

  • The word “bae” is without a doubt my least favorite in the popular lexicon right now, so I think my judgment is a bit skewed. Pharrell’s newest single of off G I R L has some nice elements, like a catchy guitar riff and his trademark smooth vocals. However, using claps instead of any other form of percussion, the track feels constantly like it’s missing something, a rarity for the usually sound production values Pharrell uses. As such, this song won’t be as big a hit as “Happy,” and I would be surprised if it rose any higher than #50.

River Bank” by Brad Paisley (#88)

  • Brad Paisley scores his first chart appearance of 2014 with “River Bank.” Looking to simultaneously match the success of “Beat This Summer” and forget about the mistake that was “Accidental Racist,” Paisley seems to be returning to his hometown-lauding, nature-loving ways. I suspect that he’ll be rewarded for this endeavor, and “River Bank” could easily peak in the 40s or 50s.

2 On” by Tinashe f/ScHoolboy Q (#89)

  • DJ Mustard must be very conscientious of the Hot 100, because his newest produced single debuts the same week as Ty Dolla $ign’s “Paranoid” falls off the chart. Tinashe, the 21-year-old newcomer from Kentucky, makes her debut appearance with some help from Mustard and a verse from ScHoolboy Q. Her darker mood and deliberate vocal delivery reminds me a lot of Rihanna’s recent material. With DJ Mustard’s production helping out immensely, I can see “2 On” peaking in the mid-40s much like Jhene Aiko’s “The Worst” is currently doing.

17 Again” by Brantley Gilbert (#90)

  • It looks like Brantley Gilbert is employing the Justin Bieber method of releasing one single a week in order to promote his new album. While this is a genius marketing tactic which results in a lot of sales for singles which otherwise might not get any attention, it bodes poorly for the longevity of said tracks. “My Baby’s Guns ‘N Roses” fell off the chart after just one week, and I think it’s a safe bet to say that “17 Again” will suffer the same fate. Next week, expect his single “Small Town” to make a similar debut (it’s currently sitting at #17 on the iTunes singles chart).

 

None of the entries this week jump out to me as songs with surefire hit potential. Judging purely on the prestige factor and previous success, I can narrow down my options to Usher and Sara Bareilles. Both songs’ debuts were fueled by non-sustainable activities (TV performance and YouTube release), so I can’t be certain that the songs will have lasting success. But for now, I’m going to say that “I Choose You” has the best chance to become a laid-back summer staple on pop radio, and hopefully will grant Bareilles her 4th Top 40 single. If “Good Kisser” and “I Choose You” don’t end up doing anything (a reasonable possibility), then look for “Chandelier” and “2 On” to duke it out for Hot 100 memorability.

#1 SONGS ON THE GENRE CHARTS

  • POP: All Of Me by John Legend (#1 on Hot 100)
  • COUNTRY: Play It Again by Luke Bryan (#19 on Hot 100)
  • ROCK: Ain’t It Fun by Paramore (#10 on Hot 100)
  • ALTERNATIVE: Fever by The Black Keys (#83 on Hot 100)
  • R&B/HIP-HOP: All Of Me by John Legend (#1 on Hot 100)
  • RAP: Fancy by Iggy Azalea f/Charli XCX (#3 on Hot 100)
  • DANCE/ELECTRONIC: Turn Down For What by DJ Snake & Lil Jon (#6 on Hot 100)
  • LATIN: Bailando by Enrique Iglesias (#84 on Hot 100)

FINAL THOUGHTS

  1. After losing “Radioactive” last week, today’s chart sees the departure of another enormous hit which will come to define 2013 in the future. After 9 weeks at #1 and more than 40 weeks on the Hot 100 overall, teen sensation Lorde’s breakout hit “Royals” bids farewell to the chart this week. Fortunately for her, “Team” is still receiving plenty of airplay, ringing in at #21 this week.

 

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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