Billboard Hot 100 Analysis: 10/23/2014

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. Bang Bang by Jessie J, Ariana Grande & Nicki Minaj
  4. Black Widow by Iggy Azalea f/Rita Ora
  5. Habits (Stay High) by Tove Lo
  6. Don’t Tell ‘Em by Jeremih f/YG
  7. Animals by Maroon 5
  8. Stay With Me by Sam Smith
  9. Hot Boy by Bobby Shmurda
  10. Don’t by Ed Sheeran

Not too much to talk about here this week, as nine of the ten songs remain. Female artists hold down the Top 5 for a record-extending seventh week, followed by Jeremih and Maroon 5’s attempts to dislodge the gynocracy.

Sliding up 13-10, Ed Sheeran makes “Don’t” his first career Top 10 single. Taking 19 weeks to make the uppermost region, “Don’t” has become a great sleeper hit, in stark contrast to “Sing”‘s lofty debut inside the Top 20. The young Brit already is thinking about followup singles with “Thinking Out Loud,” but his Ellie Goulding dis track is quickly becoming his most successful single to date.

BIGGEST MOVERS THIS WEEK

22 Spots: Love Me Harder by Ariana Grande & The Weeknd (79-57)

20 Spots: I Don’t F**k With You by Big Sean f/E-40 (68-48)

16 Spots: L.A.Love (La La) by Fergie (97-81)

16 Spots: Take Me To Church by Hozier (49-33)

11 Spots: Tuesday by I LOVE MAKONNEN f/Drake (73-62)

  1. Might Ariana Grande have a new hit on her hands? The duet between two R&B heavyweights is off to a fantastic start after just two weeks on the chart.
  2. After a few weeks lingering around #70, Big Sean’s DJ Mustard-produced latest single takes a big leap this week in its quest to reach the Top 40.
  3. Speaking of DJ Mustard, Fergie’s first lead single since The Duchess was 2007’s biggest hit-making album utilizes everybody’s favorite producer to secure a nice second-week boost.
  4. Following an appearance on SNL, the Irish singer sees his debut single bound into the Top 40 and snag the top spot on the Rock Songs chart.
  5. Featuring Drake is always a good start for an unproven Hot 100 artist, and “Tuesday” is quickly becoming a very formidable debut single.

HOT 100 DEBUTS THIS WEEK

“Out Of The Woods” by Taylor Swift (#18)

  • Easily her most electronically-influenced song to date (even moreso than “I Knew You Were Trouble”), “Out Of The Woods” gives Taylor Swift another Top Debut this year. She’s definitely matured as an artist, and this song reminds me of T’Pau (a great 80s group you should consider checking out), a comparison I never thought I’d make about Taylor Swift. It’s not quite as catchy as “Shake It Off”, but it’s definitely a far better second single than I would have ever anticipated. When 1989 drops at the end of the month, look for “Out Of The Woods” to jump up and stick around for a while. It might not go to #1, but it shouldn’t have a problem cresting the Top 10. I’m quite impressed with Taylor Swift right now!

“In Your Arms” by Nico & Vinz (#82)

  • Originally released back in 2013 (when they were still called Envy!), this follow-up to “Am I Wrong” is well-timed as Nico & Vinz’s breakout hit starts to fade off the Hot 100. It’s a little more low-key than “Am I Wrong” and probably won’t get as much airplay, but it’s still a refreshing sound which stands in contrast with most of the pop offerings out there this year. I anticipate that “In Your Arms” should get enough help to at least make the Top 40, and it could easily reach the Top 20 with a little help.

“Burnin’ Up” by Jessie J f/2 Chainz (#86)

  • After scoring her biggest hit to date with “Bang Bang”, Jessie J went right back to well to try and secure another hit. “Burnin’ Up” is slightly more overtly-sexualized than “Bang Bang,” thanks in part to a verse by 2 Chainz, which likely means that its mainstream hit potential is slightly affected. Nonetheless, it still is pretty catchy, and should do well enough to take a crack at the Top 40 in the coming weeks.

“I’m Not Gonna Miss You” by Glen Campbell (#90)

  • Country legend Glen Campbell makes his first Hot 100 appearance since 1981 in the most bittersweet of ways. A new documentary has been made chronicling Campbell’s struggles with Alzheimer’s the past few years, and the way that he has continued to record and tour despite the illness. It’s inspiring that he has continued to sing, and it’s very touching to see the support his fans have given him. It will almost certainly be a one-and-done, but for the 78-year-old singer, this week is an undisputed victory.

“Bobby Bitch” by Bobby Shmurda (#96)

  • As viral hit “Hot Boy” reaches a new peak of #9, Shmurda’s followup single bows onto the Hot 100. The track isn’t very subtle, as the hook tells you his name and the way he shoots. As far as I know, there’s no phenomenon on par with the “Shmoney Dance” that could lead to a viral sensation, so I don’t see this track peaking much higher than #90.

“Often” by The Weeknd (#97)

  • The Weeknd is one of, if not the most, critically-acclaimed R&B artist out there today, and his experimental music is starting to make dents on the Hot 100. His duet with Ariana Grande “Love Me Harder” was the biggest mover this week, and “Often” debuts this week to give him his first-ever week with two single on the Hot 100. This track is very interesting and well-produced, but I think the fate of “Love Me Harder” will crowd “Often” out in the coming weeks. It might peak up in the 80s, but I can’t see much forward momentum.

“Drinking Class” by Lee Brice (#99)

  • After the great success of “I Don’t Dance” this summer, Brice decided to dip back into the quasi-balladic pool with his follow-up single. “Drinking Class” is slightly more uptempo while still having the feel of a ballad (think “Give Me Back My Hometown”), and salutes the middle class as only country songs can. Brice is a big name on country radio right now, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see “Drinking Class” peak somewhere up in the 40s.

Wow, this is a very stacked week for debuts. If I’m not mistaken, I have four of the seven songs slated to go into at least the Top 50, and all four of them easily could hit the Top 40. It’s very hard to root against “Out Of The Woods”, which has the dual distinction of being a Taylor Swift song and being just a great and catchy song in general. This should bode extremely well for Swift in the coming weeks and I think that should easily be the biggest hit among this crop. Definitely keep an eye on Nico & Vinz’s “In Your Arms” as an antidote to this electronic-pop wave.

#1 SONGS ON THE GENRE CHARTS

  • POP: Black Widow by Iggy Azalea f/Rita Ora (#4 on Hot 100)
  • COUNTRY: Burnin’ It Down by Jason Aldean (#23 on Hot 100)
  • ROCK: Take Me To Church by Hozier (#31 on Hot 100)
  • ALTERNATIVE: Stolen Dance by Milky Chance (#54 on Hot 100)
  • R&B/HIP-HOP: Black Widow by Iggy Azalea f/Rita Ora (#4 on Hot 100)
  • RAP: Black Widow by Iggy Azalea f/Rita Ora (#4 on Hot 100)
  • DANCE/ELECTRONIC: Rather Be by Clean Bandit f/Jess Glynne (#12 on Hot 100)
  • LATIN: Bailando by Enrique Iglesias (#24 on Hot 100)

FINAL THOUGHTS

  1. Just eight weeks remain in the Hot 100’s calendar year! I won’t give away any hints or clues, but I will say that it is a VERY close race for the #1 hit of the year. Keep posted for the 101 Biggest Hits of 2014, which will begin in about two months.

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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