Saturday, September 28, 2013

Pop Sweep: October 5, 2013...


Hey gang, it's time to kick off this week's five-part "chart sweeps" to check out the songs making the singles charts in Billboard magazine, and as always I'll begin with the pop side of things...

On the "big" chart, Billboard's Hot 100, Miley Cyrus' "Wrecking Ball" rides for a second week at #1...

The top debut of the week is another young woman with "issues" that's riding the TMZ wagon for publicity. This time it's Britney Spears, and unlike Cyrus' passable pop of "Wrecking Ball", she offers the shiny turd of "Work Bitch" at #12, which I guess is made for the gay fanboys who think that her collab with will.i.am, "Scream & Shout", was too wordy, and opt only for her adopted tagline. This song is so bad it makes me question whether we deserve gay marriage. (kidding)


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The second of three arrivals in the top-20 this week is the second preview track from Katy Perry's upcoming third album Prism. "Dark Horse", which features rapper Juicy J, follows her #1 hit "Roar". Meh.




The third, and unbelievably worst of the three newbies in the top-20 at #19 is R&B producer Meijor Ali, who previously recorded at Bei Meijor, and real name being Brandon Green, with his first hit as a lead artist, "Lolly". It featured rapper Juicy J (again) and recently belt-whipped Justin Bieber. This auto-tuned tsunami of suck is the only thing I could imagine that could outrank Brit in terms of awfulness...


Next up is Justin Timberlake, whose disco-fied "Take Back The Night" from his second 20/20 Experience set so far tanked at #29. Now at #54 is the upcoming set's second single, "TKO". Typical Timbaland fare, nothing special. I hope "Take Back..." rebounds, rather...


Neo-hard rockers Linkin Park team up with electro-house DJ Steve Aoki on "A Light That Never Comes" at #65. It's from their third remix album Recharged. In their career they've hit the top-10 on the Hot 100 three times, with "In The End" going to #2 in 2001. This group has always been underrated in their innovation and musicianship, and out of the big American rock acts they rank among the best, and this new right-turn is refreshing, and while it nods to EDM, they keep their identity intact...


Daughtry, led by lead singer Chris who is one of the biggest non-winning successes of American Idol, returns at #70 with the first single from their upcoming fourth album, Baptized. "Waiting For Superman" doesn't stray far from their usual angst-filled grit-like pop/rock, but it does the job without any pretense that's any grander than it is. Their first two hits, "It's Not Over" and "Home", reached the top-5 on the Hot 100...


Las Vegas-based modern rock outfit Imagine Dragons have been one of the big success stories of the year, and while their huge #3 single "Radioactive" drops a notch to #14 and "Demons" hold at the position it re-entered the chart last week (#46), they arrive with "Monster", which is tied to video game Infinity Blade III. It uses the same rhythm and vocal structure as "Radioactive" does, but is still alright on it's own accord.


Los Angeles rapper Kid Ink gets his second "ink" on the Hot 100 at #82 with "Show Me" featuring Chris Brown. It's got nuances of slowed-down freestyle in the production to distinguish it from the usual auto-tuned Brown cameo fills.


While Swedish DJ/producer Avicii moves up to #4 with his folk/dance hybrid of "Wake Me Up", he's in at #85 with the funkier jam "You Make Me". This makes it in as my "Pop Pick Of The Week", and should be different enough from the other song to prevent burn-out...


One notch below that at #86 is Dutch DJ Martin Garrix (real name: Martijn Garritsen), who has his first hit in the US with his worldwide hit "Animals". It's a great instrumental rave that I'm glad is catching on...


Singer/songwriter/dancer-with-the-stars Gavin DeGraw jumps in at #88 with his top-20 Adult Pop hit "Best I Ever Had", which is the most convincing impression of a Train song I've ever heard. Back in 2004 he made #10 on the big chart with his debut single "I Don't Want To Be"...


Country band Parmalee, led by brothers Matt and Scott Thomas, enter at #93 with their first Hot 100 hit "Carolina". The single is currently at #19 on the country airplay chart. This is earnest though typical state-listing lyrics we're dealing with here...


A second Dutch dance producer, Armin van Buuren, has a much more established career, with his first charting single in the UK going back to 1998. However he scores his first Hot 100 hit this week at #96 with "This Is What It Feels Like" featuring Canadian singer Trevor Guthrie of the band soulDecision ("Faded"). This long-standing hit on dance radio is one of the better EDM throwdowns aiming for pop airplay, with it's anthemic wail and nuanced singing by Guthrie.


The final entry of the week at #100 is double-charttoppers Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, with the fouth single from their The Heist set to reach the chart, "White Walls". It features rapper Schoolboy Q and singer Hollis, who sings the vocal hook, and goes back to their eclectic humor that won millions over with "Thrift Shop"...


...and now onward to the pop radio charts...

On the Mainstream Top-40 radio panel, Katy Perry's "Roar" spends a second week on top, while the aforementioned Britney Spears disaster, edited as "Work Work" for radio, comes in as the top entry at #25.

The other debut at #39 is R&B/pop singer/songwriter Jason Derulo with "Marry Me". The video from the third single from Tattoos features American Idol winner and real-life girlfriend Jordin Sparks. Say, now that we have had the adorbs Derulo around for a while, why do we need Chris Brown, we already have the auto-tuned R&B singer department covered...


Meanwhile, on the older-skewing Adult Top-40 format, "Roar" climbs to #1 for its first week....

Making its first appearance on this chart at #39 is a song originally released in 2010. Yes, a full three years ago. It's modern rock band AWOLnation, who have crossed over from rock to alt-rock to pop to this format with "Sail". I'm ecstatic over the long-burning success of this song, as I've been a fan of leader Aaron Bruno since his days in Under The Influence Of Giants...


The second entry at #40 is newbies American Authors from Brooklyn with their first hit "Best Day Of My Life", which is also getting noticed in an ad for home improvement store Lowe's. But lord, how can I resist this video?


Lastly, on the Adult Contemporary (easy-listening) chart, Phillip Phillips holds tight for a fifth week on top with "Gone, Gone, Gone"...

The sole debut at #30 is pop/rock band OneRepublic with "Counting Stars". They've gone to the top-5 on this format three times, with "Good Life" topping out at #2 a couple years ago...


That does it for the start of today's musical journey...I'll be back in 90 minutes with the latest on rock radio...

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