Monthly Archives: November 2013

ADAM’S TOP 40 FLASHBACK: November 30, 2008

"Better" with the both of them.

“Better” with the both of them.

Welcome back for another edition of Adam’s Top 40 Flashback! Every Saturday, the day before my new top 40 goes up for the week, I’ll be featuring a past countdown straight from chart files of Adam’s Top 40. They’re all here — the hit songs, the songs that flopped, and the songs that may be a little embarrassing to reflect on. Time to go back to freshman year of college with this week’s post, just a few days after the big Thanksgiving meal. Here’s a look at my top 40 from November 30, 2008:

Debuts:
40. ONEREPUBLIC featuring SARA BAREILLES, “Come Home”
39. THRIVING IVORY, “Angels On The Moon”

Biggest Mover(s):
TAKE THAT, “Greatest Day” (34-22) (12 spots)

10. THE KILLERS, “Human”
“Are we human or are we dancer?” That was the question lead singer Brandon Flowers proposed in the leadoff single from the band’s album Day & Age. Co-produced with Stuart Price, the reviews for the song was generally positive and it became the group’s last top 40 hit on the Hot 100 to date. On my chart, it went as high as #5. They recently released a greatest hits compilation titled Direct Hits.

09. CHRISTINA AGUILERA, “Keeps Gettin’ Better”
It was the title of her 2008 singles compilation, which was certified Gold, and came along with this electro-pop hit. With a peak of #7 on the Hot 100, it remains her last top ten solo song to date, though she’s gone back to the region on “Feel This Moment” with rapper Pitbull and “Moves Like Jagger” with rockers Maroon 5. She’s currently featured on a new version of A Great Big World‘s “Say Something”.

08. O.A.R., “Shattered (Turn The Car Around)”
The college band turned jam band originally from Rockville, MD was already somewhat known on the airwaves with minor hits like “Hey Girl” and “Love And Memories”, but it was “Shattered” that gave the band a much more prominent place on the charts. So far, it’s their only top 40 hit on the Hot 100. The quintet just finished a small tour across the south; no word on when we’ll have new music from them.

07. DAUGHTRY, “What About Now”
This big ballad was another winner for Chris Daughtry and crew, with a video depicting everyday people making a difference in daily life. “What” was the fifth mainstream single from their self-titled debut album. A version by Irish boy band Westlife hit the runner-up spot in both Ireland and the United Kingdom the next year. The band currently ranks in my top ten with “Waiting For Superman”.

06. THE ALL-AMERICAN REJECTS, “Gives You Hell”
Five years after going to #1 on my chart with the song “Swing, Swing”, Tyson Ritter and his rejected brothers from the Sooner State landed another hit in my top ten, an angsty anthem that went as high as #4. It’s also their biggest hit internationally, going 4x Platinum alone in just the United States. Ritter is currently pursuing a solo career on Interscope and just released a digital single called “Air”.

05. NICKELBACK, “Gotta Be Somebody”
Yes, they get a lot of flack, and yes, I still like them. Does that make me uncool? Perhaps. The first single from Dark Horse hit the top ten on the Hot 100 and helped lead the album to 3x Platinum status here in the States. However, despite being a hit on the Adult Contemporary formats, this was their first song to miss the CHR top ten in four years, and it began the slow decline of their overall radio airplay here.

04. PINK, “So What”
With her career reignited after the slow success of “U + Ur Hand” and a second run of “Who Knew”, both of which hit #1 at popular radio, she was back at the top with this bratty but really fun leadoff single from Funhouse. “So” was coming off a run of six weeks at #1 on my chart, her personal best. You’ll see her pop up on my 2013 year-end survey a few times with an additional two #1’s on my top 40 this year.

03. SIMON COLLINS, “Unconditional”
Before Katy Perry went around telling her lover that she would love him unconditionally, it was the son of the legendary singer and drummer Phil Collins who was in on the action with this moderate Adult Contemporary hit. It also hit the top 100 in Canada. Collins hasn’t released any solo material since 2008’s U-Catastrophe, but for a few years now, he’s been the leader of a band called Sound Of Contact.

02. DAVID COOK, “Light On”
Back in the spring of 2008, it was Cook who won the title of American Idol over David Archuleta, and appropriately, Cook also fared much better than his younger counterpart on my survey. After spending three weeks at #1 with “The Time Of My Life”, this would top my chart for five weeks. His self-titled debut album was certified Platinum. He’s currently recording for a new album due next year.

01. BRITNEY SPEARS, “Womanizer”
All eyes on her in the center of the ring… the Circus was in town and ruling my personal chart this week. After failing to make my top 40 at all during the Blackout era, “Womanizer” was deemed as Spears’s true comeback onto the scene, becoming her first hit on my survey in four years and her first to go to #1 in eight. The song also topped the CHR chart and the Hot 100, although it gets very little play today. Tuesday marks the release of Britney Jean, her latest album, featuring the singles “Perfume” and “Work Bitch”.

Check back next Saturday for another Adam’s Top 40 Flashback and don’t forget to follow the blog by using the tab below or find PGTC on social media by clicking the “Get Social!” tab at the top of the page.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Charts/Trade Papers, Retro

PROFILE: Will The U.S. “Latch” Onto Sam Smith In 2014?

La la late to the party, we are.

La la late to the party, we are.

At the tender age of 21, British performer Sam Smith has already accomplished a lot in his still budding musical career. Through a series of solo songs and a pair of hit singles with other acts, Smith has accrued a big international fan base that is hoping to expand into the United States in the next year, where he’s yet to become a household name. Most recently, the singer collaborated with Disclosure, Nile Rodgers and Jimmy Napes on a song called “Together”, which lit up the blogosphere and has achieved minor chart placement throughout Europe. Now, Smith’s about to get his lucky break in the U.S. with his features on two songs being issued to radio at the same time: “La La La” by Naughty Boy, which is serviced to CHR radio on Tuesday via Capitol, and “Latch” by Disclosure, coming to the same format in January via Interscope.

Born in the small village of Bishop’s Stortford, Smith’s been singing since age 8, first training with a jazz vocalist before moving onto work with musical theater while passing his school work. After moving to London at age 18, he began a regular job at a bar before signing to PMR Records last year and making his mark in the music industry. Unfortunately, once again, the U.S. is behind the rest of the world when it comes to this talented guy, so I’ll catch you up to speed on his success so far.

His first big appearance on Disclosure‘s “Latch” made its debut on the U.K. Singles Chart in October 2012, climbing to #11 the next month and charting in the top 40 for 18 consecutive weeks, a very large sum for a song that just missed the top ten. In most countries, the song barely scratched the top 40, if at all. Though it hasn’t ranked on the Hot 100 yet, “Latch” has thus far reached a peak of #27 on Billboard’s Dance/Electronic Songs chart, which began in January. It’s a chilled-out house track that’s been a little too different for many audiences, but the U.S. could turn things around for it.

“La La La”, however, is a different story, a more globally recognized hit single. It was producer Naughty Boy‘s first single to be released outside of Europe and it was a smash, achieving top ten rankings in over 20 countries. It also earned the two acts their first #1 in the U.K. back in May and turned out an eleven week run in the top ten. Pretty impressive. I’m sure the year-end tabulations over in Europe will be good to it. We’ll see how it fares on next year’s American surveys. Satellite radio should be all over it in the next few weeks before the majority of the CHR panel even considers it. However, the soulful vocal meets tribal dance arrangement track should prove to be a winner with a good label backing.

To add to the madness, all eyes are on what label Smith will end up on here in the States, as that has yet to be determined. Will he end up at Capitol, as evidenced by this Billboard report in which CEO Steve Barnett notes that “we’re in final talks to sign another artist affiliated with [Naughty Boy‘s Hotel Cabana]”? Will he sign at Interscope, where many acts from his U.K. label, PMR Records, are currently under contract? There’s also Republic Records, who have taken in singer John Newman and DJ/producer Martin Garrix in the last few months — could they steal another solo performer with some U.K. success? Time will tell on this one and your guess is as good as mine. However, things couldn’t be better for the young performer, one who has a lot to be thankful for this year and a lot to anticipate during the next year on the worldwide front.

(EDIT: Smith has officially signed with Capitol Records for his solo material. Way to go!)

Look out for more announcements from Smith, including more collaborations and solo releases, in the next coming months. He’s come a long way from his beginnings; let’s see if he’s “got you shackled” along with the rest of the mainstream music market here by the end of next year.

Download via iTunes: “La La La” (Addicted To Bass Remix) :: “La La La” (Ibiza 2013 Edit) :: “Latch” :: “Together”

2 Comments

Filed under Single Reviews, Uncategorized

One Year Later And Still Popping!

POP! goes the anniversary.

POP! goes the anniversary.

I didn’t think I was going to get to this point, but it’s finally here and I’m so excited. It’s been a great first year of writing here on WordPress with my music blog, POP! Goes The Charts, and I can’t thank you all enough for supporting me in this adventure. November 28, 2012 seems so far away at this point, even if it was just 365 days ago. Of course, I’ve made it through the ups and downs, the struggle for post inspiration, the “take it down” private messages, etc. but that wild ride continues to be one I enjoy driving through. So, here are just a few of the statistics that made this a great first full year:

In the past twelve months, my blog has racked up north of 240,000 views on a total of 440 posts for an average of 550 views a day and 1.2 posts, which sounds about right. (Maybe not the 1/5 of a post part, but I digress.) A lot of these have been focused on the home page or in the archives — 52,000 of them, in fact, which equates to about 21%.

The biggest direct click post of the year was my Friday Forty countdown of the Top 40 Boy Bands based on radio data archives, which has been viewed just under 9,300 times since its late February debut. Whether you were Team *NSYNC, Backstreet Boys or New Kids On The Block back in the day, we all love our boy bands once again thanks to new kids in town like One Direction and The Wanted and all of those reunions, of course. Keep calm and stan on, you all.

The largest sum for a single premiere is on “Ways To Go” by Grouplove, which has accumulated 7,500 views since June. “Ways” went to #5 on my personal chart a few months ago and peaked at #2 on Alternative radio. Look for it to rank highly on my year-end survey, which will be starting in a few weeks. In other words, you’ve “got a little bit longer” to wait.

My most successful album review was for Avril Lavigne‘s self-titled album of a few weeks ago, racking up 1,600 views. Reaction for the effort was mixed, although it did debut in the top ten on the Billboard 200. The third single from it, a duet with husband Chad Kroeger titled “Let Me Go”, is currently gaining at Hot Adult Contemporary radio.

As for Profile posts, where I go on a bit about new and breaking acts, Danny Mercer takes the prize for that, with 950 views on my post from the end of May. At the time, Mercer was riding the charts on a collaboration with rapper Pitbull called “Outta Nowhere”. Unfortunately, it tanked, but look out for some solo material from him coming on Columbia Records next year. He also co-produced “Save Your Soul” on Celine Dion‘s most recent album, Loved Me Back To Life.

Finally, there’s my top chart post of the year. Every week, I make a weekly top 40 music survey, and for some reason, the chart dated February 24 is the most viewed one of the past 12 months with 176 views. The #1 song of the week for the second frame was “Mermaid” by Train, which you’ll also find has done particularly well on my 2013 year-end chart. Once the tide comes in, you’ll see where it’s washed up.

Thanks for a great year once again and here’s to another fantastic one!

Best wishes and Happy Thanksgivukkah,
Adam

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Advance Australia Fare: From “One” To The “Sun”

It’s a race for space on some powerful playlists across the nation as two really great Australian bands compete for airtime on our favorite niche U.S. radio format, Adult Album Alternative, or AAA. That’s the wonderful little panel of stations that brings us the best of singer-songwriters, folk and rock music and the occasional crossover selection. One of these acts has charted there before several times; one could be making it on for the very first time. So, break out the Vegemite and tie your kangaroo down, sport, because the dudes from down under are ready to make a stand up north. Check ’em both out.

"Only" a taste of what's to come.

“Only” a taste of what’s to come.

JOHN BUTLER TRIO – “Only One”
Release Date: January 6 (AAA radio) // U.S. label: Vanguard

Hard to believe that these guys from Fremantle have been around since the late 90’s, but they’ve been racking up new fans ever since, first establishing a base in their native Australia before moving onto a worldwide audience. That audience includes the United States, where the word began spreading about them several years ago. 2007’s Grand National, promoted by Atlantic Records, provided them with a radio hit in “Better Than”, which quickly raced into the top ten at the format (followup “Good Excuse” saw much less action later that year), while 2010’s April Uprising, released on ATO, saw two singles rise onto the AAA chart: “One Way Road”, a top ten record, and “I’d Do Anything”, which just slipped into the top 20. Another three years have passed and recently, the band announced that their latest album, Flesh & Blood, will be out on February 7. “Only One” hits U.S. iTunes on December 10. It’s another solid single from the guys, who serve up a little steel drum on this for a little bit of an island vibe in the midst of their jam band sound. Given their past rankings and the help from Vanguard, this should be accepted at radio and become their latest placing single on the chart. Good luck, mates!

The South's gonna do it again.

The South’s gonna do it again.

BOY & BEAR – “Southern Sun”
Release Date: January 13 (AAA radio) // U.S. label: Nettwerk

The five piece band out of Sydney formed in 2009 and were promoted through the Alternative radio station Triple J and national networks like NovaFM. They released an album Moonfire in 2011, which went to #2 in Australia and was certified Platinum. One release from it, “Fall At Your Feet”, became a minor top 40 hit. The effort and a lesser-peaking single, “Feeding Line”, earned them five wins at the yearly ARIA Awards, including Album Of The Year and Best Group. They returned earlier this year with Harlequin Dream, which became their first #1 album in the country. Though this missed the top 50 on the Singles Chart there a few months ago, Nettwerk Records is bringing the band and “Sun” to the U.S. where they have yet to find a big audience. A 16-date U.S. and Canada tour begins in March, including a date near here at The Sinclair in Cambridge, MA on the 26th. “Sun” has a rustic feel to it a la Gerry Rafferty in the late 70’s, or even Al Stewart or 10CC from the same era, but it’s really likable song that’s suited perfectly for the springtime airwaves. Nettwerk is also a more recognizable name at the format given successes with Family Of The Year and Passenger, although acts like Hey Ocean and Lily Kershaw haven’t fully blossomed there. I’m inclined to think they have a hit on their hands with this one.

Which Aussie act are you rooting for to be 2014’s first success story? The returning John Butler Trio or the new kids on the block, Boy & Bear? Both perhaps? Let me know in the comments below and find PGTC on social media by clicking the “Get Social!” tab.

3 Comments

Filed under Single Reviews

ALBUM REVIEW: Britney Spears – Britney Jean

A scentimental affair from the "Perfume" singer.

A scentimental affair from the “Perfume” singer.

Oops… she’s done it again. The legend herself, Britney Spears, returns to the circus of the music business with her latest studio album for RCA Records, Britney Jean. Oft-described as her most personal album yet, from the title to a duet with her younger sister, that positioning fails to properly describe the set, a mere collection of odd ends and bits that don’t have much connection to one another at all. The album, at just 36 minutes in length, is a quick trip into the world of the pop princess, but a ride that isn’t a satisfactory one. In fact, is it even a ride at all? Judge for yourself as the album unravels.

Opener “Alien” sets the electronic mood for the album, a fun and spacey pop song with a pounding drum beat and a repetitive chant about how Spears is “not alone”. Sadly, the distortion on it is quite noticeable and detracts from the quality of it. (A leaked demo of the song did not feature the effect.) The two singles so far follow that, “Work Bitch” and “Perfume”; “Work” didn’t quite impress radio given its edgy sound and controversial lyric (did you really want to hear the “Work Work” edit on the air?) while “Perfume” has yet to fully freshen the popular landscape and likely won’t due to lagging sales.

Towards the middle is the will.i.am collaboration “It Should Be Easy”, a sort of Part 2 to their previous single together, “Scream & Shout”. With heavily processed vocals and strong EDM sounds, it actually isn’t the worst song of the bunch, as Spears tells her lover, “if there was a scale from 1 to 10/On my love for you, it’s million billion” and pleads with him, “please don’t mess with my head.” “Tik Tik Boom”, though not one of my favorite tracks, seems to be a fan favorite from the initial reviews, a slower-paced but still solid EDM track that was originally meant for G.R.L., another failed Robin Antin project.

“Body Ache” quickens the pace with a synth-heavy arrangement that rivals even “Work Bitch”; in fact, it almost feels like a sequel with a more sensual lyric and harder arrangement. At least she sounds like she’s in the mood to party, stating, “I wanna dance ’til my body ache/Show you how I want ya.” Rawr. The obvious third single choice is next on the menu, “Til It’s Gone”, as Spears relays the classic message that many have tackled: “You never know what you got ’til it’s gone.” That would also represent the missed opportunity that awaits RCA should they not pull the trigger. We’re begging you, please.

Changing things up slightly is “Passenger”, a rock-influenced dance number in which she proclaims, “I’ve never been a passenger/I never knew how good it could feel,” one of the more ironic lines on here. Think about it. Even with her upcoming two-year residency in Las Vegas, is she truly in the driver’s seat? This one doesn’t stall out, but the car’s virtually worn down by this point. “Chillin’ With You”, a duet with younger sister Jamie Lynn, supplies the breakdown; what could have been a great poppy ballad coughs and sputters through an irritating and lackluster chorus. (Also, younger sis has the edge vocally.) Closer “Don’t Cry” slows it down and ends on vital note: “This is gonna be our last goodbye/Our love is gone, but I’ll survive.” Yes, she will survive and her older material will as well, but this album? It’ll be “gone” before you know it.

Unfortunately, the album’s disappointing results may be partially to blame on the cyclical nature of Spears’s career, which seems to give us a discouraging outlook every six years or so. Leadoff release “Work Bitch”, much like 2001’s “I’m A Slave 4 U” and 2007’s “Gimme More”, were moderate sales singles that radio couldn’t fully support. Second single “Perfume”, to the same effect, will essentially end up like “I’m Not A Girl, Not Yet A Woman” and “Piece Of Me”, respectively – perhaps underrated within her catalogue, but CHR radio will dump it somewhere in the 20’s. Then, there are the album sales; Britney was significantly down from Oops!… I Did It Again, while Blackout was also a sharp drop from In The Zone, becoming her first #2 album (even if it was by a rule change.) Point is, expect this one to miss the top spot, perhaps debut somewhere in the 100-125,000 range first week, and barely scrape Gold. That’s at least what I’m thinking at the moment.

Beyond my best excuse, this album isn’t a cohesive set of songs, nor is it one for just casual fans (like I am.) There are some enjoyable moments and “Til It’s Gone” could save the era commercially, but otherwise, Spears and RCA are most concerned with the upcoming Las Vegas shows and have no regard for how this does beyond the first week peak. Even that may not be important to them. With no conscious effort to promote the singles or get her doing a proper set of television appearances (likely restricted by her rehearsals), this era is doomed. However, there will be a core group of fans who’ll come out for this. This album will ultimately beg the question if we actually need new music from Spears every few years or so or if we can just rely on her past efforts in her already amazing fifteen year career. I’m not sure myself, but Britney is Britney, who are we to deny that? Britney Jean is not her best work (bitch), but she’s still kicking it and that’ll have to do.

Stream Britney Jean on iTunes and pre-order the album, due next Tuesday.

3 Comments

Filed under Album Reviews

“Brother”, Can You Spare A Rhyme? Records Keeping It Relative

Hermanos with hits,

Hermanos with hits.

He’s got a magic touch. 24-year-old Avicii is folking things up one more time with vocalist Dan Tyminski, a member of Alison Krauss‘s backing band, Union Station. Their collaboration, titled “Hey Brother”, has already gone to #1 in the DJ and producer’s native Sweden, as well as several other European territories. However, the song has yet to be a hit in the States, though it does get serviced to an assortment of radio formats within the next few weeks. Until it inevitably storms onto the scene next year, enjoy this list of brotherly hits from the past, bro. (Please remind me to never say “bro” again.)

“Brother Love’s Travelling Salvation Show”, Neil Diamond (#22, 1969)
After a series of top 40 misses, it was this that brought Diamond back into the 20’s on the Hot 100 and would lead to the Platinum selling followups “Sweet Caroline” (#4) and “Holly Holy” (#6). No word on his live plans thus far for the new year.

“He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother”, The Hollies (#7, 1970) and remade by Neil Diamond (#20, 1970)
The original by the English group was their third top ten hit in America and first of the 70’s. Diamond’s remake was featured on Tap Root Manuscript. “Heavy” was also a U.K. #1 last year as a charity single from The Justice Collective.

“Tell It All Brother”, Kenny Rogers & The First Edition (#17, 1970)
Before Rogers became a top-selling Country star of the 70’s and 80’s, his band was big on the pop survey with a handful of charting singles beginning in 1967. This was their penultimate top 40 entry and the group would eventually split by 1976.

“Brother Rapp (Parts 1 & 2)”, James Brown (#32, 1970)
It was yet another hit for The Godfather Of Soul and did even better on the R&B survey, where it peaked at #2. The two part record is about 5 1/2 minutes in total and both sections were credited when it charted. Brown passed away in 2006.

“I’m Not My Brother’s Keeper”, The Flaming Ember (#34, 1970)
Bringing the soul of Detroit to the charts, this American band ranked three songs on the Hot 100’s top 40 between in 1969 and 1970, this being the last of the three. It also made the top 20 on the R&B chart in 1970. The band is no longer together.

“Hey Big Brother”, Rare Earth (#19, 1971)
Signed to Motown Records, the band was the label’s first all-white act to find success on the Hot 100 with three top ten singles in 1970-71. This was their last record to make the top 40, and they continued to chart through 1978’s “Warm Ride”.

“Brother Louie”, Stories (#1, 1973)
The quartet from New York City had a big #1 in the States with a song that originally went to #7 in the U.K. for Hot Chocolate. The driving force behind it was its theme: an interracial relationship between a white male and a black female.

“Me And Baby Brother”, War (#15, 1973)
This was the followup to “Gypsy Man” (#8) and the second single from the top ten album Deliver The Word, which was certified Gold. The funk rock band last made the top 40 in 1978, though they are still together today under a varied lineup.

For more on that brotherly love and other singles from the siblings that sing, follow the blog below or hit the “Get Social!” tab to find out how you can connect with PGTC on social media.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

TURN IT UP MONDAY: What’s New In Stores This Week (November 25)

Read up on this "Story".

The time is now for Midnight.

Turn it up… Monday? For the last of three times this holiday season, it’s a manic Monday in the music industry as most new releases hit the shelves just in time for some turkey talk. (NOTE: some releases may still not be out until Tuesday dependent on record label availability/iTunes response time.) Here’s what you need to know about on the schedule for the week of November 25:

  • They’ve been taking over iTunes all week with digital singles like “Diana” and “Strong” from their last album; now, One Direction is finally in stores with their third full-length release, Midnight Memories. The current radio single from it is the ballad “Story Of My Life”. Get ready for a massive sales week ahead for it. It will almost certainly eclipse the 500,000 mark here, and the ceiling is anyone’s guess (iTunes).
  • Last season on The Voice, young Country singer Danielle Bradbery won the competition for Blake Shelton‘s team. This week, her self-titled debut album is out, featuring the recent Country radio hit “The Heart Of Dixie” (iTunes).
  • Mr. 305 turned Mr. Worldwide, the rapper known as Pitbull, is warming things up for the holidays with the Meltdown edition of his 2012 release, Global Warming. You’ve probably heard new single “Timber”, a collaboration with Ke$ha, all over the radio. It’s available in both a deluxe edition (iTunes) and a stand-alone EP of just the new material (iTunes).
  • Recorded live last year at the Barclays Center, the legendary Barbra Streisand is out with Back To Brooklyn, featuring all the hits and then some. A physical edition includes an added DVD. (iTunes)
  • Is it an odd collaboration? Yes. Does it work? Surprisingly enough, yes. Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong and jazz singer Norah Jones team up for Foreverly, a collection of the Everly Brothers covers (iTunes).
  • Other albums in stores this week include Bill Cosby‘s Far From Finished (iTunes), Dido‘s Greatest Hits (iTunes), Florida Georgia Line‘s Here’s To The Good Times – This Is How We Roll edition (iTunes) and the soundtrack to the film Tyler Perry’s A Madea Christmas (iTunes).

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

  • “Cried”, the first radio single from American Idol winner Candice Glover‘s forthcoming album, Music Speaks. (iTunes)
  • “Rollercoaster”, the latest Music Mondays release from Justin Bieber. (iTunes)

Next week, Britney Spears gets to “work bitch” as Britney Jean hits stores, but how will she fare against Jake Owen and the Carrie Underwood-led The Sound Of Music soundtrack? A preview is coming next Tuesday!

Leave a comment

Filed under Album Reviews, Music News