Billboard Hot 100 Analysis: 10/30/2014

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

By moving 7-5 this week, Maroon 5’s “Animals” breaks up the all-female hold on the Top 5, ending the record-breaking streak at seven weeks straight. Still, “All About That Bass” registers an eighth consecutive week atop the Hot 100, and “Habits (Stay High)” inches 4-3 to reach a new peak.

The only new entry to the Top 10 this week is certainly a big one. Jumping 33-9, Irish rocker Hozier rides the momentum of his Saturday Night Live performance all the way into the chart’s uppermost region. For an artist with no prior Hot 100 activity, it’s truly remarkable to see a rapid upswing like this, and I’ll definitely be curious to see what “Take Me To Church” will be capable of in the coming weeks.

BIGGEST MOVERS THIS WEEK

27 Spots: Tuesday by I LOVE MAKONNEN f/Drake (62-35)

24 Spots: Take Me To Church by Hozier (33-9)

22 Spots: Steal My Girl by One Direction (40-18)

20 Spots: Love Me Harder by Ariana Grande & The Weeknd (57-37)

18 Spots: L.A.Love (La La) by Fergie (81-63)

  1. Sorry Rebecca Black. Thanks to Drake’s viral remix, “Tuesday” becomes the first Top 40 single with only a day of the week in the title since “Monday, Monday” in 1966.
  2. In addition to the SNL spike, Hozier was also featured by Shazam last week, and “Take Me To Church” was promoted in emails sent to all 11 million Shazam users.
  3. Thanks to a well-timed music video release, “Steal My Girl” returns to the Top 20 after a few weeks off. We’ll see if it can crack the Top 10.
  4. Two weeks in a row on this list for Grande’s latest single, as it hits the Top 40 after just 3 weeks on the chart.
  5. Thanks in no small part to DJ Mustard’s brand recognition, Fergie’s new single posts consecutive double-digit jumps.

HOT 100 DEBUTS THIS WEEK

“Baby Don’t Lie” by Gwen Stefani (#46)

  • Appearing on the chart as a solo artist for the first time since 2007, Gwen Stefani’s return to the Hot 100 sounds a lot closer to Ellie Goulding than to No Doubt. Relying on heavy electronic production, there’s an unmistakable sly groove to “Baby Don’t Lie” which certainly merited a repeat listen for me. When No Doubt released “Settle Down” two years ago, it debuted high much like this one, but had a fleeting chart run. Expect a similar fate from “Baby Don’t Lie,” unless it succeeds at catching on pop radio.

“Welcome To New York” by Taylor Swift (#48)

  • One week before the charts reflect the sales firestorm that has been 1989, one more promotional single finds its way on the charts this week. “Welcome To New York” is catchy and repetitive like the prior two Swift singles this year, almost to a fault though, as “Shake It Off” and “Out Of The Woods” have a lot more going for them. With the million-plus sales week on the horizon for next week, expect to see a strong showing from all of Swift’s songs next week (there’s a very real possibility of all the songs on the album charting). However, past next week, I don’t see much of a future for “Welcome To New York” unless Swift officially releases it as a single.

“Try Me” by DeJ Loaf (#67)

  • We’re definitely officially in the Vine era of Hot 100 music. As “Hot Boy” reaches a new peak of #8 this week, young Chicago rapper DeJ Loaf utilizes social networking to score an impossibly high debut on the Hot 100. There’s nothing particularly new or interesting about this song, but that’s the thing about going viral: there’s not really a rhyme or reason to it. Something tells me though that “Try Me” won’t peak much higher, and could easily become a one-and-done.

“Outside” by Calvin Harris f/Ellie Goulding (#68)

  • After his messy breakup with Rita Ora, it looks like Calvin Harris is returning (at least musically) to one of his most successful collaborative partners. Goulding featured prominently on last year’s “I Need Your Love,” and her voice soars throughout this newest single as well. But with “Blame” continuing its steady climb, it looks like Harris already has his hit for the fall. “Outside” could crack the Top 40, but I’m betting that it won’t go too much higher than #60.

“G.D.F.R.” by Flo Rida f/Sage The Gemini & Lookas (#84)

  • It’s been a quiet year for Flo Rida. “How I Feel,” his only previous charting 2014 single, peaked at a pedestrian #96. By recruiting the help of viral star Sage The Gemini, and a heavily-distorted sax riff in the vein of “Talk Dirty,” “G.D.F.R.” (Going Down For Real, of course) has the makings of a derivative hit. But even a derivative hit is a hit, so there’s a chance for Flo Rida to sneak his way into the spotlight again this year. It most likely won’t become a major hit, but peaking inside the Top 50 isn’t impossible.

“Talladega” by Eric Church (#90)

  • While The Outsiders has been a critically-acclaimed album, it hasn’t yielded many hits, with the exception of “Give Me Back My Hometown.” “Talledega” represents the fourth charting-effort from Church’s newest album, and it doesn’t explicitly deal with the famed racetrack more than it details a summer etched forever in time. Church has a pure sound, and country fans will certainly give this song some airplay. I’d guess that “Talledega” will peak somewhere in the 60s or 70s.

“Beg For It” by Iggy Azalea f/MØ (#92)

  • Just like Katy Perry and Nicki Minaj did in 2012, Iggy Azalea is planning on re-releasing The New Classic under the title Re-Classified next month, with five new tracks. The first of those is “Beg For It,” which essentially is “Fancy” substituting Charli XCX for MØ, an up-and-coming Danish artist who has had moderate breakout success abroad this year. It’s pretty catchy and has endless potential given Azalea’s starpower right now, so a peak in the Top 40 is pretty assured. I could see it reaching the Top 10 with the right amount of airplay.

“Lips Are Movin” by Meghan Trainor (#93)

  • Still hanging on to her retro style (albeit slightly more tenuously), Meghan Trainor scores the third Hot 100 appearance of her young career with “Lips Are Movin.” I’m a big fan of her style, and this song certainly is catchy enough to catch on pop radio. It won’t be a chart-topping megahit like “All About That Bass”, but if it can survive its first few weeks on the Hot 100, it may just bound its way up into the Top 20.

“Dangerous” by David Guetta f/Sam Martin (#96)

  • Much like Flo Rida (an artist he’s produced quite frequently), David Guetta’s had a quiet year, as “Dangerous” represents his first chart entry of 2014. While he’s paved the way for the pop-EDM movement which holds court right now, Guetta hasn’t had a huge hit since Titanium two years ago. “Dangerous” sounds like a techno-fied version of Maroon 5’s “Animals,” complete with some funky guitar work thrown in for good measure. Guetta’s biggest hits have come from featuring huge pop stars, and Sam Martin doesn’t qualify for that title, so I unfortunately don’t see it peaking much higher than #60 or #70. If Adam Levine had featured, I think this very groovy song would be more likely to gain its well-deserved foothold on the Hot 100.

“Made Me” by Snootie Wild f/KCamp (#97)

  • Earlier this year, Snootie Wild’s “Yayo” bubbled under the Hot 100 at #107, but “Made Me” represents the Tennessee rapper’s first Hot 100 entry. Featuring KCamp of “Cut Her Off” viral fame, “Made Me” sounds to me like a song that Future neglected to record. With little starpower accrued on the track, I can’t see this track peaking much higher than #85. Most likely, it will last only a week or two on the chart.

“God Made Girls” by RaeLynn (#98).

  • RaeLynn was a contestant on The Voice back in 2012’s Season 2, but didn’t have any of her covers crack the Hot 100. However, she did have an uncredited appearance on the Hot 100 as one of the “Friends” on Blake Shelton’s huge hit “Boys Round Here.” Her first solo charting effort is a country track, far and away the most successful formula for artists trying to emerge from The Voice and have a viable career. In the vein of the Swon Brothers’ “Later On,” I don’t see “God Made Girls” charting any higher than the 80s.

We have a full slate of 11 debuts this week, just ahead of the Taylor Swift onslaught that will almost assuredly happen next week. So which songs will survive it? My money’s on “Beg For It” and “Lips Are Movin.” I know these are pretty safe picks, but Trainor and Iggy Azalea have been the faces of the Hot 100 for the last four months, so I see no reason to bet against them at this stage of the game.

#1 SONGS ON THE GENRE CHARTS

  • POP: Shake It Off by Taylor Swift (#2 on Hot 100)
  • COUNTRY: Burnin’ It Down by Jason Aldean (#26 on Hot 100)
  • ROCK: Take Me To Church by Hozier (#9 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 (#6 on Hot 100)
  • RAP: Black Widow by Iggy Azalea f/Rita Ora (#6 on Hot 100)
  • DANCE/ELECTRONIC: Rather Be by Clean Bandit f/Jess Glynne (#13 on Hot 100)
  • LATIN: Bailando by Enrique Iglesias (#31 on Hot 100)

FINAL THOUGHTS

  1. Farewell to “Dark Horse,” after spending 57 weeks on the Hot 100, including the first 44 calendar weeks of 2014. Was its chart performance formidable enough to be the biggest hit of 2014? We’ll see what happens when I release the end-of-year rankings in 7 weeks!

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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