Billboard Hot 100 Analysis: 11/20/2014

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. Blank Space by Taylor Swift
  2. All About That Bass by Meghan Trainor
  3. Shake It Off by Taylor Swift
  4. Animals by Maroon 5
  5. Habits (Stay High) by Tove Lo
  6. Take Me To Church by Hozier
  7. Hot Boy by Bobby Shmurda
  8. Bang Bang by Jessie J, Ariana Grande & Nicki Minaj
  9. I’m Not The Only One by Sam Smith
  10. Jealous by Nick Jonas

It’s a very busy week in the Top 10 this week, punctuated by a new #1 single. Bounding 13-1, “Blank Space” makes Taylor Swift the first female artist ever to replace herself at #1. The last time self-replacement happened in general was back in 2009 when the Black Eyed Peas ruled the summer with “Boom Boom Pow” and “I Gotta Feeling.” In addition to that feat, “Blank Space” is the first song to jump to #1 from outside the Top 10 since Swift herself went 72-1 with “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” in 2012. The jump is fueled by views of the new music video, in addition to sizable gains on radio airplay. “Blank Space” could easily be settling in for a lengthy stay at #1.

Bumping 11-9, “I’m Not The Only One” becomes Sam Smith’s 2nd Top 10 single as a solo artist, and his 3rd overall (all in 2014!). Jumping 23-10, Nick Jonas’ first solo trip to the Hot 100 becomes a very successful one, notching him a Top 10 single to go with the two he earned as part of the Jonas Brothers. His success this year is certainly one of the more unexpected stories of 2014.

BIGGEST MOVERS THIS WEEK

22 Spots: L.A.Love (La La) by Fergie (63-41)

19+ Spots: Yellow Flicker Beat by Lorde (re-enters at #82)

16 Spots: Only by Nicki Minaj f/Lil Wayne, Drake & Chris Brown (43-27)

14 Spots: Tuesday by I LOVE MAKONNEN f/Drake (26-12)

14 Spots: Riptide by Vance Joy (46-32)

  1. Thanks in part to a well-timed music video release, Fergie is mere inches away from her first non-Peas trip to the Top 40 since 2008.
  2. A Kanye West “rework” of the track combined with a new music video and the pending release of Mockingjay has the public buzzing over Lorde’s latest track once again.
  3. What do you know? Another controversial music video has Nicki Minaj reaping the benefits, this time relatively early in “Only'”s run.
  4. Earning the Streaming Gainer award again, “Tuesday” just might crack the Top 10 as early as next week.
  5. “Riptide” rockets into the Top 40 in its 21st week on the Hot 100, a testament to the incredible longevity the track has enjoyed.

HOT 100 DEBUTS THIS WEEK

“Uptown Funk!” by Mark Ronson f/Bruno Mars (#65)

  • It’s been a full two years since Bruno Mars dropped Unorthodox Jukebox, and we’re all anxious to see what new material he will come out with when he finally hits the studio again. For now though, English DJ/musician Mark Ronson recruited him for his newest single, and what an excellent choice that was! Mixing Ronson’s unique blend of rock and electronic with Bruno’s flair for 70s funk, “Uptown Funk” plays a neo-hybrid of James Brown and Prince. The song builds its way steadily to memorable heights with insanely catchy horn riffs and witty lyrics that seem to be a nod to Trinidad James’ “All Gold Everything.” This is one of the funnest tracks of 2014, and the music video released this week is just as enjoyable. I hope this gets good radio airplay, because it has the potential to be a huge hit in the vein of “Locked Out Of Heaven” and “Treasure.” The song should easily be able to reach the Top 40, and I think a run at the Top 10 could easily be in the cards.

“18” and “Where Do Broken Hearts Go” by One Direction (#87 and #88)

  • Even though it is poised to sell over 400,000 copies this week, One Direction’s new album has been completely engulfed by the success of Taylor Swift’s 1989. To put things in perspective, the release of Midnight Memories last year granted 1D two simultaneous debuts, at #11 and #12. This happened again this week, but the two debuting tracks are neighbors far lower down the chart. Both of those debuts from last year turned into one-and-dones, so there’s no reason to suspect any other fate for these tracks than to disappear by next week.

“Make Me Wanna” by Thomas Rhett (#99)

  • Following the moderate success of “Get Me Some Of That” early in the year, Thomas Rhett is back with a much different sound. Whereas his previous single is extremely indicative of the “bro” country movement sweeping through the genre, “Make Me Wanna” is much more organic, and almost has a 70s flair to its guitar riffs. This makes for an incredibly catchy and standout track that seems made for country radio. Rhett’s name is fairly large in country right now, so I see no reason why “Make Me Wanna” won’t be a viable hit in the coming months. I could easily see it peaking in the Top 40.

“She Knows” by Ne-Yo f/Juicy J (#100)

  • It’s been quite a while since Ne-Yo was consistently relevant. He featured prominently on Pitbull’s 2011 smash “Give Me Everything” and had a big hit of his own in 2012 with “Let Me Love You,” but that’s been about it for the last 5 years. “She Knows” relies a bit too heavily on a repetitive saxophone riff, and it’s closer to traditional R&B than the pop crossovers he’s most famous for. As such, I don’t see too much potential for this Juicy J collaboration, perhaps a peak in the 70s.

It’s a pretty light week with only five songs debuting, down from the 8-12 we typically see. This makes “Uptown Funk” stand out even more as the potential hit of record, by virtue of its high debut and its bright future. On the country side of the coin, “Make Me Wanna” has great genre potential, and should also see solid upward mobility in the coming weeks. That being said, I don’t see any of these tracks seriously challenging “Uptown Funk” to be the biggest hit out of this bunch.

#1 SONGS ON THE GENRE CHARTS

  • POP: Animals by Maroon 5 (#4 on Hot 100)
  • COUNTRY: Something In The Water by Carrie Underwood (#35 on Hot 100)
  • ROCK: Take Me To Church by Hozier (#6 on Hot 100)
  • ALTERNATIVE: Stolen Dance by Milky Chance (#50 on Hot 100)
  • R&B/HIP-HOP: Hot Boy by Bobby Shmurda (#7 on Hot 100)
  • RAP: Hot Boy by Bobby Shmurda (#7 on Hot 100)
  • DANCE/ELECTRONIC: Waves by Mr. Probz (#19 on Hot 100)
  • LATIN: Bailando by Enrique Iglesias (#44 on Hot 100)

FINAL THOUGHTS

  1. “Riptide” becomes the first song in 2014 to make the Biggest Movers list past its first 10 weeks on the chart. We’ll see if it has the legs to continue this second wind, or if it fades off the Hot 100 within the next few weeks.
  2. Only 4 weeks of Hot 100 charts in 2014! Seems like yesterday that I started these analyses, so thank you to all who have been faithful weekly readers! And for those of you new to my Hot 100 articles, stay tuned for the 101 Biggest Hits of 2014, beginning on December 19!

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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