Billboard Hot 100 Analysis: 10/2/2014

 

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 About That Bass by Meghan Trainor
  2. Shake It Off by Taylor Swift
  3. Anaconda by Nicki Minaj
  4. Black Widow by Iggy Azalea f/Rita Ora
  5. Bang Bang by Jessie J, Ariana Grande & Nicki Minaj
  6. Stay With Me by Sam Smith
  7. Habits (Stay High) by Tove Lo
  8. Break Free by Ariana Grande f/Zedd
  9. Don’t Tell ‘Em by Jeremih f/YG
  10. Rather Be by Clean Bandit f/Jess Glynne

The top 5 remain unchanged for another week, as female artists continue to hold court in the Top 10. Two new entries to the region are the most newsworthy headlines this week.

Bounding 13-7, Swedish artist Tove Lo’s first Hot 100 appearance “Habits (Stay High)” continues its impressive run as a sleeper hit by making its way into the Top 10. With such a large jump this week and the stagnant nature of the songs above it, there’s an outside chance that “Habits” could make a run for the top of the charts.

Inching 11-10, “Rather Be” makes a similar circuitous journey into the Top 10. It also serves as a first Hot 100 entry for Clean Bandit and Glynne, who have ridden their song’s use  in a myriad of Coca-Cola ads and radio airplay to slowly but surely ascend the chart’s ranks. With this movement this week, eight of the songs in the Top 10 feature female vocals, re-affirming that the ladies have ruled the summer, and have gotten off to a good start in the fall as well.

 

BIGGEST MOVERS THIS WEEK

22 Spots: Jealous by Nick Jonas (80-58)

21 Spots: I’m Not The Only One by Sam Smith (84-63)

18 Spots: Animals by Maroon 5 (51-33)

16 Spots: Somewhere In My Car by Keith Urban (82-66)

13 Spots: Amnesia by 5 Seconds Of Summer (37-24)

 

  1. It’s been years since the Jonas Brothers were at their peak Hot 100 popularity, but the youngest member is off to a promising start in his brand-new solo career.
  2. As “Stay With Me” starts in slow but inexorable descent, “I’m Not The Only One” figures to be an equally successful follow-up ballad for the young Brit.
  3. Following the release of a controversial (and bloody) music video, buzz for V‘s second single is running high as “Animals” tries to give Maroon 5 a second Top 10 this year.
  4. One of country’s most evergreen artists, Keith Urban’s latest single is off to a hot start on its route to best the success of his own “Cop Car” from earlier in the year.
  5. After debuting at #16 and dropping steeply, “Amnesia” has been gaining ground via airplay in recent weeks, and has now reached the precipice of matching its lofty debut position.

HOT 100 DEBUTS THIS WEEK

“i” by Kendrick Lamar (#39)

  • Kendrick Lamar’s highest debut as a solo artist heavily samples The Isley Brothers’ “That Lady,” leading to a groovy vibe which pervades the whole song. Red flags always arise from a debut this high, especially one dependent on digital sales. If “i” peaks any higher than #39, it will be many weeks down the road, after the inevitable fall and recovery. I don’t seeing it equalling the success of this first week.

“Tonight Looks Good On You” by Jason Aldean (#53)

  • Another week, another high debut for Jason Aldean. While this tactic is great for keeping his name relevant and keeping digital sales high, it’s a nightmare for longevity of these tracks. Fortunately for him, “Burnin’ It Down” is continuing to be the top country song on the radio, so who can really fault him for this method? Since it debuted at #53, “Tonight Looks Good On You” should spend one more week on the chart before fading off the week after.

“I Don’t F**k With You” by Big Sean f/E-40 (#70)

  • I can’t remember the last week that didn’t have at least one DJ Mustard-produced debut. This week, Big Sean fronts Mustard’s latest offering. Despite its insanely catchy beat, the lyrics are far too consistently vulgar to warrant any mainstream radio airplay. As such, the ceiling for a song like this is somewhere in the 40s.

“Anything Goes” by Florida Georgia Line (#76)

  • Florida Georgia Line seems to be using the Aldean method as well this month. “Sun Daze” became a one-and-done by dropping off last week, but “Anything Goes” quickly replaces it at a higher ranking. The duo is unlikely to match the success of “Dirt” or “This Is How We Roll” the rest of the year, so this approach makes sense for keeping their name relevant. Looks like another one-and-done for Florida Georgia Line.

“No Type” by Rae Sremmurd (#77)

  • I’d be lying if I said that I expected Rae Sremmurd to have a second Hot 100 appearance, let alone while “No Flex Zone” is still hovering near its peak position. The lyrics aren’t much different, talking about types of girls the singers(?) prefer, and the beat is again provided by Mike Will Made-It, so there’s literally nothing here that you can’t get in “No Flex Zone.” Look for this track to make a swift departure from the Hot 100.

“Tuesday” by I LOVE MAKONNEN f/Drake (#90)

  • Ever since “Hold On We’re Going Home” became his biggest hit as a solo artist, Drake has looked for opportunities to take a step away from rapping and do something a little closer to actual singing. He gets another chance on I LOVE MAKONNEN’s debut Hot 100 entry, focusing on the activity of a club on Tuesday, a day which I presume usually struggles to drum up business. Despite this raucous-sounding premise, the song actually leans closer to R&B, which could prove to be a detriment for its chart prospects. I don’t see “Tuesday” peaking any higher the mid-70s.

“Handsome And Wealthy” by Migos (#92)

  • Following the moderate success of “Fight Night,” Migos returns to the Hot 100 with a slightly more serious offering. “Handsome And Wealthy” features none of the overt comedy their previous singles “Versace,” “Hannah Montana,” and “Fight Night” espouse, which could easily make this new single a dud waiting to happen. Then again, it could prove to be a logical step for the group moving forward. Either way, a peak higher than #70 seems highly unlikely.

“Feelin’ It” by Scotty McCreery (#96)

  • The American Idol champion continues his modest career on country radio with the debut of “Feelin’ It.” Earlier this year, “See You Tonight” was a fairly large airplay hit, and that loose feelgood vibe is present in this newest offering as well. Country music is very crowded right now, but McCreery has built up enough of a name to allow “Feelin’ It” to have a chance on the radio. “See You Tonight” peaked at #51, so a peak around #60 for “Feelin’ It” seems like a reasonable estimate.

“Close Your Eyes” by Parmalee (#98)

  • Parmalee scored a major success on country radio with their debut single “Carolina” last winter, but it’s taken a solid 10 months for them to return to the charts. That’s an entirety for country music, but their absence ends this week with the debut of “Close Your Eyes.” They haven’t built up the name brand of say, Florida Georgia Line or the Eli Young Band, so “Close Your Eyes” will have to be a slow burn, if one at all. If it lasts more than just one week on the Hot 100, look for it to peak no higher than #65.

“Left Hand Free” by alt-J (#99)

  • Despite being staples on alternative radio for the past few years, alt-J (the keyboard code for a triangle, I’m told) have not made an appearance on the Hot 100 until this week. “Left Hand Free” is bizarre musically, but has enough melody and beat to warrant a little bit of mainstream crossover capability. 2014 has been very friendly for alternative hits, so alt-J have a chance to make a larger name of themselves with this track. It will be a sleeper hit for sure, building its position slowly, but has an outside chance of cracking the Top 50 if it plays its cards right. If it scores use in a major TV commercial (like “Come With Me Now” did), the sky is the limit.

I still think that “i”‘s debut rank of #39 might be the highest position any of these ten songs reach in their respective runs. That being said, “Feelin’ It” and “Left Hand Free” at least have the potential for longevity on the charts, so even though they might not crack the Top 40, McCreery and alt-J have the best odds for turning their singles into respectable chart journeys.

 

#1 SONGS ON THE GENRE CHARTS

  • POP: All About That Bass by Meghan Trainor (#1 on Hot 100)
  • COUNTRY: Burnin’ It Down by Jason Aldean (#19 on Hot 100)
  • ROCK: A Sky Full Of Stars by Coldplay (#21 on Hot 100)
  • ALTERNATIVE: Stolen Dance by Milky Chance (#56 on Hot 100)
  • R&B/HIP-HOP: Anaconda by Nicki Minaj (#3 on Hot 100)
  • RAP: Anaconda by Nicki Minaj (#3 on Hot 100)
  • DANCE/ELECTRONIC: Break Free by Ariana Grande f/Zedd (#8 on Hot 100)
  • LATIN: Bailando by Enrique Iglesias (#16 on Hot 100)

FINAL THOUGHTS

  1. Despite falling over 25 positions from Week 1 to Week 2, Jennifer Lopez’s “Booty” still managed to earn the Digital Sales Gainer award this week. This is an extremely rare occurrence for such a steep drop, but it just goes to show how bloated “Booty”‘s debut was thanks to an absurdly large amount of Youtube views. As for its future on the chart, this Digital Sales boost will go a long way toward stabilizing the song’s footing, and hopefully will serve as the anchor for a journey back towards its peak.

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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