Monthly Archives: November 2012

SINGLE REVIEW: Train – “Mermaid”

Long Train runnin’.

They’ve been reggae and calypso and now they’re up to their third single from their compact disco. Ay dios mio.

Train have been pretty consistent this era in providing some earworms that you can’t help but crank up on the stereo. In January, they unveiled the first single from California 37, a song entitled “Drive By”, and despite some cringeworthy lyrics (I’m looking at you, Hefty bags) it rose to a peak of #2 on the Hot Adult Contemporary chart, top 20 on CHR radio and spent a few weeks on top of my own personal chart. Just a few months ago, Train employed a mariachi band for about fifteen minutes to create “50 Ways To Say Goodbye”, which spent six weeks at #2 on my survey and, again, went top 5 Hot AC and top 20 CHR. I give that one brownie points for using Yom Kippur in the lyrics. The Jew Crew has to stick together, people. Plus, “I Gotta Feeling” with its auto-tuned “mazel tov” and “l’chaim” has been overplayed for years anyways. By the way, are there actually 50 ways to say goodbye? Can someone get Paul Simon on the line or is too late in the evening?

There’s been some shifting around when it came to the third release from California 37. A few months ago, a music video blog reported that a clip “Bruises”, which features Country singer Ashley Monroe, was in production, so I automatically assumed that that was the choice. Several weeks passed and I then noticed that “This’ll Be My Year” was being released to radio in Australia. Hmmm. Well, “Bruises” ended up being a video-only single, and “This’ll Be My Year” is staying down under, and thus, we come to the official third single already at American radio stations: “Mermaid”.

Now, “Mermaid” sounds like your typical Train track. A rolling guitar shuffle. A solid drum beat. There’s no question that they’re developing a sound that’s instantly recognizable. However, this time around, Train have decided to take a page out of the Jimmy Buffett Songbook, past the chapter on the Coral Reefers and onto a riveting description on Shipwrecked Sailors. So, Captain Pat Ahoy, Mateyhan takes a boat (let’s be honest, it was probably an inner tube rather than the S.S. Virginia) to some island that only Johnny Depp knows of. Is that because he’s famous and can afford a private island or because he’s a pirate of the Caribbean?  Alright, so then he’s like, “Oh God, this is just like Cast Away,” which I suppose is good since that won Tom Hanks a Golden Globe but it’s also bad because Johnny Depp wasn’t it. Maybe we can change it to Sweeney Todd. So, then, unlike the movies, some girl washes up and Pat gives her his coat because obviously the water is freezing this time of year. Wait, if she’s a mermaid, wouldn’t she be used to the water temperature? Homegirl needs to like, chill (no pun intended.) Oh, look, a clue. We’re on the Puget Sound. Hold on, I thought this was the Caribbean. Is this really the Bermuda Triangle? Is somebody gonna play the triangle? Help me, help me, I’m all out of lines…

Fine, you can’t overanalyze this sort of thing. It’s a light, fluffy pop song about a future love that washes up on shore; it’s not like it’s “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.” Although, I suppose if this underperforms, you could call it a train wreck (not that I want it to, I’m just saying.) The only other thing I’m going to take issue with is that Pat Monahan wants this girl in 1992, because I’m being honest, that wasn’t a great year for songs about the sea at top-40 radio. The only thing that seems to fit is “Walk On The Ocean” by Toad The Wet Sprocket. Pacific Ocean, perhaps? Or, if you’d rather, the sea of love. Ooh la la. I can imagine a music video going viral already. Pat Monahan’s vocal is solid as usual, the lyrics are more cohesive than usual, and since the band seems to be a streak, then I would assume this is going to be a winner rather than a wipeout per usual. Just keep the life preserver at the ready. You never know when the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” formula is going to be taking on water. –AFS

Purchase “Mermaid” on AmazonMP3.

Listen to “Mermaid” on YouTube.


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RADIO REPORT: What’s Hitting The Airwaves This Month (December 2012)

Every month, dozens of singles are sent to radio and are put up for adds, meaning that stations can choose to put them in rotation and they’ll be reported to airplay services like BDS and Mediabase/Media Monitors. Not every new single gets an adds date, but many do. I’ll be shifting through everything from my music sources and highlighting some of the top songs being sent to their respective formats. Here’s what’s hitting the airwaves in December 2012:

All that glitters is "Gold".

All that glitters is “Gold”.

CHR (Contemporary Hit Radio)
CHR, like all the formats I’m about to highlight, doesn’t take in many new singles in the month of December given the increase in holiday music airplay and year-end freeze effect, when station playlists are affected by year-end broadcasts, giving newer songs less of a chance of gaining airplay and giving the top hits much more room for spins. However, on the week of December 4, two established artists and one newcomer take their chances with new releases.

Capitol Records is banking on Britt Nicole to become the next Christian crossover success story. Her first mainstream release, “Gold”, packs a positive message into a three-minute tune, proclaiming “from the inside-out it shows/you’re worth more than gold.” Other solo females to make successful leaps to the national Pop surveys include Amy Grant (best known for her 1991 Hot 100 #1 “Baby Baby”) and Stacie Orrico (who scored a pair of hits, including a CHR top ten from 2003, “(There’s Gotta Be) More To Life”.) “Gold” will most likely be a slow-burner as the label attempts to get her on smaller market stations before charging forward with major markets.

Now that her first single “Your Body” is long gone from the airwaves, Christina Aguilera and RCA Records are putting out a second single from Lotus, “Just A Fool”, which features fellow The Voice judge and Country crooner Blake Shelton. It’s quite a change from her dance material of late as the two trade off vocals in a smooth power ballad. It’s easy enough to compare this to last year’s token Country crossover duet, “Don’t You Wanna Stay” by Jason Aldean and Kelly Clarkson, so expect similar results after the holiday freeze, maybe a tad less in the peak position department because (a) Aguilera is taking a break from the show after this season finishes, thus, less national television coverage (b) her album is underperforming, and (c) at the moment, this isn’t actively being promoted to Country radio, where the Aldean/Clarkson duet quickly hit #1.

Finally, on Epic Records, the new Ciara record, “Got Me Good”, will be making its way to the mainstream airwaves soon. It’ll be an uphill battle for the R&B singer as she attempts to score her first CHR hit in nearly four years, never mind that the last one, “Love, Sex, Magic”, relied heavily on a feature from Justin Timberlake and still only topped out at #13. Her last solo hit, “Like A Boy”, went as high as #17 in CHR airplay in 2007. Sonically, it’s 80’s-freestyle inspired with a provocative lyric, which is too mature for the Justin Bieber/One Direction crowd, but who knows if others will latch onto it first.

He's coined a lot of hits.

He’s coined a lot of hits.

The only song going to Rhythm radio this month, on December 4, is “My Life” by 50 Cent featuring Adam Levine from Maroon 5 and Eminem, from Interscope Records. It’s the third attempt at launching a single from 50’s upcoming fifth studio album, Street King Immortal, due out in 2013. He’s obviously been struggling on the charts as of late, and perhaps he’ll benefit from the two additional artists on his single, but I wouldn’t bet any money on it.

Nothing but "Love".

Nothing but “Love”.

Alternative and Adult Album Alternative (AAA)
Three songs are going for adds on Alternative radio for the first week of December, all by relative unknown bands at least at this point. From Los Angeles, The Mowgli’s, on Photo Finish/Island, are california dreamin’ about their first big hit, “San Francisco”. With some advertisement placement, this one could do some major damage. It’s a rocking tune with an outstanding horn section that will definitely appeal to the Alternative crowd if the song is worked right.

From Columbia Records, The Neighbourhood puts forth their appropriately-titled “Sweater Weather”. It’s off an EP entitled I’m Sorry…, which is available now. It’s a part rap/part sung concoction with a nice dark flavor to it. Considering that the weather is going to be cold for a while, this one should fit in for a few months to come.

Lastly, there’s the duo who call themselves Twenty|one|pilots on Fueled By Ramen, who have already built up a big social following. “Holding On To You” is sort of reminiscent of an MGMT record with addition of some rap breaks, but it all fits together pretty well. The video is already over 200,000 hits on YouTube is just over two weeks, so expect the large fan presence to play a role in how well this song does.

The big Alternative release in December is, however, the follow-up to a #1 single: “I Will Wait”. Glassnote Records’s Mumford & Sons are back with their second single from Babel, the song “Lover Of The Light”. It goes for adds on December 18. It’s one of my favorites from the album and will for sure be another hit for the band. Question is, how much of a chopping will it get for play? The album version clocks in at five minutes and fourteen seconds. We’ll see.

Two other releases are going to AAA radio on December 4: Alpha Rev returns on Kirtland Records with “Sing Loud”. You may remember them when they were featured on VH1’s You Oughta Know breakout artist series back in 2010 with songs like “New Morning”. The other is from Fiction Family, the quartet spearheaded by singer Jon Foreman from Switchfoot and guitarist Sean Watkins from Nickel Creek. “Up Against The Wall” is the first single from Fiction Family Reunion, out in late January on Rock Ridge.

The Brice is right.

The Brice is right.

Lee Brice is coming off two consecutive number-one singles at Country radio: “A Woman Like You” and “Hard To Love”. His latest on Curb Records, “I Drive Your Truck”, is a poignant ballad where the protagonist tries to relive the memories of a lost one. This should have no problem becoming his third chart-topper in a row. A video, featuring Brice’s brother, will be premiering soon. It goes for adds on December 3.

Two additional songs go for adds on December 17. LeAnn Rimes, scandals and stories behind her, returns with “Borrowed”, also on Curb. Rimes hasn’t had a top ten hit on the Country chart since 2005, even before her times in the tabloids, so it’s hard to imagine that this will provide any sort of a comeback for her. However, the song is simply-arranged and is pretty enough for what it is. It’s a subtle reintroduction to radio for her, which is probably just what she needs.

Also out on radio is “American Beautiful” by The Henningsens on Arista, an ill-timed single by the band considering the titles “American Heart” and “American Beauty” are also on the survey at the moment. A few of their songs have been big hits for The Band Perry, and this one could do what “Love Don’t Live Here” did for Lady Antebellum: took a long time to get going for a debut single, but look where they are now.

That’s it for this month’s Radio Report. There are already big plans for January, so stay tuned for an update in a few weeks.

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Didn’t Win The Powerball Jackpot? Here’s A Playlist That’s On The Money

A little dinero would be nice.

Yes, it was a sad time for all as we watched the 11 o’clock newscast only to find that our $10 worth of lottery tickets didn’t get us any prizes. That’s okay, though, I’m sure you’ll hit the jackpot next time. In the meantime, here are sixteen tunes (since 16 was one of the lucky numbers) I enjoy on the wins and woes of money for you to savor while your fortune awaits.

BARRETT STRONG – “Money (That’s What I Want)” (1960)
One of Motown’s earliest releases, this straight-forward R&B tune has a simple lyric that resonates with many people. This was Strong’s only charting hit, but he became a successful songwriter in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, writing many hits for groups like The Temptations. This song was most notably covered on the cheap in 1979 by The Flying Lizards, who turned it into, well, something different. That version peaked in early 1980 but did not make the top 40.

“Money (That’s What I Want)” reached #23 on the Hot 100 way back in 1960.

PINK FLOYD – “Money” (1973)
Empty out your cash registers because we’re taking a trip to the Dark Side Of The Moon. An epic six-minute song from the landmark album, it still gets quite a bit airplay today.

For some time, “Money” was the group’s only top-40 hit, peaking at #13 in 1973. That is, until “Another Brick In The Wall (Part 2)” stormed the top of the Hot 100 in 1980.

THE O’JAYS – “For The Love Of Money” (1974)
Here’s one that trumps them all… at least when it comes to The Apprentice. This socially-conscious hit about the effects of money packs a lot of funk into this R&B number.

“For The Love Of Money” rose to #3 on the Hot 100 in the summer of 1974.

STEVE MILLER BAND – “Take The Money And Run” (1976)
When they weren’t watching the tube, Billie Joe and Bobbie Sue decided to have some adventures, shot a man, and then took his money on the run with them. Kids these days. The Steve Miller Band are still rocking and rolling on Classic Rock radio today and have even put out some new material in the past few years.

“Take The Money And Run” got as high as #11 on the Hot 100 in the summer of 1976.

HALL & OATES – “Rich Girl” (1977)
There is something about that Philadelphia sound that’s extra smooth. There’s no denying that Daryl Hall is one of the best and charismatic vocalists of all-time and this song about a girl with rich parents is also rich in flavor.

“Rich Girl” hit #1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 in March 1977.

ABBA – “Money, Money, Money” (1977)
The Swedes just know how to make those great Pop tunes. ABBA stands among the best, and this song shows it, a dark tale of a woman who desperately wants a little bit of dough to compete “in a rich man’s world.” Key change included!

“Money, Money, Money” was the third and final release from Arrival, which provided the group’s first and only #1 on the Hot 100, “Dancing Queen”. It topped out at #56 in the fall of 1977.

DIRE STRAITS – “Money For Nothing” (1985)
The sultans of swing returned six years after their first hit only to find themselves critiquing the music video business. Their catchy sound, along with Sting’s of “I want my MTV”, propelled them back to commercial status with Brothers In Arms, which launched three singles into the top 40 on Billboard’s Hot 100.

“Money For Nothing” spent three weeks at #1 in September and October 1985.

RUSH – “The Big Money” (1985)
The Canadian trio led by Geddy Lee shocked more than a few fans when this ditty came out, a distinctively more glossy sound than previous records, similar to The Police’s Synchronicity or Yes’s 90125. Lyrically, it’s holds up with the best of their material: “It’s the power and the glory/It’s a war in paradise/It’s a Cinderella story/On a tumble of the dice.”

“The Big Money” went as high as #45 on the Hot 100 in January 1986.

ABC – “(How To Be A) Millionaire” (1986)
ABC’s penultimate top-40 hit in the States was an energetic number about a man eager to earn his money and build it up. Unfortunately, the song didn’t earn them a lot of riches, but it remains one of the group’s best.

“(How To Be A) Millionaire” went to #20 on the Hot 100 in the spring of 1986.

PET SHOP BOYS – “Opportunities (Let’s Make Lots Of Money)” (1986)
One of the biggest Dance acts of all-time scored their second U.S. hit with this positive Pop track about a twosome who is one-half brains and one-half looks. Together, they’ll make it big, just like their stacks of bills.

“Opportunities (Let’s Make Lots Of Money)” was a #10 hit on the Hot 100 in the summer of 1986. It was the followup to “West End Girls”, which hit #1.

SIMPLY RED – “Money’s Too Tight (To Mention)” (1986)
Mick Hucknall and the boys of Simply Red first hit the U.S. shores with their #1 hit “Holding Back The Years”, but this was the song that launched them in their native U.K., an attack on the Ronald Reagan era economic reforms. Did the Earth move for you, Nancy? Heavy stuff, but oh, but you can dance to it!

“Money’s Too Tight (To Mention)”, a remake of a minor early 80’s R&B entry for The Valentine Brothers, hit #28 on the Hot 100 in the fall of 1986.

CALLOWAY – “I Wanna Be Rich” (1990)
This duo became one of the biggest one-hit wonders of the 90’s with this song about a guy who wants some mean green. Looking for their “pie in the sky”, they got it, at least for one brief moment in Pop history.

“I Wanna Be Rich” made the runner-up spot on the Hot 100 in the spring of 1990.

TONY! TONI! TONE! – “If I Had No Loot” (1993)
One of the last big New Jack Swing hits, the song became the trio’s biggest crossover success. Once you start earning those dollars, “friends” just want your cash; the message seemed to resonate with a lot of people.

“If I Had No Loot” got as high as #7 on the Hot 100 in 1993.

BARENAKED LADIES – “If I Had A Million Dollars” (1996)
The boys of BNL liked to have a little fun and this one was no exception. Originally a hit in Canada in 1992, it never received a single release in the United States, but garnered some unsolicited airplay beginning in 1996 after a version recorded live at the Bryant Street Theatre in Chicago was featured on their release Rock Spectacle. You wouldn’t have to eat Kraft Dinner, but you would.

“If I Had A Million Dollars” hit #13 on Canada’s National Singles Chart in 1992 and was rereleased in the United Kingdom in 1996.

WHITNEY HOUSTON – “Million Dollar Bill” (2009)
The late Miss Houston may have passed away earlier this year, but she still managed to get up and boogie on one of the highlights from her last studio album, I Look To You. It’s a retro-tinged jam that’s more about feeling like a million rather than making it, but it’s still an anthem.

“Million Dollar Bill” only hit #100 on the Hot 100 back in September 2009. It became a top-20 R&B and number-one Dance hit as well.

FITZ & THE TANTRUMS – “MoneyGrabber” (2011)
This group from Los Angeles have made a name for themselves recalling that classic Stax Records sound. “MoneyGrabber” was their breakout song, where the protagonist is fed up of their lover and kicking them to the curb. Way to go.

“MoneyGrabber” hit the top-40 on the Hot Adult Contemporary chart in 2011 and also hit #1 for a week on my own personal chart.

Further listening:
SHALAMAR – “Take That To The Bank” (1978)
DONNA SUMMER – “She Works Hard For The Money” (1983)
CYNDI LAUPER – “Money Changes Everything” (1985)
PRINCE & THE NEW POWER GENERATION – “Money Don’t Matter 2Night” (1992)
FOUNTAINS OF WAYNE – “Strapped For Cash” (2007)

Did I miss anything? Have suggestions for other songs? Comment below or contact me: @AdamFSoybel on Twitter.

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Highlights from Adam’s Top 40: November 25, 2012

40. Matt Cardle – Anyone Else
39. Kylie Minogue – On A Night Like This (Abbey Road Sessions, 2012)
37. Train – Memaid
34. One Direction – Little Things | HIGHEST DEBUT

35. The Gaslight Anthem – Here Comes My Man (40)
26. Taylor Swift – I Knew You Were Trouble (31)
19. Matchbox Twenty – Overjoyed (29) | BIGGEST MOVER
17. The Script – Six Degrees Of Separation (25)

10. Jason Mraz – 93 Million Miles (13) | PEAK: #10
09. Taylor Swift – We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together (06) | PEAK: #4 for three weeks
08. OneRepublic – Feel Again (07) | PEAK: #7 for three weeks
07. Pink – Try (12) | PEAK: #7
06. Robbie Williams – Candy (08) | PEAK: #6
05. The Script featuring – Hall Of Fame (05) | PEAK: #1 for four weeks
04. Andy Grammer – Miss Me (03) | PEAK: #1 for two weeks
03. One Direction – Live While We’re Young (02) | PEAK: #2
02. fun. – Carry On (04) | PEAK: #2
01. Adele – Skyfall (01) | PEAK: #1 for three weeks

Top 10 Next In Line:
1. The Killers – Miss Atomic Bomb (1)
2. Youngblood Hawke – We Come Running (4)
3. John Mayer – Something Like Olivia (5)
4. Colbie Caillat – Christmas In The Sand (-)
5. Ed Sheeran – Give Me Love (8)
6. Christina Aguilera with Blake Shelton – Just A Fool (-)
7. Robbie Williams – Different (-)
8. fun. – Sleigh Ride (-)
9. Britt Nicole – Gold (10)
10. Alex Clare – Up All Night (-)

In The Mix:
Alanis Morissette – Receive
Cher – Woman’s World (new)
Ellie Goulding – Figure 8
Of Monsters And Men – Mountain Sound (new)
Owl City – Shooting Star (re-entry)
Rebecca Ferguson – Shoulder To Shoulder (new)
The All-American Rejects – Heartbeat Slowing Down

Christmas Corner:
Christina Perri – Something About December (new)
Colbie Caillat featuring Justin Young – The Christmas Song
Daniel Powter – Cupid (Christmas Remix) (re-entry)
Lady Antebellum – A Holly Jolly Christmas
Train – Joy To The World

THIS IS THE END… OF THE CHART YEAR – November 25, 2012

Just like three of her previous hits, Adele is bonded to the top.

The singer’s fourth #1 single on my chart, “Skyfall”, has been at the top of the pops for three weeks running. However, just as the movie is descending down the Box Office chart, so will the song from my own list. Nevertheless, it’s great to see a song from a film be so successful on my chart when many others have underperformed in the past. In fact, this is the #1 single specifically written for a movie to top my chart since Chad Kroeger and Josey Scott’s “Hero” from 2002’s Spider Man. It spent five weeks there.

Knockin’ on the door to the top is fun., who are having no fun sitting it out at #2 with “Carry On”. They want their third #1 single in a row, but it ain’t happening this week. Behind them are One Direction, dropping to #3 with “Live While We’re Young”, while former #1’s for Andy Grammer (“Miss Me”) and The Script/ (“Hall Of Fame”) hold down the #4 and #5 spots, respectively.

Robbie Williams has his biggest solo hit on my chart as “Candy” advances 8-6. It’s still in the top ten in the United Kingdom as well. Pink also takes a big leap from 12-7 with “Try”. Parent album The Truth About Love has been discounted at a number of outlets holding Black Friday sales. We’ll have to see if the price cuts pay off on the album chart this week. Jason Mraz also scores his first top ten hit since 2008’s “Make It Mine” as “93 Million Miles” climbs to #10. It’s the singer’s sixth song to make the top ten.

This week’s Biggest Mover belongs to Rob Thomas and the boys of Matchbox Twenty, who rocket from 29-19, a gain of ten notches, for “Overjoyed”. The title was formerly a top thirty hit on the Hot 100 back in 1986 for Stevie Wonder. Two songs with “over” in the title have made it to #1 on my chart. In 2000, Christina Aguilera did it with “Come On Over Baby (All I Want Is You)”, and in 2003, Sixpence None The Richer hit the top with their remake of Crowded House’s “Don’t Dream It’s Over”. Other big movers on the countdown this week include The Script’s “Six Degrees Of Separation” (27-19) and Hunter Hayes’s “Wanted” (27-21).

One Direction scores this week’s highest debut with “Little Things”, a recent #1 in the United Kingdom which was co-written by Ed Sheeran. It enters at #34. It’s currently gaining big on radio here in the United States. Will a change in tempo give the boy band their biggest hit yet? We shall see in the new year.

Train’s third top-40 hit from California 37 is a tale of Pat Monahan’s wish on the waves about a castaway just outside of Washington state who meets his lady on a remote island. It’s a shore thing they’ll get another big hit out of it. “Mermaid” enters at #37. By the way, Monahan mentions that he “would’ve wished in ‘92” for the girl, which wasn’t really a great year for top 40 titles with aquatic ambitions. Perhaps a “walk on the ocean” might help? (I know you all have a soft place for Toad The Wet Sprocket in your hearts.)

Kylie Minogue debuts at #39 with the Abbey Road Sessions version of “On A Night Like This”. The original went to #1 in Australia in 2000. This version gets a release in the United Kingdom on December 17.

Lastly, Matt Cardle debuts at #40 with “Anyone Else”. It’s his second single from The Fire. “It’s Only Love”, the first single, just peaked at #20 recently.

Those Christmas songs are on the move, but nevertheless, new ones from Of Monsters And Men and Rebecca Ferguson are added on this week, plus, the song that could become Cher’s first top-40 hit on my chart in almost thirteen years. Keep an eye on it.

See my full chart and commentary on the M4BCC message board.

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SINGLE REVIEW: Pitbull featuring Christina Aguilera – “Feel This Moment”

Pitbull and Christina: in the pink.

Miami-born rapper Pitbull has been in the doghouse lately… at least when it comes to hit singles. After a stellar 2011, including a feature on Jennifer Lopez’s comeback hit “On The Floor” and one of the top-played songs at CHR radio, “Give Me Everything”, the performer has released a few singles to mixed reaction this year.

Just a few months ago, he was riding the charts with “Back In Time” from the soundtrack to Men In Black III, which essentially mutilated a sample of Mickey & Sylvia’s 1957 hit, “Love Is Strange”, into a tune that may as well have been titled “This Song’s Strange.” Given that it was from a movie, the shelf life wasn’t long, and it quickly peaked at #11 on the Hot 100 (ironically, the same peak as “Love Is Strange”) before falling off the face of the Earth. Next to be released was “Get It Started” which featured the she wolf herself, Shakira, but by the end of its chart run, it seemed they were both crying wolf. The “leadoff” single from Global Warming (reduced now to a bonus track on the 16-track deluxe edition), it coughed and sputtered up the CHR airplay chart and settled somewhere in the 30’s before being pulled in favor of his current single, “Don’t Stop The Party”, which may make the top 20 in airplay but that’s about it. That one relies on a sample of Toots and the Maytals’s “Funky Kingston” and it’s more junky than funky.

So, now we come to the fourth release from the rapper’s album entitled “Feel This Moment” with a hook done by, well, I think you already know her name. It’s Godtina Aguilegend, the voice of The Voice, Christina Aguilera. Aguilera is coming off of an underperforming lead single, “Your Body”, with a second single duet in the wings called “Just A Fool” with fellow The Voice judge Blake Shelton. It looks like a master plan for sure to get her back to a solid place on the radio with both a dance single and a ballad, so I guess we’ll have to see if it actually pans out that way in 2013.

The chorus of “Feel This Moment” is probably the highlight of it as Aguilera’s belting isn’t as all-over-the-place as usual and it’s simply just a nice hook. She croons, “One day while the light is glowing/I’ll be in my castle golden/But until the gates are open/I just want to feel this moment.” Now, this is coming from a superstar who once sang about how “it’s so empty living behind these castle walls,” on the chorus of T.I.’s “Castle Walls”. Did something happen in the last two years? It’s not like our fair maiden can judge new talent from the corner room of her ancient estate waiting for Prince Charming to ride upon his stallion and rescue her. They may as well just keep her locked in there. If she can’t restrain her voice, why can’t they just restrain her?

The building drumbeat continues and wait–what is that I hear? Oh lordy, Pitbull has done it again, interpolating the melody from the band a-ha’s international hit from 1985, “Take On Me”. It’s a pleasant piece of 80’s pop that probably isn’t recognizable to a younger generation, but goodness, does it sound odd on this track. I suppose they needed something extra so that the song didn’t sound exactly like a rip-off of “Primadonna” by Marina & The Diamonds, so I’m guessing Pitbull and his team stuck a page of all the #1 songs from the 1980’s on a dartboard, took a swig of his vodka brand, and somehow landed on our Norwegian friends. Who am I kidding? They probably need a little extra cash on the side; those royalties can only go so much. Is it the worst thing in the world? No. Was it necessary? Absolutely not.

The lyrical matter is nothing new: making money, partying, suits, although I suppose this time around, the black suits aren’t comin’. (You might want to go “back in time” if you can’t figure out that one.) Pitbull doesn’t say anything in Spanish until almost 52 seconds into the song, which must be a new record for him, and it’s an “oye mamita” for once. Also, apparently, he’s “undefeated like Zula,” which must mean he’s the cat’s meow, if you know what I mean. Wait, I thought he was a dog. Is he a CatDog now? I’m confused.

It’s certainly not the best work for either performer, but if I heard it pop up on ye olde iPhone or on the radio, I wouldn’t pass it over. It should make a decent impact on the charts before inevitably being a forgotten era for both Pitbull and Christina Aguilera. At least Aguilera has a hit television show to fall back on. Perhaps Pitbull should go into animation. A Spanish version of Chip ‘n Dalé’s Rescue Rangers has a ring to it. –AFS

Purchase “Feel This Moment” on AmazonMP3.

Listen to “Feel This Moment” on YouTube.


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Straight From The Chart

Welcome to POP! Goes The Charts, a new music blog that’s giving you the best of today’s mainstream music. From reviews to song premieres to my own personal surveys, come back for your daily dose of the top of the pops. Enjoy!

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