Most acts can’t wait to live the life: the life of luxury, fame, excess… and most importantly, the chart life. In fact, quite a few song titles with “life” in them have gone onto notable chart lives, from “A Day In The Life” to “Circle Of Life” and “(I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life” to “Spice Up Your Life”. There’s literally hundreds of them. Well, here are two more that are looking to join that elite group and breathe in that airplay, along with some hefty sales.
3OH!3 – “Back To Life”
Release Date: at CHR radio
The duo of Sean Foreman and Nathaniel Motte from Colorado are back once again, but this time, it’s with a more serious tune that you’ll have to hear to believe. Change of pace alert! The boys are known for their more comical and light-hearted tunes like 2009’s “Don’t Trust Me”, which became a surprise #1 on CHR radio that summer. They’ve had four other top-40 singles since then, including two with Ke$ha, but they haven’t been in the top ten on the format since their debut single. The band’s third major label album, Omens, has seen a number of delays, namely due to the fact that their first two radio singles from the effort, “You’re Gonna Love This” and “Youngblood”, bombed. A digital-only single was released in December and I thought that was going to be it from this project. It would be shelved like so many other projects and the group could have been, dare I say it, on the chopping block. However, their label has decided to go with a third single from the album and have settled on a June release date for the full-length CD. Their song is called “Back To Life” and they’ll be riding on this song to do exactly as it says. There’s no brash production and no rapping; it just doesn’t sound like a type of record the band would normally sing. What is this, an Owl City song? Yet, they’ve been put in a tough spot like this, so it’s better to play it safe. It’s cute and it’s commercial. The song’s about partying and having a good time, which isn’t anything out of the ordinary, but it’s done in such a way that the protagonist is reflecting on the past, wanting to relive his memories in the current. He sings, “If the party is dead/We can bring it back to life/Yeah, we can make it through the night.” I suppose that everyone has to mature at some point, even if you think they never will. He observes the noises around him, lists out his regrets, but at the same time, he just wants to be young and have fun. Perhaps the more subdued production and lyrical content (well, at least it’s not as edgy as usual) will help the duo prove that third time is indeed the charm. After all, doing the “Helen Keller” can only last for so long until you have to shut that thing down.
DANIEL POWTER – “Crazy All My Life”
Release Date: at AC/CHR/Hot AC radio (Canada), U.S. date unknown
I’ve been a fan of Powter’s music since he made his major label debut eight years ago. That produced his biggest hit to date, the chart-topping “Bad Day”, which spent five weeks at #1 on the Hot 100 thanks to strong sales and placement as the “goodbye theme” on American Idol that year. He’s released a few albums since then, but he’s been largely reduced to minimal overseas success (mostly in Japan and the United Kingdom) and virtually no attention here in the States. Last year, he issued Turn On The Lights, which was distributed by Capitol Records. One single, “Cupid”, garnered some hot adult contemporary airplay but was largely forgotten about after it peaked. (It was his eighth top ten single on my personal chart.) It did slightly better in his native Canada, where a Christmas remix kept it on the air for some time. With that in mind, the label behind his promotion in Canada, International Solutions (I haven’t heard of it either) is putting out a second single from the underperforming album which sees Powter going in a total opposite direction. I think you’ll like it too. The track is called “Crazy All My Life” (credited as just “Crazy” on some versions of the album), written by John Fields, Bleu (born William McAuley III) and Powter, and produced by Howard Benson. Now, I know you’re tempted to write it off as a Maroon 5 or an Olly Murs ripoff, and I’ll admit it, it does sound a bit like the band’s “Misery” and the solo singer’s “Troublemaker”. However, let’s give the guy some credit. He really wants that second big international hit. He’s bucking a trend, but he does a few other instruments into the mix. Do you hear him plugging away at the piano in the latter third of the song? It’s awesome. OK, but yes, he’s “a mess” since he can’t see his girl and he wants some confirmation about his paranoia: “Tell me you know/That I’ve been crazy all my life.” That’s pretty much the extent of the song, except he explores the idea that she’s “just a fool like me/And you’re feeling crazy too,” and at that point, I can’t deal with two patients who are going insane in the brain. Other than that, I’m really enjoying this song from Powter and hope it can help him to save this era. You wouldn’t want to see him go even crazier and have a worse day, right?
Which song is more likely to live on the charts this spring and summer? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter: @AdamFSoybel.