Get ready to fuel that fire in the coming weeks. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is shaping up to be one of the biggest films of this year when it’s released on November 22. The movie, starring Jennifer Lawrence and Liam Hemsworth, is the second picture based on a three-book trilogy by Suzanne Collins. Just as the film, the soundtrack to it is burning hot, featuring new songs by a ton of top artists. At least three of them included on the album will be going to radio in the coming weeks. So, in the spirit of the games themselves, will one of these worthy singles run a tight fight and triumph to the top of the top 40 survey? That’s a mouthful, and these three should fill your playlist in anticipation for the big day:
CHRISTINA AGUILERA – “We Remain”
Adds Date: October 8 (CHR + Hot AC)
I premiered the set of lyrics for this song on my blog this past Monday and you all seemed to like it quite a bit, so thanks for stopping by! “We Remain” was written/produced by singer-songwriter Mikky Ekko and Brent Kutzle and Ryan Tedder from OneRepublic. While this pop power ballad features a great vocal from Aguilera and a production styling vaguely reminiscent of “Already Gone” by Kelly Clarkson (also produced by Tedder), it’s hard to ignore the fact that Aguilera’s solo material has faltered on the charts during the past few years. It’s been nearly five years since she made the Hot 100’s top ten by herself with the #7 “Keeps Gettin’ Better” in the fall of 2008. However, this song is already in the top 50 on iTunes with minimal promotion, which is actually a decent start. Should she perform it on The Voice and get a decent backing from RCA, this could finally be the song, outside of her hit duets with Maroon 5 and Pitbull, to finally relaunch her on the charts with a steady rise through the fall and winter months, but the pieces need to come together now rather than later. Otherwise, this one will go the way of her dance-driven singles firmly planted in the untouched section of the top 40 graveyard.
COLDPLAY – “Atlas”
Adds Date: now at AAA + Alternative, October 15 (CHR + Hot AC)
I also covered the premiere of this last month. They’re one of the biggest bands in the world and their latest composition took one of the biggest leaps on my personal chart in years. After making the jump from 31-12 earlier in September, “Atlas” zoomed up to #3 last week and will likely become the band’s fourth #1 single on my chart later this month. It’s an excellent one, drawing comparisons to the band’s debut album, Parachutes. The song was co-written by the four members of Coldplay and produced by the band, Daniel Green and Rik Simpson, the latter two having worked with the group since the Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends era in 2008. “Atlas” has a head start against the other two songs from this hot soundtrack given that it’s already been out for nearly a month, and thus far, the song’s leapt into the top 20 on Alternative radio and is comfortably in the top ten at AAA radio. It also recently peaked at #69 on the Hot 100 due to strong digital sales, but those numbers have since backed off considerably. (They’ll rise again, however.) Though I’m not expecting an international smash on the level of “Speed Of Sound” or “Viva La Vida”, it holds up in their catalogue and is a winner (at least for me.)
SIA featuring THE WEEKND and DIPLO – “Elastic Heart”
Adds Date: October 8 (CHR)
Here’s an interesting collaboration featuring the talents of an Australian singer-songwriter, a Canadian singer/producer and an American remixer/producer. It’s an international affair. “Heart” is an edgy rock-influenced pop record that also incorporates a soulful sound. It should appeal to the fans of all three acts. However, whether this actually becomes a hit on the national surveys is a more complicated equation. Although Sia has managed a few big hits as the “hook girl” in the U.S. (namely appearances on David Guetta‘s “Titanium” and Flo Rida‘s “Wild Ones”), her previous solo albums went largely unnoticed here beyond the Dance scene and even a second collaboration with Guetta on which she took a more prominent role, “She Wolf (Falling To Pieces)”, didn’t go beyond the 40’s on CHR radio before dropping off the radar entirely. The Weeknd likely won’t help the matter as he’s largely unknown to the pop audience and although Diplo has a few top ten Hot 100 production credits, I’m not sure the majority of this radio format knows who he is, especially the older you skew. However, there’s always a chance this could break through because of how different it sounds from anything else on the airwaves.
So, who will be the winner in this hungry, hungry hit maker competition? At this moment, I’m putting my chips down on Coldplay, but that could change. How about you? Let me know you think below or find PGTC on social media by clicking the “Get Social!” tab.