Forgot those April showers! From raining to reigning, a new crop of releases are already popping up like flowers on the release schedule. As we tend to the garden of sunny single choices, here are some picks from the pack that will be sprouting all summer long.
CLASSIFIED featuring DAVID MYLES – “Inner Ninja”
Label: Atlantic Records / Adds Date: April 2 (CHR)
Someone’s ready to kung-fu fight to the top. The 35-year-old Nova Scotia native has been charting in his Canada for the past four years, though he’s been recording independently since the mid-90’s. His biggest era by far has been his most recent one. Back in February, his self-titled album debuted at #1 in Canada, and this second single from the album made the top 5 on the Canadian Hot 100. However, here’s the big problem as Atlantic Records tries to take him down south. You’ll likely notice that a lot of Canadian rappers haven’t made it to the U.S. successfully, regardless of age or race. Yes, there’s Drake, who went from mixtapes to millionaire, but someone like Kardinal Offishall only had one big hit here and it was because of Akon. Dare I go back to the days of Snow and “Informer”? So, this puts him at a disadvantage as an act with his first release ever here. However, the only reason this is probably getting issued in the first place is because of a certain rap/sung novelty single that recently went to #1 here. Yes, I’m talking about “Thrift Shop” by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. “Ninja” isn’t exactly a comedic song in that sense, but it is playful. It has a message behind it about defending yourself and standing your ground, but it’s done in a lighter sense, with whistles and children and a nice video to boot. Plus, if I wanted to hear a totally serious song related to fighting and ninjas, I’d rather turn to Peter Cetera. It has a pop sensibility, especially with a catchy chorus by Myles, rather than a hip-hop one, so I hope it succeeds at mainstream radio. A digital single was released two weeks ago.
CHRIS WALLACE – “Keep Me Crazy”
Label: THINKSAY Records / Adds Date: April 23 (CHR)
For those of us who heard Wallace’s debut single, “Remember When (Push Rewind)”, starting last summer, this second release has been a long time coming. It was the first ever release promoted by his label, THINKSAY Records, and while there was some indication in September that they would be pulling the single in favor “Crazy”, they ended up sticking with the song, slowly picking up big adds that eventually led to an impressive run of 28 weeks on Mediabase’s CHR chart. Furthermore, the song never went beyond a #24 peak. Now, here I was thinking that they were gunning for a record that’s been held by Edwin McCain for about fifteen years now. You may recall that in 1998, it took him 32 weeks to hit the CHR top ten with his classic “I’ll Be”. Well, that didn’t happen with Wallace this time around, but watch out – maybe it’ll happen this time around. (Please don’t.) “Crazy” is another solid tune from the singer who turns 28 on Friday, co-written with Matt Radosevich and Mick Coogan. While “Remember” leaned more dance, “Crazy” fits more nicely into the Andy Grammer/Hot Chelle Rae/(insert quirky pop-rock artist here) category, which makes sense given to co-writers since they’ve also worked with those acts. It’s a cute song about a girl who has her flaws and is maybe a little bipolar, but she keeps her fellow just a bit frenetic. It’s perfect for the summer drive or pool party… even if it doesn’t peak until Thanksgiving. Better jump on board the train now. Wallace’s album, Push Rewind, is out digitally now, where both an album and acoustic version appear. No word on a physical release.
JUSTICE CREW – “Boom Boom”
Label: Mr. 305/RCA Records / Adds Date: April 23 (CHR)
Here’s one of the first big acts to get a chance in the United States after winning a major music competition in Australia. They won the fourth season of Australia’s Got Talent in the summer of 2010. The group was once a nine-piece act (see above) and released three singles in Australia which became low and mid-charters in 2010 and 2011. Even Flo Rida couldn’t help them get a hit. After a few exits in 2011, the Crew is now down to seven members, not that it really makes a difference when you’re trying to remember their names, but it has helped them on the charts. This single went to #1 in Australia back in August of last year, and a followup single, “Best Night”, also made the top ten there. Rapper Pitbull saw a lot of potential in the group and said “Dale! Oye amigos, come over to Los Estados Unidos,” and signed them to his Mr. 305 Inc. label via RCA Records, who will be promoting them here in the U.S. this summer. (He didn’t actually say that, but he could’ve.) Something tells me we may be seeing a remix with him if the song starts stalling out. However, it’s a pretty hot song that fits in with all the urban-sounding stuff on the air today. It’ll probably do well, especially given the big backing from the start. There’s nothing really interesting lyrically, except for maybe a cringeworthy line or two about a girl who is looking “airplane fly up on cloud nine”. However, if you’re a teenage girl, you’re bound to find at least one of them attractive. They’re already started a promotional tour at radio here, hitting several major cities. Get ready to “boom boom” this one out of your car stereo.
Which song do you think will perform the best on the radio and the Hot 100? Let me know! Leave a comment below or contact me on Twitter: @AdamFSoybel.