Friday, August 12, 2011

Billboard Hot 100 Summary: Wins and Fails- 8/20/2011


8. Maroon 5 ft. Christina Aguilera- Moves Like Jagger

"Moves Like Jagger" is Maroon 5's first top 10 hit since their #1 "Makes Me Wonder" five years ago. I had fist placed this song in the "gimmick" category, as it was debuted on the show "The Voice". It took me awhile to realize that this gimmick actually had the momentum to become a decently sized pop hit. True, Maroon 5 is an established band, but their last album's singles didn't exactly spark fireworks on the charts. I dismissed it originally as I have all songs spawning from a reality show- have Lee DeWyze, Crystal Bowersox, Scott McCreery, or Pia Toscano gained any traction recently? I mean, the last American Idol to gain any traction was Adam Lambert, and even he had trouble finding acceptance at radio at first. Either way, "Moves Like Jagger" has reigned the iTunes charts for a week now, and it looks like a semi-comeback for them. "The Voice" is the best thing that ever happened to Adam Levine and Christina Aguilera- two successful pop stars with recent missteps that have now been compensated for.

13. Foster the People- Pumped Up Kicks

It seems that once or twice a year, a random left-field act breaks the mainstream. Usually I can see it coming- e.g. La Roux's "Bulletproof" or Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy". But really- this one had me baffled at first. Yes, the song has a catchy chorus of killing peers over shoes, (?) but thousands of indie pop artists have songs with hooks out the ASS that would catch fire at top 40. (Robyn, Holy Ghost!, Cut Copy) I guess what I'm left with from this song is- good for them, a non mainstream band infiltrated the top 40... but at the same time- of all bands and all songs- why was it them? The song is on track to make top 10, solidifying them for relevancy until this time next year.

41. Jennifer Lopez ft. Lil Wayne- I'm Into You

Well, the Jennifer Lopez comeback has officially arrived. It is also now official that TV is the primary medium for a washed up pop star to regain relevancy. Let's look at where JLo was before the 2010 season of American Idol aired. Her last album was 2006's "Brave", which didn't produce any hits and fell off the charts immediately. After that, several singles released (anyone remember "Fresh Out the Oven"?) to absolutely no interest. She hooks up with Lady Gaga's producer RedOne, debuts her song on her employer's show, and consequently becomes a massive hit. I find the showing of her new single every bit as important and relevant to her previous chart hit. It's an extremely average song that doens't exactly play in your head upon recent listens- it pretty much has everything a current pop song needs without that special spark to make it- well- special. The fact that it bulleted to #41 this week as a normal single without any TV tie-in means that A) it will make top 40 next week and that B) Jennifer Lopez has (unfortunately) officially returned to relevancy on the pop charts.


#60: Rihanna- California King Bed

What the hell was Def Jam thinking when releasing this as a single? With every song on the album a potential single, (and after a successful run of 3 #1 singles) and in a music period of top 40 running on cocaine, she releases a hook free soft rock ballad? The song peaked at #37 on her name alone, which really attests to Rihanna's general popularity and staying power. Her label immediately recognized this, as they immediately dropped "Cheers (Drink To That)," and it rockets from 91-50 this week. It could be a potential 4th #1 from "Loud", keeping Rihanna as the only artist on pace to possibly beat Mariah Carey or The Beatles for the most #1 singles of all time. SERIOUSLY. Actually, I'm gonna post "Cheers" because "California King Bed" puts me to sleep.

#81- Red Hot Chili Peppers- The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggy

I've gained a respect for this band over the years- learning of their origins. I never realized how trailblazing they were in fusing so many genres together before it was cool- and their rise to superstardom was backed upon their totally fluke hit "Under the Bridge". Since then, they've been funk-rock top 40 hit makers with ups and downs over the years, and "The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggy" sounds 100% exactly what I'd expect from them. Unless the song gains traction at top 40 (which it has chance of), I'd now put these senior rockers as a "legacy band"- an album every few years with no radio singles or chart accomplishments accompanying a massive sold out tour that makes millions.

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