ADAM’S TOP 40 FLASHBACK: September 23, 2001

Heroes of all kinds.

Heroes of all kinds.

After a little time off, we’re back with another round of way back wonders on Adam’s Top 40 Flashback! Every Saturday, the day before my new top 40 goes up for the week, I’ll be featuring a past countdown straight from chart files of Adam’s Top 40. They’re all here — the hit songs, the songs that flopped, and the songs that may be a little embarrassing to reflect on. Let’s take a trip back, way back, to a few weeks into sixth grade and revisit the top songs from this week in 2001…

40. LIFEHOUSE, “Breathing”
39. NELLY, “#1″
22. ALL-STAR TRIBUTE, “What’s Going On?”

Biggest Mover:
BACKSTREET BOYS, “Drowning” (34-19, 15 spots)

10. ENRIQUE IGLESIAS, “Hero” (up 10)
Album: Escape (2001, Interscope Records)
Peak: #1 for three weeks

09. THE WISEGUYS, “Start The Commotion” (down 2)
Album: The Antidote (1998, Mammoth Records)
Peak: #1 for two weeks

08. JIVE JONES, “Me, Myself & I” (up 1)
Album: Me, Myself + I (2001, Jive Records)
Peak: #7

07. DESTINY’S CHILD, “Emotion” (up 4)
Album: Survivor (2001, Columbia Records)
Peak: #3

06. MICHELLE BRANCH, “Everywhere” (down 1)
Album: The Spirit Room (2001, Maverick Records)
Peak: #5

05. JENNIFER LOPEZ, “I’m Real” (down 3)
Album: J.Lo (2001, Epic Records)
Peak: #2 for three weeks

04. *NSYNC, “Gone” (steady, second week)
Album: Celebrity (2001, Jive Records)
Peak: #1 for one week

03. MICHAEL JACKSON, “You Rock My World” (up 3)
Album: Invincible (2001, Epic Records)
Peak: #1 for one week

02. FIVE FOR FIGHTING, “Superman (It’s Not Easy)” (up 1)
Album: America Town (2000, Aware/Columbia Records)
Peak: #2 for two weeks

01. ALICIA KEYS, “Fallin'” (steady, fourth week)
Album: Songs In A Minor (2001, J/RMG Records)
Peak: #1 for four weeks

Check back next Saturday for another Adam’s Top 40 Flashback countdown and don’t forget to follow the blog by using the tab below or find PGTC on social media by clicking the “Get Social!” tab at the top of the page.

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ON THE RISE: Cool Cuts From The ‘Cloud III

As you may or may not know, the newest PGTC experiment is the SoundCloud page, where you can find both the songs on my personal chart and up-and-coming uploads from independent and small label acts. Since I certainly can’t fit everything I want to on the blog, PGTC on SoundCloud gives you even more of an opportunity to be interactive with all of the tuneage I’m jamming out to. Last time around, I highlighted cuts by Girls Who Care, In-Flight Safety, Nick Raven, TROVES and YURS. Now, here are five more acts to add onto your playlist:

Alexander WildwoodALEXANDER WILDWOOD – “Bad Blood”
Current location: New Zealand

Not much is known about this new singer/songwriter, although a point of focus in his bio notes that his younger years were spent on the seas and that the work of several 60’s musicians helped him to form a basis for his music. It’s not your typical start, but Wildwood delivers a rhythmic and retro tune with a solid pop core. Another cut, “Summer Skin”, is just as good.

DalaroDALARO – “Empty Apartments”
Hometown: Newcastle, England

Quite a few British rock groups have been popping up on the web lately and this one is definitely ahead of the pack. Mixing a synth-driven pop sound against a haunting vocal and layers of “oh-ee-oh” chants, the house may be empty, but your love of the band should be full. Check out their two other tracks online and watch out for “Empty” as it hits iTunes next month.

Kyle LionhartKYLE LIONHART – “On My Own”
Hometown: Byron Bay, Australia

His last name goes in like a lion, but his soft voice and elegant song are much smoother than that. Also the leader of a band Vernas Keep, Lionhart has been playing live for several years, but his first solo release has seen some big love from radio station Triple J and, of course, the blogosphere. It’s an excellent single with huge potential. An EP is coming later this year.

Robert MuinosROBERT MUINOS – “I Was Dreaming”
Hometown: Melbourne, Australia

Muinos is yet another discovery from down under and formerly one of the nine members of Saskwatch, an Australian act playing soul and rock music. Now, he’s striking it as a solo act and breaking out the harmonica on his first single, capturing the late 90’s Alternative sound of acts like Collective Soul and The Wallflowers. An EP will be released in early 2015.

The DuBarrysTHE DUBARRYS – “Undress Your Soul”
Hometown: Brighton, England

Alexander Schönfelder, Charlie Chich and Rax Behéshti comprise this folk and pop trio, though they first formed as a four piece two years ago. They began issuing some music then, but it’s been their last few songs in the past year that have really started to pick up their audience numbers. With a pretty vocal and lush harmonies, this is a beautiful effort from the guys.

For more great music (at least I’d like to think so) and/or to get in touch, you can find the appropriate link above or click the “About Us” section to email your act in. Until next time, keep making those tunes.

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TURN IT UP TUESDAY: What’s New In Stores This Week (September 16)

Meanwhile, back at Billboard...

Meanwhile, back at Billboard…

Q4 will be here before you know it, but some bigger names are getting in on the action this week, including a Country star and a legendary chanteuse. Here’s what albums and singles are in stores for the week of September 16:

  • Coming off a top-selling duet with wife Faith Hill in “Meanwhile Back At Mama’s” and gliding up the Country chart once again with “Shotgun Rider”, Tim McGraw has quite the momentum going into the release week for Sundown Heaven Town, his second studio album for Big Machine Records. I’d like to think that McGraw has a decent chance of picking up his fifth #1 album on the Billboard 200. We shall see next week. (iTunes)
  • Delayed several times over the last year or so and making its way into stores today is the sixth album by R&B singer Chris Brown, simply titled X. Singles like “Fine China”, “Love More” and “Loyal” have all garnered major play on Rhythmic and Urban radio, and new single “New Flame” is doing the same. Team Breezy will definitely get this one into the top two, but can it reach the top? (iTunes)
  • There’s a locomotive on the loose! That would be Train‘s latest studio effort, Bulletproof Picasso, their first album in two years. It features the current AAA and Hot AC top ten hit “Angel In Blue Jeans”, but all you soul sisters knew that already. Though it won’t have as big an opening week as California 37, it should register solidly in the top ten. (iTunes)
  • In stores with her second set of duets and her 34th (!) studio album overall… who else but Barbra Streisand? It’s Partners, matching her with superstars like Billy Joel and Stevie Wonder and newer artists like Blake Shelton and John Legend. It should be another top ten album for Babs and sell nicely through the holidays. (iTunes)
  • Other releases out this week include: Cannibal Corpse‘s A Skeletal Domain (iTunes), Flyleaf‘s Between The Stars (iTunes), George Strait‘s The Cowboy Rides Away: Live From AT&T Stadium (iTunes), Jimi Hendrix‘s soundtrack to Rainbow Bridge (iTunes) and The Cry Of Love (iTunes), Sir Sly‘s You Haunt Me (iTunes), Slash / Myles Kennedy‘s World On Fire (iTunes) and The Madden Brothers‘s Greetings From California (iTunes).

New digital-only singles that you can buy this week (and there’s a whole lot of them) include:

  • “Feels Like Vegas”, a digital single from R&B singer Tinashe. (iTunes)
  • “Love ‘Em All”, a new single from R&B singer K. Michelle. (iTunes)
  • “Nature Boy”, another digital single from Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett‘s Cheek To Cheek album. (iTunes)
  • “Starshine”, new from the legendary Stevie Nicks. (iTunes)
  • “Surrender”, new from the New Jersey trio Cash Cash. (iTunes)

Kenny Chesney brings The Big Revival to the charts next week; will it revive the top spot or will Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett get Cheek To Cheek with it? A full preview is coming in seven!

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Highlights from Adam’s Top 40: September 14, 2014

It's a band, it's a plane...

Flying high once again.

40. Neon Trees – First Things First
38. O.A.R. – Favorite Song
37. Bleachers – Rollercoaster
33. Walk The Moon – Shut Up And Dance | HIGHEST DEBUT

34. Jessie Ware – Say You Love Me (39)
31. Cobra Starship featuring Icona Pop – Never Been In Love (40) | BIGGEST MOVER
24. Foster The People – Are You What You Want To Be? (30)
22. Coldplay – True Love (27)

10. Phillip Phillips – Unpack Your Heart (13) | PEAK: #10
09. The Griswolds – Beware The Dog (09) | PEAK: #09
08. Charli XCX – Boom Clap (07) | PEAK: #04
07. Train – Angel In Blue Jeans (05) | PEAK: #05
06. Rixton – Wait On Me (08) | PEAK: #06
05. Jamie Scott – My Hurricane (04) | PEAK: #01 for four weeks
04. Taylor Swift – Shake It Off (06) | PEAK: #04
03. Ed Sheeran – Don’t (03) | PEAK: #03
02. Maroon 5 – Maps (02) | PEAK: #02
01. The Script – Superheroes (01) | PEAK: #01 for three weeks

Top 10 Next In Line:
1. Nickelback – What Are You Waiting For? (-)
2. MAGIC! – Let Your Hair Down (5)
3. Paolo Nutini – Let Me Down Easy (1)
4. Cold War Kids – All This Could Be Yours (2)
5. Heymous Molly – Life’s A Beach (7)
6. Charli XCX – Break The Rules (-)
7. Hilary Duff – All About You (-)
8. Lilly Wood & The Prick featuring Robin Schulz – Prayer In C (-)
9. Jungle – Busy Earnin’ (10)
10. Danny Mercer – Who Are You Loving Now? (-)

In The Mix:
A Great Big World – Rockstar (new)
AJR – Infinity (new)
Bea Miller – Young Blood
Bryan Adams – She Knows Me (new)
Goo Goo Dolls – Caught In The Storm
Hudson Taylor – Chasing Rubies
Maroon 5 – Animals
Nick Gardner – Lose You (new)
Paloma Faith – Only Love Can Hurt Like This
Ryn Weaver – OctaHate
SecondCity featuring Ali Love – What Can I Do
U2 – The Miracle (Of Joey Ramone) (new)

Chart Notes:

  • Lots of action on the top 40 this weekend with four songs new to the countdown. Debuting at #33 is highest of them and the second hit for the Ohio band Walk The Moon, titled “Shut Up And Dance”. Their first, “Anna Sun”, went to #6 two years ago. The quartet is one of a handful of bands from the Buckeye State to reach my chart, which also includes 98 Degrees, Blessid Union Of Souls, Relient K and Youngstown.
  • At #37 is the second entry for Bleachers, led by fun.‘s Jack Antonoff. “Rollercoaster” is the followup to “I Wanna Get Better”, which spent a week at the top earlier this year. It’s also picking up strong gains this week on Alternative radio, where it will debut in the top 40 on the published update later today. Both are taken from the album Strange Desire, released back in July.
  • In one notch lower at #38 is a new release for Maryland rockers O.A.R., who bow in with “Favorite Song”. It’s their seventh time on the chart and four of those singles went top ten. Their biggest of the seven is “Shattered (Turn The Car Around)”, which spent five weeks at #2 in 2008. Will this one become a bigger favorite of mine as the year goes on? Stay tuned!
  • Finally, at #40, is a new song from Neon Trees, the quartet from Provo, UT. “First Things First” is the third single to be issued from their album Pop Psychology, the other two being “Sleeping With A Friend” (#1 for six weeks) and “Love In The 21st Century”. “First” goes to Alternative radio this week.

(See my full chart on the M4BCC message board)

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ADAM’S TOP 40 FLASHBACK: September 12, 1999 (15th Anniversary Edition)

Cherishing the first chart ever.

Cherishing the first chart ever.

After a little time off, we’re back with another round of way back wonders on Adam’s Top 40 Flashback! Every Saturday, the day before my new top 40 goes up for the week, I’ll be featuring a past countdown straight from chart files of Adam’s Top 40. They’re all here — the hit songs, the songs that flopped, and the songs that may be a little embarrassing to reflect on.

This is a very special edition of the Flashback as it marks the fifteenth anniversary of my first official top 40 chart. Back in the day, I would write the chart down with pen and paper as I listened to Kiss 108 in Boston or American Top 40 early on Sunday morning. Things have definitely changed since then… never did I think I would still be ranking my favorites weekly fifteen years after I first began my chart. Obviously, it’s been an amazing run that will continue onward. However, let’s go back once more to that very first top ten from this week in 1999:

10. *NSYNC featuring GLORIA ESTEFAN, “Music Of My Heart”
Album: Music Of The Heart: The Album (1999, Sony Music Soundtrax/Epic Records)
Chart History: Though this was Estefan’s only single to reach my top 40, the Florida quintet would go onto four #1 songs between 2000 and 2002. JC Chasez and Justin Timberlake both went top ten as solo acts.

09. ENRIQUE IGLESIAS, “Bailamos”
Album: Enrique and Music Inspired By The Motion Picture Wild Wild West (1999, Interscope Records)
Chart History: Four singles in total from Iglesias’s debut English effort climbed aboard my chart, though his biggest hit to date remains the 2001 single “Hero”, which made it to #1. He has not charted since the fall of 2011.

08. LOU BEGA, “Mambo No. 5 (A Little Bit Of…)”
Album: A Little Bit Of Mambo (1999, RCA Records)
Chart History: After the success of “Mambo”, followup “Tricky Tricky” also made my top ten. He’s not been top 40 since that song, though he’s had some minor success in parts of Europe with a handful of other single releases.

07. JENNIFER LOPEZ, “If You Had My Love”
Album: On The 6 (1999, WORK Group)
Chart History: Lopez was a mainstay on my top 40 for several years at the beginning; “Love Don’t Cost A Thing” remains her sole #1. Despite a well-received comeback a few years back, 2005’s “Get Right” was her last single to chart.

06. SUGAR RAY, “Someday”
Album: 14:59 (1999, Lava/Atlantic Records)
Chart History: The California group had a few other big singles after their summer classic. 2001’s “When It’s Over” gave them their highest peak to date, climbing up into the #2 spot. Their last top 40 came in 2005 with “Shot Of Laughter”.

05. TAL BACHMAN, “She’s So High”
Album: Tal Bachman (1999, Columbia Records)
Chart History: Bachman never repeated the crazy success of “High” in the U.S. nor in his native Canada, but a few singles were released after it, including the minor Hot AC entry “If You Sleep” in the spring of 2000. “Sleep” bubbled under my top 40 around then.

04. GOO GOO DOLLS, “Black Balloon”
Album: Dizzy Up The Girl (1998, Warner Bros. Records)
Chart History: Still huge on the charts at that point, the Dolls continued to break my top ten with “Broadway” and “Here Is Gone”, which went to #1 in 2002. A series of Hot AC hits have kept them around on my top 40 as recently as last year, going to #18 with “Rebel Beat”.

03. SMASH MOUTH, “All Star”
Album: Astro Lounge (1999, Interscope Records)
Chart History: It was an anthem that lit up the #1 spot at both CHR and Hot AC radio and even rose to #2 on Alternative radio. It’s been quite a while since the format’s spun them. Their cover of “I’m A Believer” spent four weeks at #1 on my survey in 2001. They last charted with “So Insane” in 2006.

02. 98 DEGREES, “I Do (Cherish You)”
Album: 98 Degrees and Rising (1998, Motown Records) and Notting Hill: Music From The Motion Picture (1999, Universal Records)
Chart History: Out of all the boy bands on my first top 40, this one ranked the highest, charting with a song that was first a hit on the Country survey a year prior for Mark Wills. The quartet’s version was heard across multiple formats and ties their highest peak on my chart with “Give Me Just One Night (Una Noche)”, a #2 in 2000.

01. CHRISTINA AGUILERA, “Genie In A Bottle”
Album: Christina Aguilera (1999, RCA Records)
Chart History: It’s a perfect piece of pop; what else can you say about “Genie”? It launched Aguilera into superstar status and gave her a string of hits on my top 40, including the #1 songs “Come On Over Baby (All I Want Is You)” in 2000 and “Beautiful” in 2003. Though the glory days are long behind her, she still goes top 40 from time to time as a featured act.

Check back next Saturday for another Adam’s Top 40 Flashback countdown and don’t forget to follow the blog by using the tab below or find PGTC on social media by clicking the “Get Social!” tab at the top of the page.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Train – Bulletproof Picasso

Not quite out of the "Blue".

Not quite out of the “Blue”.

They took the California 37 and drove into the top ten on the Billboard 200 with hits like “Drive By” and “50 Ways To Say Goodbye”. Now, Train, reduced to two original members after the departure of drummer Scott Underwood, rides again onto the scene with Bulletproof Picasso, their seventh album for longtime home Columbia Records. Like the two previous albums of their well-deserved comeback, Bulletproof brings together both the serious and fun, as well as the old and the new. However, there’s more of an emphasis on intimate moments and less of a pop culture punch lyrically. It seems that the group keeps growing even when you don’t expect them to, good for both the members and their fans. This is a record strictly for them and the relationship that’s kept them going for 15+ years.

The five pre-release songs from the set encompass the first part of this effort, which starts off with a pair of straight-up pop/rock tracks: the solid “Cadillac, Cadillac” and the even better title track. The former suffers from a bit of a cheesy lyric (“I’d rather play games on my G4 phone”… really?) but the latter is more carefree and certainly radio ready: “We don’t need a reason/For anything we feel/We don’t need a reason/Picasso’s at the wheel.” I’d definitely love to see it as the followup to the wildly western grower of a Hot AC hit “Angel In Blue Jeans”, third in the lineup.

Next is “Give It All”, slowing the pace a taste, in which Monahan comes off as a Bono sound-alike to the point where it would just be better to crank up some U2. An improvement comes in the form of “Wonder What You’re Doing For The Rest Of Your Life”, a really sweet pop tune with a bubbly retro touch. Surprisingly enough, it works given the duet with Floetry singer and now soloist Marsha Ambrosius. It’s a head-scratcher, but it’s the final product that counts. The whistle-laden “Son Of A Prison Guard” is next, the winner of the most interesting title on here. The song is just OK, but it’s good to hear a more story-driven song.

In the middle, the lyric-driven “Just a Memory” continues to serve that pop/rock sentiment of the first few songs, this one being a song of lost love that ultimately gets lost in the lineup. “I’m Drinkin’ Tonight” goes darker in a Tom Petty vein, as Monahan relays, “I’m drinkin’ tonight/Gonna give up the fight/The only thing stronger than you is whiskey.” “I Will Remember” tries to position itself as a more anthemic version of “Bulletproof Picasso” with its oversimplified metaphors, but falls flat. Luckily, “The Bridge” is there to pick up the pieces, a slick psychedelic rock cut that teaches us a lesson: “This is what happens when you go to the bridge/You jump into the fire or you learn to swim.”

One of the final two songs will probably serve as the third and last single from the album: both are exceptionally strong slower pieces. Question is, which will be the “Marry Me” of the era? “Baby, Happy Birthday” nears close to that classic sound, slightly reminiscent of the Boston‘s 1986 single “Amanda”. It’s about changes in life and remembering the little things, the protagonist urging the listener to find “someone that would never forget your birthday.” Finally, the tender “Don’t Grow Up So Fast”, a country-tinged ode from a father to his young child, just melts your heart. Monahan sings, “The good times too shall pass/There’s only so much sand in the hourglass/So, don’t grow up so fast.” Well, hello, Bob Carlisle‘s “Butterfly Kisses” for 2015, anyone? Needless to say, there’s much potential for both of them.

With only moderate airplay for “Angel” and a diminished audience buying music, expect a medium-sized debut for this on the album survey before it sadly falls off the radar. It’s a step above their last outing and certainly harkens back to the days of their earlier material, if only for mere moments, but the scaled-down playfulness of their material (not the cringeworthy kind) is sometimes missed when the guys relied on it so much over the last few years. That being said, it’s worth a purchase and support to keep the guys chugging along down the tracks of top-selling music.

(Stream and pre-order Train’s Bulletproof Picasso, due in stores September 16)

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TURN IT UP TUESDAY: What’s New In Stores This Week (September 9)

Going up the Country.

Going up the Country.

After a lackluster Labor Day schedule, things pick up in a big way this week with releases in all genres. Here’s what albums and singles are in stores for the week of September 9:

  • That’s how Country boys roll: three acts take charge with their notable releases this week. Dustin Lynch is out with Where It’s At (iTunes), with the title track currently top five at Country radio. Coming off a recent #1 at the format with the title track from his album, Lee Brice is back with I Don’t Dance. (iTunes) Finally, we have The Brothers Osborne, debuting with a self-titled EP, which includes their current release “Rum”. (iTunes)
  • She made it to #1 on the Urban chart earlier this year with “The Worst”; that would be 26-year-old Jhené Aiko, who may now turn that worst into best with the release of her album Souled Out. It also features followup single “The Pressure”. With pre-order sales looking significant, this is likely good for a top five entry on next week’s list. (iTunes)
  • Christian hip hop artist Lecrae raps his way into stores with Anomaly, his first studio album in two years. His last three have debuted atop both the Christian and Gospel charts. Will this be his latest to pull off the feat? With some pop praise from above, perhaps he can do it. It should be top ten on the Billboard 200 regardless. (iTunes)
  • With his first album distributed through Blue Note Records, singer/songwriter Ryan Adams does the self-titled thing on his latest album, featuring the current AAA single “Gimme Something Good”. Much like his 2011 effort, Ashes & Fire, this should once again break the lower top ten. (iTunes)
  • Other releases out this week include: Banks’s Goddess (iTunes), Better Than Ezra‘s All Together Now (iTunes), Death From Above 1979‘s The Physical World (iTunes), Interpol‘s El Pintor (iTunes), Robert Plant‘s lullaby and… The Ceaseless Roar (iTunes), Switchfoot‘s The Edge of the Earth: Unreleased Songs From The Film ‘Fading West’ (EP) (iTunes), The Kooks‘s Listen (iTunes) and Vance Joy‘s Dream Your Life Away (iTunes).

New digital-only singles that you can buy this week (and there’s a whole lot of them) include:

  • “Blame”, new from producer Calvin Harris and singer John Newman. (iTunes)
  • “Centuries”, new from rockers Fall Out Boy. (iTunes)
  • “Gold”, a great digital single from Jamie Scott and featuring Christina Perri. (iTunes)
  • “Hail Rain Or Sunshine”, a digital release from The Script‘s forthcoming album. (iTunes)
  • “Jealous”, a solo single from Nick Jonas. (iTunes)
  • “Shut Up And Dance”, a fantastic new single from Walk The Moon. (iTunes)
  • “The Only Way Out”, a new single from rockers Bush. (iTunes)
  • “Utopia”, the theme from the new FOX series by Daughtry. (iTunes)
  • “What Are You Waiting For?”, a new single from Nickelback. (iTunes)

Barbra Streisand, Chris Brown, Tim McGraw and Train are just a few of the artists vying for the top spot next week. Who gets the job done? A full preview is coming in seven!

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