Tag Archives: Just Give Me A Reason

Adam’s Top 100 of 2013: #2, fun. – “Carry On”

They don't call 'em mellow yellow.

Bad to the cone. (Hey, #2 of the year is pretty sweet.)

First Chart Entry: “We Are Young” (#1 for two weeks, 2012)
Biggest Hit To Date: “Carry On” (#1 for eight weeks, 2012-3)

#1 for eight weeks, 34 weeks in the top 40

Chart Run:

In The Mix entry date: September 9, 2012
Top 40 debut: October 14, 2012
First week at #1: December 2, 2012

Music Video:

When three local acts decided to split, one member of each formed a trio, and in 2008, that new act became fun., consisting of Jack Antonoff, Andrew Dost and Nate Ruess. Even then, I bet they couldn’t have imagined what the last two years or so would’ve looked like for them, but they hit in a big way with huge hooks and a sound all their own. Their last of three #1’s in a row on my personal chart holds down the runner-up spot of my Top 100 of 2013.

“Carry On” was written by the three members and producer Jeff Bhasker, a song about persevering even when the moment is rough. Often compared to works by Guns N’ Roses and Queen for its anthemic feel and harder rock touch, it was a critical favorite and received much fan support both live and on sales and streaming. Thus, it was an easy choice to become the third single from Some Nights and did moderately well in territories like Canada and the U.S., where it went top 20. It also went top ten on several international airplay charts.

As seen above, “Carry On” entered into consideration for my chart on September 9 of last year, the same week that previous single “Some Nights” was spending its eighth and final frame at #1. As not to disrupt its run too quickly, “Carry” bubbled under my chart for about a month and then entered on October 14. It took just five weeks to go top ten and then hit #1 in its eighth week, also running a length of eight frames at the top. So, why is “Carry” their biggest hit when “Some” spent the same amount of time at #1? Well, “Carry” is farther ahead in points than “Some” ever totaled. “Carry” achieved a massive 21 weeks in the top ten and 29 in the top 20, which really built up its numbers.

I would also be remiss to not mention that the reason it had an extended run in the top 20 falling down the survey was, in part, due to the Boston Marathon bombings on April 15, a really sad and tragic day for all of this around this area. During the manhunt for the two suspects and into the aftermath of it all, one of the local stations played a custom mix of “Carry On” with audio clips of victims, police officers and other witnesses to the event. I guess it served as a message that we all could, indeed, carry on and be Boston Strong in the face of such a horrific day. We move forward, but we never forget.

I also don’t think I’ll forget the impact that this band had on me with their second album, Some Nights. With three #1 singles in a row and a fourth top ten hit, they had one of the best debut eras in my chart’s history. I’m not sure if we’ll see the band in action on the charts again in 2014 as member Jack Antonoff and his band Bleechers will be releasing their debut album on RCA Records in the new year. Although, if it’s early enough, I think a Q4 surprise from the trio may just be an explosive. Until then, I think they’re doing quite alright. Well done, Andrew, Jack and Nate. It’s been another fun. year in music with you.

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Adam’s Top 100 of 2013: #3, Pink featuring Nate Ruess (of fun.) – “Just Give Me A Reason”

Just give me a #1.

Just give me a #1.

First Chart Entry for Pink: “There You Go” (#2, 2000)
Biggest Hit To Date: “So What” (#1 for six weeks, 2008)

First Chart Entry for Nate Ruess: “We Are Young” (fun.) (#1 for two weeks, 2012)
Biggest Hit To Date: “Carry On” (fun.) (#1 for eight weeks, 2012-3)

#1 for five weeks, 27 weeks in the top 40

Music Video:

The famous painter and sculptor Leonardo di Vinci once said, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” I think that’s well-suited to this entry on the countdown, the biggest collaboration on my chart this year. Not only was it simple and elegant, but it was a real work of art, carefully crafted and executed for maximum consumption. Pink and Nate Ruess, you done good, kids.

The #3 song of the year, “Just Give Me A Reason”, was co-written by the two singers, as well as producer Jeff Bhasker, one of driving forces behind fun.‘s breakout in 2012 with their Some Nights album. Initially conceived as a solo song during a songwriting session, Pink ultimately decided that song was offering two perspectives rather than just a singular view on a relationship, and she got the band frontman to take the co-lead on the song. After a demo was well received, the duet made the singer’s album, and when it was released back in September of that year, it was one of the tracks that showed early signs of public demand from strong download sales. Several months later, it was show time, and what a show it put on on the global stage.

After a slower-paced single in “Try”, there were some initial questions as to whether a pure piano-based ballad like “Reason” was the right choice for the third single from The Truth About Love, but those fears were put to rest when the song had an immediate reaction at radio. You literally just couldn’t escape it at one point. Not only was it a multi-format #1, topping the AC, Hot AC and CHR surveys, but it also topped the Hot 100 for three weeks. On my chart, it reigned for five frames: four in March in addition to the first week of April. Internationally, the song went to #1 in over a dozen countries, including Australia, Canada, Italy, Sweden and The Netherlands. Needless to say, it was the biggest success overall during a wonderful era, one that will be well-remembered by both fans and critics alike.

Looking back on 2013, I’d say the results for Pink and Nate Ruess were both pretty reasonable. Both have two songs in the top ten and took over the top spot on my countdown with two separate singles during the chart year. One for Mr. Ruess is still yet to come on the chart, and considering there’s only two positions left, you’ll be seeing where it lands tomorrow. Until then, “Carry On” and wait for the update!

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“True” Twosomes: Doubling The Duets For Your Summer Playlist

Summer is all about catching up with friends and chilling out together, so why not tag team it up when it comes to music too? These are two high-profile collaborations that are sure to be all over the radio and your music player in the next few months. So, get your suntan lotion on and your board cleaned off because we’re about talk about what’s making waves in our musical ocean. Get ready to hang ten! Actually, just hang two. Surf’s up!

Flower power.

Flower power.

PINK featuring LILY ROSE COOPER (LILY ALLEN) – “True Love”
Release Date: TBD (Summer)

Coming off a #1 ballad with Nate Ruess of fun., “Just Give Me A Reason”, Pink is ready to get the summer started with her fourth single from The Truth About Love. Luckily, after two slower songs, her next release is an uptempo song, which just happens to be another collaboration. The choice is “True Love”, which features a middle section by the singer formerly known as Lily Allen, now being credited as Lily Rose Cooper after a marriage in 2011. Cooper was last seen on the charts here when her song “Who’d Have Known?” (from her second album, It’s Not Me, It’s You) was sampled in the T-Pain hit “5 O’Clock”, on which she is officially credited as a featured artist. It peaked at #10 on the Hot 100 early last year. She has yet to see one of her solo songs hit the top 40 nationally here, though several of her singles, including 2007’s “Smile” and 2009’s “The Fear”, have done slightly better on genre-specific radio charts. “True Love” doesn’t have a specific release date yet just because “Reason” is still ranking pretty highly in several countries, but the release has been confirmed by the label. Not only is it a great change of pace, but it’s perfect for the season, with a reggae-tinged beat and Pink‘s always edgy but meaningful lyrics (co-written with Greg Kurstin and Cooper) about a dysfunctional romance:  “At the same time, I wanna hug you/I wanna wrap my hands around your neck… I hate you, I really hate you/So much, I think it must be true love/No one else can break my heart like you.” Don’t be afraid to love this one; it’s one of the best on her album. Radio and retail should easily pick up on this one soon.

Be my, be my beanie.

Be my, be my beanie.

TAYLOR SWIFT featuring ED SHEERAN – “Everything Has Changed”
Release Date: June 24 (U.K.), Summer (U.S.)

Raise your hand if you didn’t see this one coming… no one? Okay. The two of them are on tour together and there’s bound to be relationship rumors swirling around them for a while, so let’s take it to the next step by releasing this song which they sing together, as well as co-wrote. “Everything Has Changed” is the fourth mainstream single to be released from Swift’s Red album, which has already shipped in excess of 4 million copies in the U.S. alone. (A Country-only single, “Begin Again, was released in-between.) It has a release date of June 24 in the United Kingdom, where “22” is officially falling down the charts after a #9 peak. It looks to have hit a brick wall here in the States as well, so they may as well just rush this out. Duet partner Sheeran earned a Grammy nod for his ballad “The A Team”, which became a decent-sized radio hit, and followup single “Lego House” is taking a slow ride up the charts as well. Chances are that this duet will probably cancel out that song when it’s released, so be prepared to put your legos back in the bucket. It’s a noticeable change from the more polished-up pop product she’s been putting out lately, and thankfully this single, unlike her last two, doesn’t deal with Swift falling head over heels over some guy who looks “like bad news” or leaves her “lying on the cold hard ground”. Nope, this time both boy and girl think about each other and want to spend time together, despite their nerves. The two sing, “You’ll be mine and I’ll be yours/All I know since yesterday is everything has changed.” Sounds like things have changed for the good; hope that amounts to good results on the charts.

Don’t forget to look out for new collaborations between Jennifer Lopez and Pitbull and Mariah Carey and Miguel, both debuting next week! These new songs are coming fast, so don’t be surprised if you see a few posts pop up about them all.

Which song do you like better, “True Love” or “Everything Has Changed”? Are you in love with change and can’t choose? Let me know! Comment below or find me on Twitter: @AdamFSoybel.

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SINGLE REVIEWS: The Latest From The Greatest

Power to the "People".

Power to the “People”.

Looks like Quarter One is in full swing for the music biz, at least when it comes to the mainstream releases. The big names are starting to come out with the next singles from their current projects, so be on the lookout for these three songs to be playing on a station near you shortly.

BRUNO MARS – “When I Was Your Man”
Though a video has been filmed for album track “Young Girls”, “Man” is officially the second radio single from Unorthodox Jukebox, which recently hit the runner-up position on the Albums Chart. Lead single “Locked Out Of Heaven” topped the Hot 100 and is still currently seated there. This song is a complete 180 from those Police vibes we were getting from “Heaven”. It’s a pure pop ballad that may have easily been a big single in the early 90’s with the male protagonist gushing about how he would’ve kept his love if only he did something more and how he misses her so. (First thing I thought of sonically was Billy Joel’s “And So It Goes”.) Mars states that he should have taken his girl to “every party ’cause all you wanted to do was dance / Now my baby is dancing, but she’s dancing with another man.” It’s not like the sentiment is anything new, but the way Mars conveys it can’t help but make you pity the guy. He’s reminded of her when he turns on the radio, goes to sleep at night, etc. He blew it and he’ll never get her back, but he does wish that her new man can completely fill the void that he would’ve fit into. Ballads are still hit or miss at CHR radio, although there are a few that are doing well now. Mars is a big enough name at this point to get decent airplay with whatever he releases, but it may take a slight radio remixing to get any sort of spins at the more Rhythmic-inclined stations. Unfortunately, the song just doesn’t really go anywhere. It’s strong, but it just feels too safe for him, even when he’s belting out the middle 8. Is it a mistake to release it? Probably not. It just may be subjected to a slower rise that many of his other singles, but like those big top 5 hits, this one should eventually get there with a little bit of time.

KELLY CLARKSON – “People Like Us”
Clarkson’s “Catch My Breath” is still building on the radio, but her second mainstream release from Greatest Hits: Chapter One is another electro-pop anthem ready to take the charts by storm, “People Like Us”. Much like her #1 hit “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)”, this is another “rally the troops” moment for Clarkson, but on a much wider scale than before. She appeals to the loners, the misfits and everybody who doesn’t neatly fit in to society’s expectations and labels. She sings, “People like us, we’ve gotta stick together / Keep your head up, nothing lasts forever.” Even when we are at the lowest of our low and knocked down, we rebel and take a stand when we “throw [our] fists in the air”, taunting our enemies to “come out if you dare.” It’s a pretty powerful message, especially at a time when our society is exposed to an increased reporting in bullying cases. “People” is a cry to stop the inequality and unjustified actions of those who initiate the evil and bring everyone together to spread the love. Plus, you can dance to it; not to over-simplify it to that extent, but look at all the 80’s new wave acts with loaded electronic tunes that people could still get up and shuffle to. It’s obviously current enough sounding to do well on the radio; question is, how much of a push will it get? It’s from a compilation album, and I’m sure Clarkson is already recording for her next studio album. I guess we’ll see. I’m on board for it, but just cut out the cheesy intro; people are going to automatically compare it to Lady Gaga‘s “Born This Way”. They’re two separate songs and let them be that way. (Clarkson’s tune is way better in this blogger’s humble opinion, but as always, that’s subjective.)

PINK featuring NATE REUSS (of FUN.) – “Just Give Me A Reason”
Pink‘s been having a great era with her album The Truth About Love, which has already produced two huge singles: “Blow Me (One Last Kiss)” and “Try”. The third release won’t likely be released in the States until the late Spring, but the singer has stated in at least one interview that it is “Just Give Me A Reason”, a duet with Nate Reuss, the lead singer of the band fun. and formerly of The Format. This is another slow song like the latest offering from Mars, but this was actually picks up with the help of a percussive drum machine line added about 50 seconds into it. It’s your typical work from Jeff Bhasker, which I guess doesn’t make it distinct, but it helps greatly in this case. It still needs a little more oomph to it, but I’m sure the single edit of it will remedy that. The lyrics tell of a couple who are at a crossroads in their relationship: the female is a “willing victim” of a stolen heart but is now fed up with the male, who should tell her that he’s “had enough of our love.” He, in turn, thinks that their problems have all been a misunderstanding and that she’s the real issue for distancing herself from the relationship: she “used to lie so close” to him. They come to the agreement that their love has had its share of faults, and even though it isn’t functioning as well as it did before, they can agree to disagree and “carry on” with their love. It would be a real shame if this tanks, but both artists have the track record to make it a hit, and I can see a late spring/early summer top 5 placing coming out of it should the labels play their cards right. It’s a little bit old-fashioned for CHR radio, but perhaps the survey can continue to skew towards a little older audience in 2013 with all these similar tempo numbers getting a commercial release.

Do you have a favorite of these three releases? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter: @AdamFSoybel. Plus, don’t forget to subscribe to the blog to get the latest on the new big singles out there!

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