Kids These Days: The Latest Tweenage Hits

Headed in the right Direction.

Headed in the right Direction.

Every generation of teenage girls have their male teen idols. They include singing sensations like Elvis PresleyRick Nelson, The Beatles, The Jackson 5, The Osmonds, Shaun Cassidy, Rick Springfield, New Kids On The Block, Backstreet Boys, *NSYNC, The Jonas Brothers, etc. I could go on for ages listing them all out and I still wouldn’t get them all. Point is, one replaces the other, and several compete all at one time for our fair maiden’s attention.

Now, there are a few teen idols from the last wave of singers that are still around on the charts today. The most prominent one is Justin Bieber, but even Bieber is between his 3rd and 4th year mark on the charts and releasing the most urban sounding songs on his album Believe, which I guess happens to the best of them. Remember when the Backstreet Boys had The Neptunes remix “The Call” in 2001? Nelly featuring on *NSYNC‘s “Girlfriend” in 2002? Justin Timberlake followed in a similar vein for his solo career. Well, Bieber’s latest single is “Beauty And A Beat”, which features rappper Nicki Minaj, preceded by a single featuring rapper Big Sean. Followup and fourth single “All Around The World”, featuring Ludacris, is out in the United Kingdom in February, so expect it in the States in a few months.

Sadly, The Wanted‘s newest falsetto-laced release, “I Found You”, is struggling to find a wide American audience, though it essentially comes off as a part two continuation of their big hit “Glad You Came”, which is still regularly played on the radio. It did hit #3 in their native United Kingdom… before falling to #20 the next week, then to #29, and then straight out of the top 40. Expect them to have a few more hits before they call it a day. It’s not like they’ll be wanted forever. Cody Simpson‘s also been struggling on the radio here and Ryan Beatty never really caught on. Oh well.

Here are three new tween hits on the radar in the States that’ll crossover into 2013 – the good, the bad, and the ugly:

ONE DIRECTION – “Little Things”
The boys have changed it up on us! “Kiss You” was initially meant to be the second U.S. single from Take Me Home, but the boys have opted to release this pretty ballad in the States as it recently hit #1 in their native United Kingdom. This is their first slower song to get a release here (Ballad “Gotta Be You” off their last album hit #3 in the U.K. last year) so it will be interesting to see how radio reacts to it since lead single, “Live While We’re Young”, hit a brick wall before the top ten on radio. I actually liked that one a lot, but it did sound similar to some of their earlier material. Ed Sheeran co-wrote this song, but the lyrics aren’t exactly the strong point of this composition. Who has dimples on their back at the bottom of their spine? No, it’s the tenderness of their singing and their vulnerable side that will get the teenage girls swooning. I can hear the collective sighs of “Awww!” already. It’s already #32 on CHR radio and climbing. Look for it to make it through the winter season alright.

CONOR MAYNARD featuring NE-YO – “Turn Around”
This twenty-year-old British singer has three top ten hits under his belt in the U.K., including this recent one which is now just making it to the States. It’s been in the top 50 on the CHR chart for a few weeks now, but it’s only been making small gains as of recent. It has your typical Stargate produced-sound, but it’s a cute little Pop song that, at least to me, is more enjoyable than some of Bieber’s latest stuff, but because he’s still ruling the charts, Maynard can’t seem to break through. I mean, there’s even a floating elevator in the video, and it’s giving me Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory vibes without going too far. At least it didn’t end up like this. Maynard releases his fourth single in the United Kingdom, “Animal”, this month.

AUSTIN MAHONE featuring FLO RIDA – “Say You’re Just A Friend”
Sorry to be a heartbreaker, Mahomies, but this one just isn’t going to do it for me. Buzz single “Say Somethin'” was at least halfway decent because it was a essentially a second-rate version of One Direction’s “What Makes You Beautiful”, but this one is even more generic and his vocals on the chorus are grating as hell. Plus, they got a rent-a-rapper, Flo Rida feature on this single, which means that his label is desperate for a hit. This “song” samples the classic Biz Markie track, “Just A Friend”, although Flo  can’t seem to figure out what year it came out as a single, based on his rap. It was 1990, two years after “Piano In The Dark” by Brenda Russell, the sample destroyed on his latest single, “I Cry”. (Blame that one primarily on the Bingo Players, though.) Try Mario’s 2002 remake of “Just A Friend” if you want something a little better. All things of this musical tragedy considered, it’ll probably be a minor hit, although I’d like to say you’re just a flop. Nothing against Mahone himself, but this is just bad. Better luck next time.

Who knows what could be next in the Pop world? I’m sure you’ll find out here first.


Filed under Charts/Trade Papers, Single Reviews

2 responses to “Kids These Days: The Latest Tweenage Hits

  1. You basically described my 13 year old sister’s playlist. Hahaha!

  2. Pingback: RADIO REPORT: What’s Hitting The Airwaves This Month (January 2013) | POP! Goes The Charts

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