Monthly Archives: July 2014

RADIO REPORT: POP! Goes The Picks (August 2014)

The radio airwaves are looking ripe this summer as plenty of new acts and established artists crash the party with new tunes. Which ones will climb to the top and which ones will hit a stop? Here are some of my favorites being serviced in August on the AAA, Alternative, CHR and Hot AC formats:

CHR (*) and HOT AC (**)

David Guetta
DAVID GUETTA featuring SAM MARTIN – “Lovers On The Sun” (August 5) (*)
Label: Parlophone/Atlantic
DJ Guetta’s latest U.S. single was co-produced and written by Avicii and features newcomer Martin, who has a couple of songwriting credits with Maroon 5. He hasn’t had a top ten single on the pop chart since 2012’s “Titanium”; have a bevy of younger producers and the ageism of radio caught up to the hitmaker or will the airwaves welcome him again?

Bebe Rexha
BEBE REXHA – “I Can’t Stop Drinking About You” (August 12) (*)
Label: Warner Bros.
24-year-old Rexha got her first taste of the charts earlier this year when her collaboration with Cash Cash, “Take Me Home”, went top 20 at CHR radio. Her first solo single, originally uploaded online this past spring, recently drew some attention when it was remixed by duo The Chainsmokers. We’ll see if this release’s success is worth a #selfie or two.

MKTO – “American Dream” (August 12) (*)
Label: Columbia
After months of slowly climbing up the pop chart, this duo finally broken the top ten earlier this summer with the song “Classic”. Now, fueled by that long run, Malcolm Kelley and Tony Oller are offering their “Dream” with the hopes that this time around, they won’t be finding a nightmare. No worries; it’s already gone top 40 in Australia and New Zealand.

Phillip Phillips
PHILLIP PHILLIPS – “Unpack Your Heart” (August 12) (**)
Label: Interscope
Following up his recent top five AAA and top ten Hot AC hit, “Raging Fire”, Phillips is moving quickly onto this second single from Behind The Light, written and produced by the same team behind “Fire”. The former American Idol champ should have a simple time landing on both formats and, like his other songs, find placement on television this autumn.

RIXTON – “Wait On Me” (August 12) (*)
Label: School Boy/Mad Love/Giant Little Man/Interscope
A little trouble never hurt nobody… and neither does an Ace Of Base inspired followup from this British quartet. “Me And My Broken Heart” hit #1 in the United Kingdom last month and went top ten on a handful of radio formats here. I don’t think the four will have much trouble on the surveys with this or making a few new fans. It was worth the “Wait”.

The Vamps
THE VAMPS featuring DEMI LOVATO – “Somebody To You” (August 19) (*)
Label: Island/Republic
This is the first time in the U.S. for this boy band, but they’ve already taken Europe by storm. All four singles from the debut set by the band, Meet The Vamps, have gone top five on the U.K. Singles Chart. “You” also became their first #1 in Scotland and went top 20 in Australia, their biggest hit to date. With Lovato’s help, they’ll be somebodies here soon.

ALTERNATIVE (*) and AAA (**)

Boy & Bear
BOY & BEAR – “Three Headed Woman” (August 5) (**)
Label: Nettwerk
The Australian quintet based in Sydney launched successfully at AAA radio earlier this year with “Southern Sun”. Also taken from the album Harlequin Dream, “Woman” is another great track and should be at least moderately successful on those same airwaves. After several dates abroad, the group return to the States on their worldwide tour in October.

JUNGLE – “Busy Earnin'” (August 5) (*)
Label: XL/Beggars Group
At the moment, this new duo from London is busy earnin’ some decent peaks across the album charts in Europe, going as high as #7 in their native U.K., as well top 40 in Belgium and Switzerland. Their singles haven’t seen any substantial action, but their sound fits in neatly with the current flavor at Alternative radio, even if they themselves aren’t known.

Cold War Kids
COLD WAR KIDS – “All This Could Be Yours” (August 12) (*)
Label: Downtown
These guys have been around for some time, but their Alternative play has been limited to peaks down in the 20’s and 30’s. That may change with this single, which is featured in an advertisement for Milk Music, a new app from Samsung. The exposure’s been pretty wide thus far and with a new album due in October, the timing couldn’t be better for them.

Fitz and the Tantrums
FITZ & THE TANTRUMS – “Fools Gold” (August 12) (*)
Label: Elektra/Atlantic
More Than Just A Dream has been a fantastic era for the sextet from the Golden State, who now claim two consecutive #1’s on the Alternative chart with “Out Of My League” and “The Walker”. Their latest is certainly a standout and could continue to build up their stretch of crossover appeal as they tour the States through the fall. Let’s see how they medal.

Andrew McMahon In The Wilderness
ANDREW MCMAHON IN THE WILDERNESS – “Cecilia And The Satellite” (August 19) (*)
Label: Vanguard
With the end of Jack’s Mannequin several years ago, McMahon set out on a solo adventure and the 31-year-old has come up an album due later in 2014. “Cecilia” marks the first new material from the performer since his first daughter, also named Cecilia, was born in February. With a new label backing him and a very passionate base, the sky is the limit.

Paolo Nutini
PAOLO NUTINI – “Let Me Down Easy” (August 19) (**)
Label: Atlantic
Singer/songwriter Nutini continues to be huge across the pond; his album Caustic Love is already Platinum in the U.K. after peaking at #1 in April. Though “Down” missed the top 40 there, unlike first single “Scream (Funk My Life Up)”, it is much better suited for AAA. It’s been a while since “New Shoes” hit the top there, but he still has potential to do well.

Which track(s) would you like to see do well from the list above? Let me know! Comment below or click the “Get Social!” tab to find PGTC on social media.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Andy Grammer – Magazines Or Novels

Finding a "Home" at Hot AC.

If loving him is wrong, I don’t wanna be write.

30-year-old singer/songwriter Andy Grammer took his sunny California sound and brightened up the charts starting in the fall of 2010 with hits like “Keep Your Head Up” and “Miss Me”. It was a stellar first era for the performer and his breakout on the scene was well deserved after years of busking on the streets. Now, three years after his self-titled debut comes his second album, a set called Magazines Or Novels. With a diminished amount of airplay and profile, the build has been a struggle, plus it doesn’t help that the album itself has its inconsistencies and forced arrangements. Nevertheless, it is good for a read, even if it’s not a full one.

The album begins on a bouncy note with “Honey, I’m Good.” If he needs a period firmly placed in that title, the thirst must be real. Nevertheless, it’s a great retro-influenced track about the power of temptation and a woman with a serious attraction. It does end on a happy note, however, as Grammer shows that he’s faithful in his established relationship: “You got me all wrong baby/My baby’s already got all of my love.” This is followed by first single “Back Home”, a safe and folksy cut about the good old days and recognizing your roots. The former top ten single on my chart is currently stalled out at Hot AC radio.

Grammer tries for a more confident pop sound on “Pushing”, track three in the lineup; much like the title, well, it’s pushing it. The edgier tune plays more like a Karmin reject, but it’s passionate enough to deliver on a needed intensity: “We stay in the fire and hope we can burn our way out/The road to my heart gets hot as hell.” A few steps up from there is “Forever”, soaked in a classic R&B style with a cute touch of brass. It’s the closest thing to this era’s “Fine By Me”. He sings to his love, “You take forever/But you’re always worth waiting for… I guess I’ll wait a little more.” It’s neat and to the point.

Things go awry at this point, beginning with “Holding Out”, a reggae inspired track with a playful but goofy lyric set. “Remind You”, reminiscent of a late 70’s art rock aesthetic, essentially gets lost in the shuffle for sounding like every indie band trying to break the blogosphere. “Masterpiece”, a slight improvement from there, would sound better for Mat Kearney. However, I do appreciate the lyrics in it, especially the desire to perfect a romance and to not “stop ’til it is beautiful.” It’s very different from “Sinner”, track eight, which dives into pseudo religious theme, not unlike OneRepublic‘s recent material.

Luckily, past that middle section, the remaining three cuts on the album are worth the listen. Standout track “Red Eye” brings  that self-titled album vibe back around, a solid ode to curious nights and the big dreams that lie ahead. Grammer sings, “While the world sleeps under my feet tonight/I’m chasing myself in the sky… I’ll be up here learning to fly.” “Blame It On The Stars” sees the singer spitting some rap game, though it’s a fervent chorus that is truly the highlight of this. Lastly, “Kiss You Slow” is a gentle sendoff, a piano-led ballad in which the performer states, “I was born with a compass in my hand and a restless soul.” Unfortunately, that compass may be leading him in too many directions at once.

Grammer’s versatility on his second full-length album is to be admired, but the payoff isn’t necessarily there. The guy is great when performing on tour and I love him as an act, but when this album inevitably struggles to stick on the charts, it will be for a reason. The effort is decidedly more magazine than novel, a glossy affair that can be skimmed without missing too much. It is a shame that this can’t be as cohesive as his debut, but maybe there’s a lesson to be learned from this going forward. Hey, at least it’s better than your standard summer reading list.

(Stream and pre-order Andy Grammer’s Magazines Or Novels, due in stores August 5)

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TURN IT UP TUESDAY: What’s New In Stores This Week (July 29)

The waiting is the hardest chart.

The waiting is the hardest chart.

Break out your best guitar because it’s all about rock music this week, from the enduring classics to the newcomers. (Maybe there’s a hint of pop too.) Here’s what albums and singles are in stores for the week of July 29:

  • With their first album since 2010’s Mojo, the legendary rockers Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers are back with a new album titled Hypnotic Eye. Single “U Get Me High” is currently rising up the top five on the AAA chart. Given that their last effort debuted at #2 on the Billboard 200, I would venture that this one has a chance at #1 given the current pace of sales. We shall see. (iTunes)
  • Singer Shawn Mendes isn’t old enough to drink or even drive a car, but the 15-year-old sure is going places with the release of his self-titled EP. The lead single from it, “Life Of The Party”, goes to CHR radio this week. The numbers are going to be front-loaded, but this should easily debut in the top ten next week. Will it break the top five? Stay tuned. (iTunes)
  • Rocking out and into record stores this week are new sets from Adelitas Way, Stuck (iTunes), and Theory Of A Deadman, Savages (iTunes). “Dog On A Leash” from the former effort and “Drown” from the latter recently went top ten on the Active Rock survey. Both should at least enter within the top 20.
  • Other releases out this week include: Eric Clapton and Friends‘s The Breeze: An Appreciation of JJ Cale (iTunes), Jenny Lewis‘s The Voyager (iTunes), Marc Broussard‘s A Life Worth Living (iTunes) and the soundtracks from Get On Up: The James Brown Story (iTunes) and Guardians Of The Galaxy (iTunes).

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

  • “Anything Goes”, from the delayed Cheek To Cheek album by Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett. (iTunes)
  • “Bang Bang”, a collaboration from Jessie J, Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj. (iTunes)
  • “Chasing The Sun”, a new single from former Disney star Hilary Duff. (iTunes)
  • “It Was Always You”, a pre-order track from Maroon 5. (iTunes)
  • “POP 101”, new from the Canadian group Marianas Trench. (iTunes)
  • “Stay Vicious”, a digital release from The Gaslight Anthem. (iTunes)
  • “Trailer Hitch”, a solo single from Sugarland‘s male half, Kristian Bush. (iTunes)
  • “You Got Me”, a soundtrack single from singer/songwriter Gavin DeGraw. (iTunes)
  • “You Haunt Me”, new from rock trio Sir Sly. (iTunes)

Next week, heavy rockers Godsmack challenge singer/songwriter Andy Grammer and U.K. boy band The Vamps. Yet, will all three fall to the power of a new NOW That’s What I Call Music! collection? A preview is coming in seven!

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Highlights from Adam’s Top 40: July 27, 2014

Viva la Coldplay.

They’re the eye (or eight) in the “Sky”.

40. Mausi – My Friend Has A Swimming Pool
39. Fitz & The Tantrums – Fools Gold
30. The Script – Superheroes | HIGHEST DEBUT

29. Mary Lambert – Secrets (38) | BIGGEST MOVER
17. Ed Sheeran – Don’t (24)
12. Young Rising Sons – High (17)

10. Passenger – Scare Away The Dark (06) | PEAK: #01 for one week
09. A Great Big World – Already Home (05) | PEAK: #01 for seven weeks
08. American Authors – Believer (09) | PEAK: #08
07. Train – Angel In Blue Jeans (08) | PEAK: #07
06. Charli XCX – Boom Clap (10) | PEAK: #06
05. Maroon 5 – Maps (07) | PEAK: #05
04. Graffiti6 – The Bridge (02) | PEAK: #02
03. Christina Perri – Burning Gold (04) | PEAK: #03
02. Jamie Scott – My Hurricane (03) | PEAK: #02
01. Coldplay – A Sky Full Of Stars (01) | PEAK: #01 for four weeks

Top 10 Next In Line:
1. Rixton – Wait On Me (-)
2. Phillip Phillips – Unpack Your Heart (-)
3. Grouplove – I’m With You (5)
4. Bastille – Flaws (6)
5. Moko – Your Love (-)
6. The Vamps featuring Demi Lovato – Somebody To You (3)
7. Boy & Bear – Three Headed Woman (-)
8. Stu Larsen – Thirteen Sad Farewells (4)
9. Matt Nathanson featuring Lolo – Headphones (9)
10. Andrew McMahon In The Wilderness – Cecilia And The Satellite (-)

In The Mix:
Alex & Sierra – Scarecrow (new)
Betty Who – Somebody Loves You
Cold War Kids – All This Could Be Yours (new)
Counting Crows – Scarecrow
Francesco Yates – Call
Graffiti6 – U Got The Sunshine
Heymous Molly – Life’s A Beach
Jungle – Busy Earnin’ (new)
Paloma Faith – Only Love Can Hurt Like This
Paolo Nutini – Let Me Down Easy
Sara Bareilles – Chasing The Sun
Scars On 45 – Crazy For You
The 1975 – Heart Out (new)
The Young Wild – Moment Goes
Todd Carey – Nintendo (new)
Twin Atlantic – Heart And Soul
Vance Joy – Mess Is Mine
Walk The Moon – Shut Up And Dance
Weezer – Back To The Shack (new)

Chart Notes:

  • After debuting last week at #38, “Secrets” from Mary Lambert takes the week’s Biggest Mover, up nine spots to #29. Earlier this year, the singer/songwriter bubbled under with “She Keeps Me Warm”, which accumulated some airplay at the Hot AC format. Lambert was originally born in the town of Everett, WA, just north of the Seattle area. Other female soloists from the state to hit my top 40 include A Fine Frenzy and Stacie Orrico.
  • Gliding onto the top 40 at #30, this week’s Highest Debut, is Irish trio The Script with “Superheroes”. This marks the eighth chart hit for the group, who went straight to #1 with their debut release “The Man Who Can’t Be Moved” back in the spring of 2009. It spent eight frames there. All seven of their previous singles have reached a minimum peak of #6, with four going all the way to the top. We’ll see how high this one flies soon.
  • Their album is More Than Just A Dream and Fitz & The Tantrums have one more single to rank on the survey. This time around, I’m digging “Fools Gold”, which shines at #39. It’s their fourth top 40 single; their first, “MoneyGrabber”, spent a week at #1 in 2011. Their last two, “Out Of My League” and “The Walker”, both stalled at #2 for several weeks.
  • Lastly, down at #40, are newcomers Mausi from London; they make a splash with their debut chart single, “My Friend Has A Swimming Pool”. It’s out in the U.K. on August 17. It’s the second such title looking to front crawl up the top 40; the other, “Swim” by the rock band Jack’s Mannequin, peaked at #20 in 2009.
  • On next week’s chart, the first of August, look for debuts from singer/songwriter Phillip Phillips and U.K. based boy band Rixton, along with one to two other new entries. Tuesday also marks a big date for fresh pop releases, including the comeback single for Hilary Duff (“Chasing The Sun”) and a three-way collaboration featuring Jessie J, Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj (“Bang Bang”).

(See my full chart on the M4BCC message board)

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TURN IT UP TUESDAY: What’s New In Stores This Week (July 22)

It's about time this came out.

It’s about time this came out.

While you’re out shopping for some American Apparel underwear down at the mall, you’ll need a designer CD or two to complete the trip. (Maybe.) Here’s what albums and singles are in stores for the week of July 22:

  • Get ready to scream your lungs out: the Australian boy band known as 5 Seconds Of Summer have a hot album on shelves this week, their self-titled full-length set. The current radio release from it is “Amnesia”, which recently went top 50 at CHR radio. There’s no doubt that the quartet’s set will enter at #1 on the Billboard 200 and replace whomever wins this week’s battle for the top between Jason Mraz and “Weird Al” Yankovic. (iTunes)
  • In a relatively quiet week, there aren’t a whole lot of notable releases, but one that’s caught my attention as of late is Jesse McCartney‘s In Technicolor, featuring a great single in “Superbad”. It’s an independent release, so don’t expect it to be debuting pretty high up, but given the pre-release tracks from the effort so far, it sounds like a very exciting set. Definitely check this one out. (iTunes)
  • There’s Trouble In Paradise… at least that’s the title of La Roux‘s latest album. Best known for their 2010 single “Bulletproof”, the former duo is now just soloist Elly Jackson. Unlikely to repeat success of their self-titled set, it’s still garnering praise from the blogosphere and critics. (iTunes)
  • Other releases out this week include: Anberlin‘s Lowburn (iTunes), Common‘s Nobody’s Smiling (iTunes), Fozzy‘s Do You Wanna Start A War (iTunes), Kaskade‘s I Remember (iTunes), R5‘s Heart Made Up On You (EP) (iTunes), Yes‘s Heaven & Earth (iTunes) and Young Rising Sons‘s Young Rising Sons (EP) (iTunes).

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

  • “Bend Ova”, the new single from rapper Lil Jon featuring Tyga. (iTunes)
  • “Burnin’ It Down”, new from Country star Jason Aldean. (iTunes)
  • “Cool Kid”, a debut from rockers The Eeries. (iTunes)
  • “Shell Shocked”, a collaboration between Juicy J, Wiz Khalifa and Ty Dolla $ign. (iTunes)
  • “Tough Love”, the latest single from singer Jessie Ware. (iTunes)
  • “Wait On Me”, a new U.S. release from U.K. band Rixton. (iTunes)

Next week, both Eric Clapton and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers try for the crown on the album chart — you’d think it was 1978 all over again. How will they do against newcomer Shawn Mendes and hard rockers Theory Of A Deadman? A preview is coming in seven!

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SINGLE REVIEW: The Script – “Superheroes”

Kids in the "Hall".

It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s a… hit?


The trio of Danny O’Donoghue, Glen Power and Mark Sheehan, better known as The Script, are writing a new passage in the text they call their career. This September, they’ll be out with their fourth album, No Sound Without Silence. Yet, the talk is out there about some of the changes regarding this era.

No longer is the group with Epic Records in the U.S.; they’ve made the jump to Columbia Records, a giant step in the right direction. Both are divisions of Sony Music; however, you might recall that the promotion of their third set with Epic, #3, was halted in the midst of a layoff, leaving second Stateside single “If You Could See Me Now” abandoned at Hot AC radio with only a handful of stations of it. Given Columbia’s big successes as of late, I’m sure the boys will be more of a priority to the label, especially with a strong leadoff single.

At just over four minutes in length, “Superheroes” comes off as a slightly toned down version of their international smash “Hall Of Fame”, though this one is (thankfully) without the assistance of as a featured act. The piano led song is also aided by a percussive heavy chorus and verses and an emotive lead vocal from O’Donoghue, primarily singing on this one with a touch of light rapping (as heard in the chorus.)

Lyrically, the song follows two ordinary people: in verse one, it’s a female who has been weathered by all the events of her life thus far. She’s also been taken advantage of; as O’Donoghue states, “They took away the prophet’s dream/For a profit on the street.” Nevertheless, “she’s stronger than you know” as “a heart of steel starts to grow.” Likewise, the male half of the equation is down and out, “told/He’ll be nothing when he’s old.” He faces his share of problems, but “he won’t ever let it show.”

This leads to the focal point of the chorus, a reminder that one’s rough beginning can become determination and strength as a leader later in life. The section begins, “When you’ve been fighting for it all your life/You’ve been struggling to make things right/That’s how a superhero learns to fly,” with O’Donoghue chanting along that “every day, every hour”, one can “turn the pain into power.” Of course, it comes off as really inspiring, much to the same degree that the “Hall” encouraged listeners to do their best because one day, they would be recognized for all the work that they fostered. With many people finding themselves in the same position, there’s doubt that this song will click on a relatable level.

This is further exemplified in the middle eight, which leads back to the couple described in the initial verses of the song. It starts, “She’s got a lion in her heart/A fire in her soul,” compared to the “beast in his belly/That’s so hard to control.” The passion is there, and a request is made to “light a match, stand back/Watch ’em explode.” The two are finally free to let go of their reservations and be the people they want to be. They’ve learned that the dream is inside them, even when it felt as though nothing would change.

It’s got a great lyric and is pleasant melodically, so I will definitely be rooting for it as it soars into the stratosphere we call the radio airwaves. Realistically, I’m hoping for a return to the top ten at Hot AC radio and somewhere around/just below the top 20 at CHR, unless kryptonite strikes it earlier than I’m anticipating it could. With four #1’s to date on my personal top 40, this should be in contention for their fifth this fall. Get your capes on, kids: the flight is about to begin.

Check your local time zone for the song’s premiere: (BBC Radio 1 Breakfast Show) (SiriusXM The Pulse)

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Highlights from Adam’s Top 40: July 20, 2014

Viva la Coldplay.

Just chillin’ at the top.

39. Sheppard – Something’s Missing
38. Mary Lambert – Secrets | HIGHEST DEBUT

33. Ferreck Dawn & Redondo – Love Too Deep (40)
25. The Griswolds – Beware The Dog (32)
24. Ed Sheeran – Don’t (33) | BIGGEST MOVER
18. Jesse McCartney – Superbad (24)
16. The Madden Brothers – We Are Done (21)
08. Train – Angel In Blue Jeans (13)

10. Charli XCX – Boom Clap (14) | PEAK: #10
09. American Authors – Believer (10) | PEAK: #09
08. Train – Angel In Blue Jeans (13) | PEAK: #08
07. Maroon 5 – Maps (11) | PEAK: #07
06. Passenger – Scare Away The Dark (06) | PEAK: #01 for one week
05. A Great Big World – Already Home (05) | PEAK: #01 for seven weeks
04. Christina Perri – Burning Gold (04) | PEAK: #04
03. Jamie Scott – My Hurricane (03) | PEAK: #03
02. Graffiti6 – The Bridge (02) | PEAK: #02
01. Coldplay – A Sky Full Of Stars (01) | PEAK: #01 for three weeks

Top 10 Next In Line:
1. The Script – Superheroes (-)
2. Fitz & The Tantrums – Fools Gold (7)
3. The Vamps featuring Demi Lovato – Somebody To You (1)
4. Stu Larsen – Thirteen Sad Farewells (2)
5. Grouplove – I’m With You (4)
6. Bastille – Flaws (6)
7. Mausi – My Friend Has A Swimming Pool (8)
8. Kim Churchill – Window To The Sky (5)
9. Matt Nathanson featuring Lolo – Headphones (10)
10. Heymous Molly – Life’s A Beach (-)

In The Mix:
Andrew McMahon In The Wilderness – Cecilia And The Satellite (new)
Betty Who – Somebody Loves You
Connell Cruise – Into The Wild
Counting Crows – Scarecrow (new)
Francesco Yates – Call
Graffiti6 – U Got The Sunshine
Leon Else – River Full Of Liquor
Moko – Your Love
Paloma Faith – Only Love Can Hurt Like This
Paolo Nutini – Let Me Down Easy
Sander Kleinenberg – We-R-Superstars
Sara Bareilles – Chasing The Sun
Scars On 45 – Crazy For You
The Young Wild – Moment Goes (new)
Twin Atlantic – Heart And Soul
Vance Joy – Mess Is Mine
Walk The Moon – Shut Up And Dance

Chart Notes:

  • Three songs are new to the top ten this week. Solo newcomer Charli XCX rises 14-10 with “Boom Clap”; it’s lifted from the soundtrack to The Fault In Our Stars. Leaping 13-8 is the newest single from the duo Train, titled “Angel In Blue Jeans”. “Angel” becomes the 14th top ten hit on my chart for the band since they arrived with in the fall of 1999 (and the 15th for leader Pat Monahan, who scored a #1 solo single in 2007 with “Her Eyes”.) Another chart mainstay, Maroon 5, advances 11-7 with “Maps”. It’s their 16th trek into the top ten in nearly eleven years.
  • After debuting two weeks ago at #38, Ed Sheeran‘s “Don’t” took a modest rise to #33, and this week, becomes the Biggest Mover on the countdown with a leap up to #24, a gain of nine notches. It’s also picking up pretty quickly at several radio formats. It’s the second single to chart from X; first release “Sing” recently peaked at #2 and now sits just outside the top ten.
  • This week’s Highest Debut is from the 25-year-old based singer and songwriter named Mary Lambert; she enters at #38 with “Secrets”. It’s taken from her forthcoming album Heart On My Sleeve, due in October. Back in 2010, it was OneRepublic who had another song called “Secrets” in the top 40, which ultimately peaked at #4. (Lambert’s single is not a remake, but perhaps it’ll climb just as high!)
  • At #39 is the week’s second debut, which becomes the fourth chart hit for the Australian sextet named Sheppard. The song is “Something’s Missing”, from their recent release Bombs Away. Though it’s not available in the U.S. as of yet, the set did debut at #2 on the ARIA charts. The band’s previous single, “Geronimo”, finds itself on Republic Records in the States after being picked up recently.

(See my full chart on the M4BCC message board)

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Up The Waterspout: Chart Hits On The Crawl

These hits have legs.

These hits have legs. (Kind of.)

What’s that creeping and crawling onto the airplay survey? Why, it’s “Black Widow” from rapper Iggy Azalea and singer Rita Ora, the second big hit from Azalea’s recent album The New Classic. A music video for the song is set to be released soon, and with a single cover looking straight out of Kill Bill, we’ll have the see if the big film influences the clip.

With the Azalea/Ora collaboration about to climb up the waterspout we call the national charts, at both radio and retail, it seems like the perfect time to take a trip into the animal kingdom and go from iPods to arthropods. They might’ve scared Little Miss Muffet, but don’t you be getting arachnophobia. These are just song titles! From the cobwebs to the charts, the  sound of spiders in music history:

“Spiders & Snakes”, Jim Stafford (#4 R&R / #3 Hot 100, 1974)
From 1973 until 1975, Stafford hit the top 40 with a series of comedic songs, six in total on Billboard. This was the biggest of them, a Gold certified record that was produced by another big pop artist, Lobo, and written by David Bellamy of The Bellamy Brothers. By 1976, the shtick that made him famous had worn thin to both a fading pop and country audience.

“Coming Around Again/Itsy Bitsy Spider”, Carly Simon (#22 R&R / #18 Hot 100, 1987)
Sometimes they’re listed together and sometimes they’re not, but you can find both tracks sharing the same melody in the film Heartburn and on Simon’s 1987 comeback album Coming Around Again. After a jump in label from Epic to Arista, it did the performer well; the single and album were her first top 40 entries in six years and her biggest sellers with the label.

“Spiderwebs”, No Doubt (#11 R&R / #18 Hot 100 Airplay, 1996)
1995’s Tragic Kingdom became a major breakout for this California band, and with one smash under their belts in “Just A Girl”, they returned for some more fun with this hit. Although not eligible to chart on the Billboard Hot 100 due to a lack of physical single, “Spiderwebs” gained both Alternative and CHR airplay, making it one of their most recognizable songs.

Other creepy crawlers on and up the Hot 100:
“Inky Dinky Spider (The Spider Song)”, The Kids Next Door (#84, 1965)
“The Red Back Spider”, Brownsville Station (#96, 1972)
“Spider Jiving”, Andy Fairweather Low (#87, 1975)
“Tarantula”, The Smashing Pumpkins (#54, 2007)

Of course, there’s always the band Spider if you need an extra shot that’s too cool for spool. With a handful of charters in the 80’s, they made the top 40 once in 1980 with “New Romance (It’s A Mystery)”.

Which act or song will you spin your web around? Let me know! Comment below or find me on social media by clicking the “Get Social!” tab above.

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Filed under Charts/Trade Papers

A Deeper Love: The House For House This Summer

Those great grooves out of Europe keep coming this summer as house music, aided by sampled compositions, continue to dominate the surveys. Credit it under as many sub-categories as you wish: deep house, electro house, handbag house, etc.: it’s whatever gets people onto the floor and swaying to the beat. Here are two more releases to check out, and they keep it “deep”, to the point that both are out the same week. How deep is their love? I really need to learn and so do you too. Here we are then:

It's always darkest before the Dawn.

It’s always darkest before the Dawn.

Label: 3 Beat/Spinnin’ / Release Date: August 11

Sometimes, it’s all about collaboration, and this one’s certainly got many layers to it. Holland-based producer Dawn mixes it up with the Netherlands duo on this single, sampling both Keyshia Cole‘s “Shoulda Let You Go” and an absolute dance classic, “Show Me Love” from Robin S. “Deep” may have been pushed back two weeks from in its initial July 28 date, but the hot track is already in the top 100 on Shazam in the U.K. and is looking forward to a lofty debut on the charts once it’s released in August. Some may say that it comes to soon after SecondCity‘s “I Wanna Feel”; less than two months ago, the song went onto the Singles Chart at #1 and was heavily based around a loop of Toni Braxton‘s “You’re Makin’ Me High”. However, this very much stands on its own, and the reaction thus far from both tagging and streaming of the music video is extremely encouraging. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that it just debuted on my personal chart this week. Be on the lookout for it.

He's got U.

He’s got U.

JAX JONES – “Go Deep”
Label: Blasé Boys Club / Release Date: August 11

If you’re familiar with Duke Dumont, then you probably know who Jones is. Earlier this year, he served as the featured guest and producer on a former U.K. #1 tune, “I Got U”. It also topped the U.S. based Hot Dance/Club Play chart in June. The vocalist on that and “Deep” is Kelli-Leigh Henry-Davila; she also performed the female lead on the aforementioned “I Wanna Feel” and provides background vocals on a track on Iggy Azalea‘s The New Classic. She’s certainly getting lots of attention, and when it comes to this latest release, I hope that momentum keeps on building. Sampling a piece of the 1998 single by Janet Jackson, also titled “Go Deep”, Jones’s single is a nice and chilled-out summer cut that’s ready for some serious action on the radio and in the clubs… at least in Europe. Given the familiarity of the names, this should start to lift off sooner rather than later. Meanwhile, you can catch Jones enjoying the sun and playing the occasional set over in Ibiza.

Once those two go head-to-head in a month’s time, which one will end up on top? Let me know! Comment below or click on the “Get Social!” tab above to find PGTC on Facebook and Twitter.

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Filed under Single Reviews

TURN IT UP TUESDAY: What’s New In Stores This Week (July 15)

Nobody does it "Better".

Nobody does it “Better”.

Summer is all about fun, and while you can’t have fun. this summer (at least when it comes to a brand new studio album), there’s plenty of great tunes to go around. Here’s what albums and singles are in stores for the week of July 15:

  • Currently standing at #2 on the Alternative chart with the single “I Wanna Get Better”, Bleachers, a new project from Jack Antonoff, is out with Strange Desire. Several other digital singles have been released from the set in the past few months. Though “Better” hasn’t accumulated much crossover play at the moment, both that Alternative audience and fans of the trio fun. should give the singer a solid first week, likely in the top five or so. (iTunes)
  • Keeping it mellow on a musical level, the latest effort from singer/songwriter Jason Mraz arrives in stores today. It’s simply titled Yes! Yes, that’s really the title. No, really, Yes! Yes? Okay. Now that we have that established, the first single from it, “Love Someone”, is currently at AAA and Hot AC radio. His last album in 2012 debuted at #1; this could do it with a lower total, but it’s hard to tell at this point. Top five is a given, however. (iTunes)
  • Their name is Rise Against, and rising is, indeed, their speciality… at least when it comes to the rock crowd. The band’s latest single, “I Don’t Want To Be Here Anymore”, is top ten on the Active Rock survey and just below there at Alternative radio. Their first album in three years is The Black Market, and in the music market, this will be the act’s fourth top ten album on the Billboard 200. Their previous effort went to #2. (iTunes)
  • On the “Run” and looking for her second solo success, former Floetry vocalist Marsha Ambrosius returns with Friends & Lovers. The single hasn’t been as well received on the Urban AC airwaves as her output from three years ago, but the singer still has a fan base that will come out for it. Look for it to be solidly in the top ten. (iTunes)
  • Looking for a wild card this week? Look no further than Mandatory Fun, another album from singer and parodist “Weird Al” Yankovic. This one features songs by acts like Iggy Azalea, Lorde and Pharrell all receiving the classic treatment. It’s sure to be good, but will he laugh all the way to the top? (iTunes)
  • Other releases out this week include: John Hiatt‘s Terms Of My Surrender (iTunes), Kidz Bop Kids‘s Kidz Bop 26 (iTunes), Morrissey‘s World Peace Is None Of Your Business (iTunes), Puss N Boots‘s No Fools, No Fun (iTunes), Suicide Silence‘s You Can’t Stop Me (iTunes) and Trampled By Turtles‘s Wild Animals (iTunes).

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

  • “Girl In A Country Song”, the first radio single from duo Maddie & Tae. (iTunes)
  • “Only Love Can Hurt Like This”, a recent top ten single in the U.K. from Paloma Faith. (iTunes)

Next week, time is of the essence as 5 Seconds Of Summer make their chart debut and a lofty one at that. Who else can beat the clock? A preview is coming in seven!

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Filed under Album Reviews, Music News