Thursday, August 25, 2011

Billboard Hot 100 Summary: Wins and Fails- 09/03/2011

#3- Lil Wayne feat. Drake- She Will

It's weird in this period of pop music that stars will release 4 singles prior to an album's release. The first two singles, 6 Foot 7 Foot and John were a bit too street for middle America, but performed decently anyway with peaks inside the top 10 and top 20. In contrast, third single, Detail-produced How to Love might be his softest, most blatant attempt at a radio hit. That's been a considerable success hovering in the middle of the top 10 for the past month or two. As we approach the release of The Carter IV Sunday night at midnight, the debut of "She Will" reminds me a lot of the chart performance of Gaga's "Edge of Glory". That song, as the 3rd buzz single from Born This Way, debuted at #3 just prior to the release of the album. Like Edge of Glory, She Will is probably going to slide down the charts for a few weeks until radio kicks in, prompting it back into the top 10. However, unless this song catches absolute fire, I think this most likely will be the song's peak position. While none of his singles have matched the success or catchiness of "Lollipop", this is setting up Weezy for another blockbuster.

#14 The Band Perry- If I Die Young

Just as Lady Antebellum paved the way 2 years ago with the 2-guys-1-girl formula with their breakout success "Need You Now", the country music industry saw a winning formula and signed another act with a very similar look and feel. "If I Die Young" has been hovering around the top 40 for some time now- it debuted on the Hot 100 back in late November, but is now crossing over to top 40/pop radio. Though LA would never play this, (they barely played "Need You Now") the song is catching fire everywhere else. I've seen this song show up on my facebook news feed multiple times over the past week as an indicator. Who knows if this will be as big as "Need You Now", but this whole 2-guys-1-girl thing is the new in thing with country crossovers. I will admit, there could be a lot worse songs crossing over to pop.

#35 Lady Gaga- You and I

This is probably the most obvious win of the week. With the release of her music video, Gaga's fourth single form "Born This Way" rockets from 96-35 in its 2nd real week of a chart run. As this was one of the top performing album tracks on iTunes when "Born This Way" was released, audience and fan reception seem to be extremely positive for this song. As it seems kind of like a homage to the style of Bruce Springsteen, John Mellencamp, Queen, 90's mainstream country/pop, it sounds completely different than anything else on house-hop obsessed top 40 radio, and I think people are ready for a change of pace as well. I'm really curious to see if country radio warms up to the song, as it definitely would fit in with the format. Her opening VMA performance will most likely contain some kind of rendition of this song- also a tactic that launched "Paparazzi" in 2009. If this plays out right, I can see this being a future #1 multi-format smash.


#32 Pitbull ft. Marc Anthony- Rain Over Me

I am proud to announce that I am 80% sure that Pitbull's third single from "Planet Pit" (ugh, given LA radio the title is probably accurate) won't achieve the status of "Give Me Everything" or even "Hey Baby (Drop it to the Floor)". Though it was climbing at a swift pace to #30, this week it drops to #32 without a bullet. That should hopefully indicate the peak position. What happened here? Is Marc Anthony simply too washed up for American artists and not as appealing of a feature? I respect the bold cause to try to relaunch his career, but maybe it's also because it's just not as strong of a song. For an album that was intentionally made so that every song could be made a radio single, we'll have to see what happens in the coming weeks and how fast RCA follows it up. However, I could be totally wrong about this. We'll see in the coming weeks. Any type of momentum Pitbull has- I want killed right now with the Kodak endorsements and everything.

#51 Lupe Fiasco ft. Trey Songz- Out of My Head

Possibly since late May or early April, Power 106 (LA's "hip hop" station) has been playing a super mediocre song with two completely indistinguishable voices. I found out about a month ago it was actually this song, and it made total sense. No rapper I can think of has descended so quickly in terms of quality, yet achieved that much more popular success. I listened to his first album, "Food & Liquor", maybe 100 times over, but he didn't achieve commercial success until the, again, mediocre "Superstar" made a decently sized dent in the charts. I am aware that record label politics came into play with the album this song is taken from, and that Lupe Fiasco really didn't want some of these singles released. "Out of My Head" barely scratched the #40 position before sliding down the charts. What I don't understand is why this song tests so well for LA radio- it's been on heavy rotation for months on all top 40 stations. Lupe Fiasco is a true talent, but one better served off of a major label. It's just a shame the quality of music vs. commerical appeal are like a see-saw rather than going hand in hand.

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