Monthly Archives: April 2013

TURN IT UP TUESDAY: What’s New In Stores This Week (April 30)

A pirate looks at forty-four.

“Rock” on, Kenny.

Ready to get your country on? It’s not the most exciting week on the schedule, but there’s still a nice selection of new albums out for the week of April 30:

  • His tractor may be sexy, but so are these statistics. Kenny Chesney has accumulated six number one albums on the Billboard 200 album chart, and he’s going for his seventh with Life On A Rock. Lead single “Pirate Flag” recently became his 44th single to hit the top ten on Country radio. Whoa. He should easily take over the top spot next week. (iTunes)
  • American Idol season 11 runner-up Jessica Sanchez proclaims on her new single that she’s “on a planet where the dudes got money and they’re not afraid to spend it”, but unfortunately, they’re not throwing dollar bills at promoting her album. “Tonight” is the first single from Me, You And The Music, which hits stores this week. It’ll probably end up in the top ten. (iTunes)
  • After a title change and an album delay, the new album from rapper LL Cool J is out, titled Authentic. It features a number of collaborations with artists of all genres, including Brad Paisley and Snoop Dogg. (iTunes)
  • Hard rockers Deep Purple release their first album in nearly eight years, entitled Now What?!  They’re best known for hits like “Hush” and “Smoke On The Water”. (iTunes)
  • The soundtrack to future summer blockbuster Iron Man 3 is released to stores, along with an album inspired by the film, featuring songs by Imagine Dragons, Neon Trees, Passion Pit and others. (iTunes)
  • Los Angeles rock band The Airborne Toxic Event put out their third album this week, Such Hot Blood, featuring top 20 Alternative single “Timeless”. (iTunes)
  • Iggy Pop reunites with his band The Stooges on their new album, Ready To Die. It’s their first album together since 2007. (iTunes)
  • He led Cinderella to several top 40 hits in the 80’s; now, lead singer Tom Keifer emerges with his solo debut, The Way Life Goes. (iTunes)
  • Finally, for you 90’s bands enthusiasts, the Spin Doctors are out with If The River Was Whiskey. They may never have another “Two Princes”, but if you’re a fan, I’m sure you’ll enjoy their latest effort. (iTunes)

New digital-only singles that you can buy this week include:

  • “Crazy Kids (Remix)”, a new remix of Ke$ha‘s third single from Warrior, featuring will.i.am. (iTunes)
  • “Hey Girl”, the return single for Country hitmaker Billy Currington. (iTunes)
  • “I’m Alive (Life Sounds Like)”, a great new single from Michael Franti & Spearhead. (iTunes)
  • “Laying Me Low”, the first single from the third album of former American Idol winner David Cook. (iTunes)
  • “Sad Angel” and the rest of Extended Play from legends Fleetwood Mac. (iTunes)

Can Lady Antebellum take advantage of a Golden opportunity and score another #1 album next week or will the Pistol Annies or Rod Stewart get there first? A preview is coming in seven!

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SINGLE PREMIERE: David Cook – “Laying Me Low” (+ Lyrics)

Cookin' up a new record.

Cookin’ up a new record.

Download “Laying Me Low” from David Cook on iTunes. / Listen to “Laying Me Low”.

Remember this guy? Singer-songwriter David Cook took to the American Idol stage nearly five years ago and won the competition in a close match with David Archuleta. He ranked a few hits on the charts from his debut self-titled album, including “Light On” and “The Time Of My Life”, both of which hit #1 on my personal chart. The effort was certified Platinum for shipments of over 1 million copies. His second album for RCA Records, This Loud Morning, didn’t do nearly as well, with a lack of radio support for the album’s two singles, which only charted on the Hot AC survey. Cook was subsequently dropped from the label due to low sales. However, Cook has returned with this single for XIX Records entitled “Laying Me Low”. It comes from a forthcoming third solo album for the singer, and it’s a return to great form for him. It combines Cook’s signature pop/rock sound with a more haunting melody, which seems to work with this song about a girl who tempts our male protagonist, but he keeps playing along despite all the warnings. I think it’s a winner; how about you? Check out the lyrics below and download the song above!

“LAYING ME LOW”

[Verse 1]
I remember when you lit my flame
A bit of pressure with a pinch of pain
You left me praying for a single drop of rain, oh
But now the fire’s burning out of control
Because I’m never gonna let you go
So bring the gasoline and we can start the show, oh

[Bridge]
You got under my skin and I can’t begin
To think of all the trouble you keep getting me in
So I’ll just hold on and try to be strong

[Chorus]
And I fall apart when I’m with you
I cry when I kiss you
I know you’re really no good
You got my heart in your hand
No, I’ll never understand and it shows
You get me high but you’re laying me low
Oh whoa oh oh (x3)

[Verse 2]
Well I remember every broken line
I’m just the victim of the perfect crime
You keep running while I keep on doing time, oh
So give me something just to keep me sane
I only wanna hear you say my name
Now I know I’m never gonna win this game
But I play anyway

[Bridge]
You got under my skin and I can’t begin
To think of all the trouble you keep getting me in
So I’ll just hold on and try to be strong

[Chorus]
But I fall apart when I’m with you
I cry when I kiss you
I know you’re really no good
You got my heart in your hand
No, I’ll never understand and it shows
You get me high but you’re laying me low

Oh whoa oh oh (x3)

[Chorus]
And I fall apart when I’m with you
I cry when I kiss you
I know you’re really no good
You got my heart in your hand
No, I’ll never understand and it shows
You get me high but you’re laying me low

Oh oh whoa oh oh (x3)
(Laying me low)
Oh oh whoa oh oh (x2)

You get me high but you’re laying me low

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SINGLE PREMIERE: The Wanted – “Walks Like Rihanna” (+ Lyrics)

Sweet and "Low".

Walkin’ the “Walk”.

Today marked the premiere of the new single from boy band The Wanted, “Walks Like Rihanna”. After last single “I Found You” failed to make a huge impact on the charts (it did go top 5 in the United Kingdom), they’re trying again with this one, which name-checks the international pop star Rihanna. Does it look desperate on their part? Of course it does. However, the song’s catchy enough that it may give them a better chance at a hit single with longevity. Don’t forget that their new show, The Wanted Life, airs on E! beginning this June. Enjoy!

Listen here. / Purchase “Walks Like Rihanna” on iTunes.

[Verse 1]
Have you seen that girl, have you seen her?
She’s the freakiest girl, you’ve got to meet her
You’ll do whatever it takes to get her by your side, oh whoa oh

[Bridge]
It’s not the way she smiles, it’s with a little laugh
It’s not the way she looks in her photograph
But all the boys they crowd around

[Chorus x2]
She can’t sing, she can’t dance
But who cares? She walks like Rihanna

[Verse 2]
Have you seen that girl, have you seen her?
With the way she moves, you wanna kiss her
She’ll be the girl of your dreams if you can close you eyes, oh whoa oh

[Bridge 2]
If you can feel that beat when she’s in the room
If you can feel your heart going boom boom boom
And all the boys, they crowd around

[Chorus x2]
She can’t sing, she can’t dance
But who cares? She walks like Rihanna

She walks like Rihanna
She walks like Rihanna

[Middle 8]
Our hearts go boom boom boom boom boom (x7)
(When she walks like Rihanna)
(She walks like Rihanna)
Our hearts go

[Chorus x3]
She can’t sing, she can’t dance
But who cares? She walks like Rihanna

She walks like Rihanna
She walks like Rihanna

Our hearts go boom boom boom boom boom (x2)
(She walks like Rihanna)
Our hearts go boom boom boom boom boom (x2)
(She walks like Rihanna)

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Turn It On Again: Spending A While On The Dial

Active on the airwaves.

Active on the airwaves.

By now, you’re probably familiar with the Las Vegas band Imagine Dragons. Their first single, “It’s Time”, was a decent-sized hit nationally, and now they’ll at least be a two-hit wonder with their latest release, “Radioactive”. It’s already gone to #1 on the Alternative survey and to #7 on the Hot 100, making it the tenth such title to make the Hot 100’s top 40 portion with the word “radio” in it. Whether it’s on AM, FM, or satellite, millions of us turn to the radio every day for music, news, sports and more. Let’s see what songs freshened up the frequencies from the 1970’s up until now.

1973
Joni Mitchell, “You Turn Me On, I’m A Radio” (#25)
She’s probably best known for originating the song “Big Yellow Taxi” back in 1970, but it was “Turn” that was Mitchell’s first of three top 40 hits in the U.S., peaking at #25 for two weeks in early 1973. Parent album For The Roses went to #11, and she would do even better with her next release, the #2 Court And Spark, featuring top ten single “Help Me”. She last recorded original material in 2007.

1974
Reunion, “Life Is A Rock (But The Radio Rolled Me)” (#8)
One of the big one-hit wonders from the 70’s, the band consisted of studio musicians and led by vocalist Joey Levine, who previously sang with groups like The Ohio Express. The unusual song was essentially rap-sung, with Levine name-dropping over 100 references in music history from the 50’s to the 70’s, including disc jockeys, singers, songs and musical instruments. It was the only song to chart for the group.

1979
Al Stewart, “Song On The Radio” (#29)
Scotsman Stewart was already known for the top ten hits “Year Of The Cat” (1977) and “Time Passages” (1978) at this point in his career, but the followup single to “Passages” wouldn’t do so well, just making the top 30 at #29. It was written by Stewart and produced by Alan Parsons. Though he continued to record well into the 2000’s on different labels, his charting days were over on the Hot 100 by the end of 1980.

The Buggles, “Video Killed The Radio Star” (#40)
Ah, yes, the first video ever to be played on MTV. That was in August 1981. “Video” actually charted at the end of 1979, peaking at #40 for one week in December. Though several minor followup singles charted in European territories, nothing ever matched the success of their most well-known single release. It was also sampled in the 2010 hit by will.i.am and Nicki Minaj, “Check It Out”, peaking at #24.

1980
Donna Summer, “On The Radio” (#5)
This is the biggest song with the word “radio” in it to make the Hot 100 so far in its nearly 55-year history. Even as disco experienced a backlash by the fall of 1979, the late Summer was able to hit the charts with a string of thumping dance numbers, including this one, co-written by her and longtime collaborator Giorgio Moroder. A greatest hits album named after the song went to #1 in January 1980.

1984
Queen, “Radio Ga Ga” (#16)
From their album The Works, this is one of the group’s most remembered hits, even influencing Lady Gaga‘s stage name. “Ga Ga” was ultimately the last top 40 single for the band while lead singer Freddy Mercury was alive, though a handful of other songs made the Hot 100 before he died in 1991. Following his passing, a 1992 rerelease of “Bohemian Rhapsody”, which appeared in Wayne’s World, went to #2.

1985
The Firm, “Radioactive” (#28)
This British supergroup combined the rockin’ powers of Paul Rodgers (Bad Company/Free), Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin), Chris Slade (Manfred Mann’s Earth Band/Urian Heep) and Tony Franklin. Their self-titled 1985 album hit the top 20, and this song became their only top 40 hit on the Hot 100, peaking at #28. They charted three songs in total. They group split up the next year.

Autograph, “Turn Up The Radio” (#29)
Out of Pasadena, CA, this quintet released this single as the first from their Gold-certified debut album, Sign In Please. The album peaked at #29 and single peaked at the same spot on the Hot 100. The band was dropped from RCA Records after three albums and broke up in 1989, but they recorded a few records together independently with different lineups years later. They last played together in 2003.

1989
Tiffany, “Radio Romance” (#35)
After taking ballad “All This Time” to #6 earlier that year, Tiffany decided to dance it up with her fifth and final top 40 hit. It leapt into the top 40 at the #35 spot during the first week of April and then crashed immediately afterward, spending one forgettable week in the top 40. Luckily, radio is still love with her #1 hits like “I Think We’re Alone Now”, which still get some play on 80’s mix shows now and again.

Some other “radio” ready titles I like:
“Who Listens To The Radio?”, The Sports (#45, 1978)
“Mexican Radio”, Wall Of Voodoo (#58, 1983)
“AM Radio”, Everclear (#101, 2000)
“…On The Radio (Remember The Days)”, Nelly Furtado (DNC, 2002)
“Radio Nowhere”, Bruce Springsteen (#102, 2007)

What’s your favorite tune that I highlighted in this salute to the stations? Any other “radio” song that I forgot to rank among the rest? Leave a comment below or find me on Twitter: @AdamFSoybel.

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Highlights from Adam’s Top 40: April 28, 2013

Pop the Bublé.

You’re “Beautiful”, it’s true.

DEBUTS
40. Classified featuring David Myles – Inner Ninja
38. Sara Bareilles – Brave
37. Matchbox Twenty – Our Song
33. Daft Punk featuring Pharrell Williams – Get Lucky

TOP GAINERS
21. Plain White T’s – Should’ve Gone To Bed (27) | BIGGEST MOVER (tie)
13. Kelly Clarkson – People Like Us (19) | BIGGEST MOVER (tie) — third week
03. Passenger – Let Her Go (09) | BIGGEST MOVER (tie)

THIS WEEK’S TOP TEN
10. Justin Timberlake – Suit & Tie (08) | PEAK: #02
09. Matt Hires – Restless Heart (11) | PEAK: #09
08. fun. – Why Am I The One? (06) | PEAK: #06
07. Daniel Powter – Crazy All My Life (07) | PEAK: #07
06. Passion Pit – Carried Away (04) | PEAK: #04
05. Justin Timberlake – Mirrors (05) | PEAK: #05
04. Pink featuring Nate Ruess – Just Give Me A Reason (03) | PEAK: #01 for five weeks
03. Passenger – Let Her Go (09) | PEAK: #03
02. Fitz & The Tantrums – Out Of My League (02) | PEAK: #02
01. Michael Bublé – It’s A Beautiful Day (01) | PEAK: #01 for three weeks

Top 10 Next In Line:
1. Maroon 5 – Love Somebody (4)
2. Labrinth featuring Emeli Sandé – Beneath Your Beautiful (1)
3. Vampire Weekend – Diane Young (5)
4. Rod Stewart – She Makes Me Happy (7)
5. Emblem3 – Chloe (You’re The One I Want) (-)
6. One Direction – Rock Me (10)
7. Bruno Mars – Treasure (-)
8. Sheppard – Let Me Down Easy (-)
9. Lawson – Gone (-)
10. Armin Van Buuren featuring Trevor Guthrie – This Is What It Feels Like (-)

In The Mix:
Bon Jovi – What About Now (new)
Chris Mann – Unless You Mean It (new)
Family Of The Year – Hero (new)
Hinder – Should Have Known Better
Honor By August – Last Chance
Hunter Hayes – I Want Crazy
James Arthur – Impossible
Jonas Brothers – Pom Poms
Lee DeWyze – Silver Lining
Olly Murs – Dear Darlin’
Paramore – Still Into You
Shinedown – I’ll Follow You
Tegan & Sara – I Was A Fool (new)
The Villians – (My) Rainy Day Girl (new)

See my full chart on the M4BCC message board.

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PROFILE: Sheppard Go Nice And “Easy” On First Hit

Everybody's flocking to them.

Everybody’s flocking to them.

Time to start rolling out those hot summer songs as the temperatures get hotter and the clothing gets shorter. Now, you’re probably expecting me to start checking off a list of big pop stars with a hot and fresh song. Not so, at least this time around. Get ready for a breezy, blast-worthy song courtesy of an Australian indie pop band who call themselves Sheppard. They have my approval for a huge smash with their first single, “Let Me Down Easy”.

Sheppard themselves are a sextet, a combination of siblings Amy, Emma and George Sheppard, along with musicians Jason Bovino, Michael Butler and Dean Gordon. The three family members originally grew up in Papua New Guinea, but the six of them formed as a band back in 2011 in Australia, currently based out of Brisbane, and have been performing live around the globe for some time now. They have a self-titled EP out, which was actually released last August, consisting of five tracks including “Easy”. (A link is provided below.) A lyric video for this song was put up way back in December, and has several thousand views to date, so why the long wait for these crazy kids to finally get on the airwaves?

It’s only just recently that the band’s been doing the rounds at Australian radio to promote their song, going from coast to coast, and you can see all their lovely photos from their appearances on their social media sites. Luckily, the radio tour has paid off. “Easy” was one of the most added tracks there in the past several weeks and just last week, debuted all the way up at #39 on Australia’s top 100 airplay chart. (It has since fallen back to #42, but several songs made huge leaps ahead of it.) That’s quite an achievement for a relatively new act. With airplay in place, the song recently cracked the top 100 on Australia’s version of iTunes, and things are only looking for the band from here.

While becoming a hit in their native country, I would expect that “Easy” could also be huge in the United States if the band ever decides to push something here. It has a sound about it that just screams summer, from the guitar strumming with the island feel, the tambourines, the tight harmonies, etc. The song is just really well constructed that it puts you in a happy mood wherever you are. If it’s about to be winter in Australia, this track will warm you up just right. It’s sort of a cross between the Barenaked Ladies, the Plain White T’s and maybe even Walk Off The Earth, but with a tad more flavor in terms of that surf music vibe. Their whole EP isn’t exactly like this song, but it seems they do construct their songs with a 60’s pop sensibility, especially on tracks like “Hold My Tongue” or “Pebble Road”.

Even though the song itself is cheerful melodically, it’s actually about a relationship that has its ups and downs; lead singer George Sheppard states, “Night and day, I’ve been doing the math/To calculate where we wandered off track/But I know, this love was never easy.” Ultimately, he decides that she’s the one that wants to break things off, so he ushers her out of his life, nothing he “won’t stand in [her] way” if they do split. Well, even if this case of love didn’t end so well, people are sure loving “Easy”, and you’ll definitely be hearing more about it in the coming months.

Probably the only thing standing in their way of an international takeover at this point is that they’re on an independent label that doesn’t bring up any results when searched, Empire Of Song. I’m wondering if that means it’s a self-released effort. In either case, they can only do so much. They would need to be picked up by a North American based label with some deep pockets that could really help them out. It shouldn’t be too hard with five songs under their belt that show off their skills. Let’s see if someone can work a little magic and get these guys the recognition they deserve. It may not be “easy”, but they’ll get there with a single like this.

Download “Let Me Down Easy” on iTunes. / Download Sheppard‘s self-titled EP on itunes.

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The Social Nettwerk: Tangled In New Talent

You may remember that I wrote this little post about a month ago just putting a little idea out there that Passenger should definitely come to the U.S. after having a huge amount of success overseas. Well, it worked, but it also caught the attention of his record label here as well as the marketing team behind it, who decided to use my article as a part of their package for radio promotion. I mean, whoa! So, a big thank you to Bob Divney, Terry McBride, and the rest of the staff between The Artist Cooperative and Nettwerk Records who helped my post reach a wider audience. Hooray! These spiffy little things came in the mail yesterday (here and here) as a thank you from them, so hey, why just highlight one of their acts? They have an entire label. So, take a look at the five acts that you need to know from the label. They’re ready to break, but they need you to listen to them first!

Gaining traction "Little" by little.

Gaining traction “Little” by little.

BOY
Current Release: “Little Numbers” (top 30 at AAA radio)

This duo blends Sonja Glass from Germany and Valeska Steiner from Switzerland. They two met while studying together at the same university in 2005, then began to play live for several years before recording their debut album, Mutual Friends, back in 2011. Nettwerk signed them late last year and released the album in the States in February 2013. “Little” has been in the top 30 on the AAA survey for four weeks now and is making its way towards the top 20. They’re currently overseas playing a few festivals and various dates, but they do have a few concerts coming up here in May. Be sure to look out for them then.

All in the Family.

All in the Family.

FAMILY OF THE YEAR
Current Release: “Hero” (spent one week at #1 on AAA radio)

After eleven weeks slowly climbing up the top ten on the AAA chart, this quintet out of Los Angeles finally made it to the #1 spot on the chart almost two weeks ago. They’ve now fallen a bit, but still, the group has the momentum to make their followup single a success (TBA). “Hero” is still climbing on Alternative radio as well, currently top 15, and is approaching the Hot AC top 50. The band’s been recording together since 2009, recording various EPs and placing a few songs on advertisements and shows like the Showtime series Weeds. The four man and one woman band is touring behind their album Loma Vista (from Spanish, a hillside view) in Canada, while playing a few stops in the U.S. in-between. Look for that new single to be out just in time for summer. (I personally like “Living On Love” and “Never Enough”.)

Driving his way around the world.

“Let” it hit hard.

PASSENGER
Current Release: “Let Her Go” (at AAA radio; goes for Hot AC adds this Monday)

A few things have happened since I initially wrote that post on Mr. Rosenberg last month. He has an impact date for U.S. radio at the Hot AC format, April 29. The song’s already been delivered both digitally and physically to stations, with a little bit of plugging to boot in the form of ads running in an online Billboard newsletter and in the RadioInformer series. “Go” has now hit the #1 spot in twelve countries and rose quickly into the top ten on iTunes in the United Kingdom, where it currently remains at this point. It’s been #1 in Australia for four weeks running, recently topping the airplay chart there, and is spending a fifth week atop Germany’s Singles Chart. I mean, things are really moving with this guy, so latch on now and enjoy the ride. He embarks on a small tour of the United States and Canada this July and August. Parent album All The Little Lights was released here last summer both digitally and physically. A followup single, “Holes”, has charted in a few countries in Europe thus far.

I Adore mi amor.

I Adore mi amor.

SAVOIR ADORE
Current Release: “Dreamers” (digital EP recently released)

This terrific twosome is based out of Brooklyn. The mixed duo consists of Deidre Muro and Paul Hammer. After signing with a small label in 2007 and releasing a few albums, Nettwerk scooped them up earlier this year. You probably recognize their cover of the Men Without Hats hit “Pop Goes The World” as featured in an advertisement for Tide Pods that’s been running since early last year. A full-length album, Our Nature, was released last fall independently, and will be rereleased on June 4 on their new label. First single “Dreamers” was recently issued in digital form; no word on a radio date at the moment. Stay tuned for more developments on this project.

Flying high in the sky.

Flying high in the sky.

THE PAPER KITES
Current Release: Woodland and Young North (digital EP releases)

Here’s the newest of the acts on the list. They just revealed that they were signed back in March, and as a result, two of their EPs are now available at digital retailers. The four man and one woman group hail from Melbourne, Australia, releasing a few singles on the indie circuit down under while developing an online following. Their music was also featured on an episode of Grey’s Anatomy. At this point, they’re back in the studio, and they seem to be suggesting maybe some U.S. touring based on one of the newest Facebook items. We’ll have to see what happens in the coming weeks.

Are you feeling any of the new artists featured here? Let me know! Leave a comment below or contact me on Twitter: @AdamFSoybel.

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