Thursday, September 8, 2011

Billboard Hot 100 Summary- Wins and Fails- September 17, 2011


#1. Adele- Someone Like You

Adele fever continues across the nation as the 2nd proper single from "21" rockets from #19-#1 in its 9th week on the charts. As I read on today, the song sets the record for the loftiest jump to #1 without the brand new release of the physical or digital single. Given- she had a handicap with her VMA performance, but this type of chart behavior is still very rare and should be noted. I'm not going to go too far into this as I'm still working on an opinion article on Adele, but seriously. A year ago, who would have thought Adele, a perceived Amy Winehouse clone would have, by far, the world's best selling album of 2011 with 2 #1's on the Hot 100? Stranger things have happened, but still. I'm curious to see how the obvious third single, "Set Fire to the Rain" will fare on the charts unsolicited without the VMA bump.

#8. Cobra Starship f/Sabi- You Make Me Feel

UGH I had pegged these guys as one hit wonders! I've heard the song a few times on the radio and it does absolutely nothing for me. But as it rockets from #18-8 this week, it's cemented itself as an iTunes top 10 mainstay for the time being, and as radio airplay drastically increases, we will be hearing a lot more of this tune in the next few months. Why does everything over 120 BPM get an automatic handicap? I swear the world is strung out on uppers.

#64. Nicki Minaj f/ Rihanna- Fly

I love Nicki Minaj, but mostly for reasons unknown to the mainstream public. Before she was churning out sugary pop shit like this, she released 3 astounding mixtapes. Like lots of artists in history, there is a complete dichotomy between what is commercially viable for her and what she is truly good at and acclaimed for. "Fly" is one of the many songs on "Pink Friday" that I begrudgingly skip with a groan. It's so contrived and calculated for top 40 with its surface-level inspirational lyrics and pre-packaged Rihanna chorus. The video for the single was released just a short while ago, and radio is obviously latching onto this song with its strong debut on the charts at #64. Look for this one to hit at least the top 20, giving Nicki another huge hit, and unfortunately encouraging her to stray away even further from the glorious mixtape days. So instead "Fly", I'm posting my favorite song from her mixtape "Beam Me Up Scotty": Itty Bitty Piggy.


#49. Big Sean f/ Kanye West & Roscoe Dash- Marvin & Chardonnay

I don't really get the whole Big Sean craze- his voice isn't distinctive enough for me to immediately recognize- and that seems to be template for successful hip hop artists these days. As a followup to the painfully mediocre "My All" f/ Chris Brown, (In the running with Lupe's "The Show Goes On" for blandest hit of the year) it's gained quite a bit of buzz with hip-hop radio, but pop radio seems to be ignoring it. It falls from 46-49 this week on the Hot 100, but bullets to #7 this week on the R&B charts. I really don't see Big Sean ever becoming an A-List pop star, but at least his guest features will keep him afloat for awhile. I'm very interested to see what happens with his sophomore release.

#56. Coldplay- Every Teardrop is a Waterfall

I have a long, complicated history with Coldplay. I was obsessed with their first 2 albums, until "X&Y" came out and felt like the ultimate cash grab. This was confirmed when I saw them that summer in Indianapolis. $35 dollar T-Shirts, sponsor logos everywhere- I mean they had suddenly transformed from charming, self-realized rock artists to the next mega-stadium U2. Coldplay's zenith is undeniably their sophomore breakthrough, "A Rush of Blood to the Head", and the stars aligned for a massive fluke #1 a few years later- "Viva la Vida". Since their 2nd album, I've dismissed them the same way I've dismissed Kings of Leon- artistic, adventurous music- then money gets in the way. Their lead single from their 5th album never really gained traction at radio, and simply doesn't match the caliber of any of their other debut singles from their prior 4 albums. Can we please now categorize Coldplay as the furthest thing from the next U2? At least they had/have the music to back it up.

#77. Miguel- Quickie

Wasn't a fan of his first single, "All I Want is You," despite that fact that it gave J. Cole (Think Drake's sequel) his first top 40 hit. The follow-up, "Sure Thing", was deservedly a massive #1 smash on the R&B charts, but as a perfect example of the dance-floor fueled state of radio, barely scratched the top 40 on the pop charts. His third single, and first real ballad- "Quickie", rode the momentum of the first two singles, but the song seems to have lost steam. It's a pretty typical Chris Brown/Trey Songz sex ballad which pop radio avoids more than Vanilla Ice post 1991. It definitely sounds like an album cut, and might be an unexpected single to be released due to Miguel's unprecedented success on the R&B charts. It's also notable that not a lot of Hispanic artists (ok ok, I know- he's half black half Hispanic) are marketable on the R&B charts, nonetheless having 2 smash hits off of a debut album. If this guy comes around with a strong sophomore release, he could be around for awhile.

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