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ADAM’S TOP 40 FLASHBACK: April 22, 2012

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The dream “Team”.

It’s the start of another weekend, which means it’s time for another trip back into the archives on Adam’s Top 40 Flashback! Every Saturday, the day before my latest top 40 goes up for the week, I feature the highlights of a past countdown. They’re all here — the hit songs, the songs that flopped, and the songs that may be a little embarrassing to reflect on.

This week, we stroll back seven years and find out what was topping my chart for the week of April 22, 2012…

Debuts:
40. GROUPLOVE, “Tongue Tied”
39. SCISSOR SISTERS, “Only The Horses”
37. DELTA GOODREM, “Sitting On Top Of The World”
28. MAROON 5, “Payphone”

Biggest Mover(s):
(see #8 below)

10. GRAFFITI6, “Free” (steady, third week)
Album: Colours (2012, Capitol Records)
Peak: #1 for four weeks

09. KELLY CLARKSON, “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)” (down 2)
Album: Stronger (2011, 19/RCA Records)
Peak: #2 for four weeks

08. KEANE, “Silenced By The Night” (up 6)
Album: Strangeland (2012, Cherrytree/Interscope Records)
Peak: #1 for four weeks

07. OLLY MURS, “Oh My Goodness” (up 1)
Album: Right Place Right Time (2013, Columbia Records)
Peak: #7

06. KATY PERRY, “Part Of Me” (steady, second week)
Album: Teenage Dream: The Complete Confection (2012, Capitol Records)
Peak: #5

05. THE SCRIPT, “If You Ever Come Back” (steady, second week)
Album: Science & Faith (2011, Epic Records)
Peak: #4 for two weeks

04. GOTYE featuring KIMBRA, “Somebody That I Used To Know” (down 1)
Album: Making Mirrors (2012, Fairfax/Universal Republic Records)
Peak: #1 for seven weeks

03. TRAIN, “Drive By” (down 2)
Album: California 37 (2012, Columbia Records)
Peak: #1 for three weeks

02. FUN. featuring JANELLE MONÁE, “We Are Young” (up 2)
Album: Some Nights (2012, Fueled By Ramen/Atlantic Records)
Peak: #1 for two weeks

01. ED SHEERAN, “The A Team” (up 1)
Album: + (2012, Asylum/Atlantic Records)
Peak: #1 for one week

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.

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ADAM’S TOP 40 FLASHBACK: January 29, 2012

Headed for number “One”.

It’s the start of another weekend, which means it’s time for another trip back into the archives on Adam’s Top 40 Flashback! Every Saturday, the day before my latest top 40 goes up for the week, I feature the highlights of a past countdown. They’re all here — the hit songs, the songs that flopped, and the songs that may be a little embarrassing to reflect on.

This week, we stroll back seven years and find out what was topping my chart for the week of January 29, 2012…

Debuts:
40. O.A.R., “Gotta Be W
rong Sometimes”
39. THE ALL-AMERICAN REJECTS, “Beekeeper’s Daughter”
38. MATT CARDLE, “Amazing”
35. BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN, “We Take Care Of Our Own”

Biggest Mover(s):
NICKELBACK, “Lullaby” (29-20, nine spots)

10. THE FRAY, “Heartbeat” (down 2)
Album: Scars & Stories (2012, Epic Records)
Peak: #5 for five weeks

09. CHRISTINA PERRI, “A Thousand Years” (steady, third week)
Album: The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) (2011, Chop Shop/Atlantic Records)
Peak: #9 for three weeks

08. KATY PERRY, “The One That Got Away” (down 2)
Album: Teenage Dream (2010, Capitol Records)
Peak: #1 for two weeks

07. COLDPLAY, “Paradise” (down 2)
Album: Mylo Xyloto (2011, Capitol Records)
Peak: #1 for four weeks

06. GOTYE featuring KIMBRA, “Somebody That I Used To Know” (up 5)
Album: Making Mirrors (2012, Fairfax/Universal Republic Records)
Peak: #1 for seven weeks

05. KELLY CLARKSON, “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)” (up 2)
Album: Stronger (2011, 19/RCA Records)
Peak: #2 for four weeks

04. ANDY GRAMMER, “Fine By Me” (steady, second week)
Album: Andy Grammer (2011, S-Curve Records)
Peak: #4 for two weeks

03. OLLY MURS, “Dance With Me Tonight” (steady, second week)
Album: In Case You Didn’t Know (2011, Syco U.K./Epic Records)
Peak: #3 for three weeks

02. GRAFFITI6, “Free” (down 1)
Album: Colours (2012, Capitol Records)
Peak: #1 for four weeks

01. ADELE, “Set Fire To The Rain” (up 1)
Album: 21 (2011, XL/Columbia Records)
Peak: #1 for three weeks

Check back next Saturday for another Adam’s Top 40 Flashback countdown 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.

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NEW MUSIC FRIDAY: Releases For The Week of April 20, 2018

The Cole wide world is listening.

As the second weekend of Coachella gets closer, make the most of this massive musical madness before you reach the festival. Here are the albums and singles you need to check out on digital services and in stores this Friday:

J. COLE – KOD (iTunes)
With his first album since 4 Your Eyez Only, which topped the Billboard 200 in December 2016, the popular hip-hop performer should get his fifth #1 title next week, with a very healthy boost from streaming-equivalent units. No radio single has been announced as of yet, but its cuts should receive quite a few spins at Rhythmic and Urban radio over the weekend, as well as plenty of playlist love.

Notable albums out this week: A Perfect Circle‘s Eat The Elephant (iTunes), Ashley Monroe‘s Sparrow (iTunes), Bishop Briggs‘s Church Of Scars (iTunes), Black Stone Cherry‘s Family Tree (iTunes), Brothers Osborne‘s Port Saint Joe (iTunes), Donovan Woods‘s Both Ways (iTunes), Kimbra‘s Primal Heart (iTunes), Lord Huron‘s Vide Noir (iTunes), Sting & Shaggy‘s 44/876 (iTunes), Stryper‘s God Damn Evil (iTunes), Upchurch‘s Creeker (iTunes)

Notable EPs out this week: Bad Wolves‘s False Flags, Vol. 2 (iTunes), PRETTYMUCH‘s PRETTYMUCH (iTunes), Sasha Sloan‘s Sad Girl (iTunes), Seeb’s Nice To Meet You (iTunes)

New digital singles that you can buy this week include:
“2002”, Anne-Marie (iTunes)
“Alone (Calvin Harris Remix)”, Halsey featuring Stefflon Don (iTunes)
“Basement”, Russ & Jessie Reyez (iTunes)
“Best Friend”, A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie featuring Tory Lanez (iTunes)
“Better Off”, Jeremy Zucker & Chelsea Cutler (iTunes)
“Better Off Alone”, Ryan Pulford (iTunes)
“Beyond”, Leon Bridges (iTunes)
“Can’t Do It Alone”, Peter Wise & Tiger Darrow (iTunes)
“Chasing Fire (Robin Schulz Remix)”, Lauv (iTunes)
“Control”, Lemaitre with Jerry Folk (iTunes)
“End Of Time”, Johnny Stimson (iTunes)
“Familiar”, Liam Payne & J Balvin (iTunes)
“Fix Me Up”, Matthew Young (iTunes)
“Game Over”, Martin Garrix & LOOPERS (iTunes)
“Good Boys”, Josie Dunne (iTunes)
“Hair Too Long”, The Vamps (iTunes)
“Hands On Me”, BURNS featuring Maluma & Rae Sremmurd (iTunes)
“I Like That”, Janelle Monáe (iTunes)
“I Love You (All The Way)”, Luke Elliot (iTunes)
“Let Her Go”, Family Of The Year (iTunes)
“Little Victories”, Malia Civetz (iTunes)
“Lovely”, Billie Eilish & Khalid (iTunes)
“LY4L”, Katelyn Tarver (iTunes)
“Mind Eraser”, CRUISR (iTunes)
“Need You Right Now”, HEDEGAARD featuring Hayley Warner (iTunes)
“Nightclub Love”, Matt Maltese (iTunes)
“No Tears Left To Cry”, Ariana Grande (iTunes)
“One”, VHS Collection (iTunes)
“OTW”, Khalid, 6LACK and Ty Dolla $ign (iTunes)
“Over You (Acoustic)”, Marc Scibilia (iTunes)
“Palace”, Cam (iTunes)
“Perdido”, Poo Bear & J Balvin (iTunes)
“Pink Lemonade (Acoustic)”, James Bay (iTunes)
“Push And Pull”, Hey Monea (iTunes)
“Queendom”, AURORA (iTunes)
“Rule The World”, ZAYDE WØLF (iTunes)
“Sin Pijama”, Becky G & Natti Natasha (iTunes)
“Somebody”, The Chainsmokers featuring Drew Love (iTunes)
“Something True”, Jon Lemmon (iTunes)
“Stay With Me”, Jack & Jack (iTunes)
“Tip Pon It”, Sean Paul & Major Lazer (iTunes)
“Too Fat”, Sage The Gemini featuring Trina (iTunes)
“Trust Fund Baby (Acoustic)”, Why Don’t We (iTunes)
“Two Shots (Acoustic)”, Goody Grace (iTunes)
“When I Grow Up”, Confetti (iTunes)
“Who’s Up”, LunchMoney Lewis (iTunes)
“Winnebago”, Gryffin featuring Quinn XCII & Daniel Wilson (iTunes)

Next week: look out for new albums from Janelle Monáe, Post Malone and more. For Adam’s personal picks of the week, listen to the PGTC Friday Faves list on Spotify!

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ADAM’S TOP 40 FLASHBACK: April 1, 2012

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The jams you “used to know.”

It is time for yet another trip back into the archives on Adam’s Top 40 Flashback! Every Saturday, the day before my latest 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. Alright, let’s get a move on back to a few weeks before my college graduation and take a look at my favorite songs from this week in 2012…

Debuts:
40. GAVIN DEGRAW, “Sweeter”
39. EMELI SANDÉ, “Next To Me”

Biggest Mover(s):
DANIEL POWTER, “Cupid” (37-28, nine spots)

10. ADELE, “Set Fire To The Rain” (down 2)
Album: 21 (2011, XL/Columbia Records)
Peak: #1 for three weeks

09. GRAFFITI6, “Free” (down 3)
Album: Colours (2012, Capitol Records)
Peak: #1 for four weeks

08. FUN. featuring JANELLE MONÁE, “We Are Young” (up 3)
Album: Some Nights (2012, Fueled By Ramen/Atlantic Records)
Peak: #1 for two weeks

07. ONE DIRECTION, “One Thing” (down 2)
Album: Up All Night (2012 – U.S. release, Columbia Records)
Peak: #5

06. KATY PERRY, “Part Of Me” (up 3)
Album: Teenage Dream: The Complete Confection (2012, Capitol Records)
Peak: #5

05. THE SCRIPT, “If You Ever Come Back” (up 2)
Album: Science & Faith (2011 – U.S. release, Epic Records)
Peak: #4 for two weeks

04. ED SHEERAN, “The A Team” (steady, third week)
Album: + (2012 – U.S. release, Asylum/Atlantic Records)
Peak: #1 for one week

03. KELLY CLARKSON, “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)” (steady, third week)
Album: Stronger (2011, 19/RCA Records)
Peak: #2 for four weeks

02. GOTYE featuring KIMBRA, “Somebody That I Used To Know” (down 1)
Album: Making Mirrors (2012 – U.S. release, Universal Republic Records)
Peak: #1 for seven weeks

01. TRAIN, “Drive By” (up 1)
Album: California 37 (2012, Columbia Records)
Peak: #1 for three weeks

Check back next Saturday for another Adam’s Top 40 Flashback countdown 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.

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TURN IT UP TUESDAY: What’s New In Stores This Week (August 19)

Back in Blacc.

Back in Blacc.

This week’s schedule is all about “dem boyz”, from rap superstars to country folk and everything in between. Here’s what albums and singles are in stores for the week of August 19:

  • Currently on the Urban survey with the singles “We Dem Boyz” and followup “You And Your Friends”, rapper Wiz Khalifa huffs and puffs into stores with his newest album, Blacc Hollywood. It’s his first studio effort in a year and a half. That set, O.N.I.F.C., debuted and peaked at #2, but this one, looks like it has a chance to become his first #1 on the Billboard 200. We’ll see! (iTunes)
  • Former reality show contestant and now Country act Chase Rice goes for the Bro on his first major label release, Ignite The Night. It features “Ready Set Roll”, which is edging closer to the top ten at the radio format. Given the size of his fan base, this will probably debut somewhere in the top ten (or top five with the slow competition as it is.) (iTunes)
  • The legendary Smokey Robinson is back with some pals on Smokey & Friends, a duets album full of remakes of tunes that Robinson had a hand in, whether writing, producing or singing on. Elton John and John Legend are just two acts that feature on it. This should also break into the top ten given the older audience appeal. (iTunes)
  • If you’re a fan of the band Mötley Crüe, you’ll want to check out Nashville Outlaws – A Tribute to Mötley Crüe, a compilation of Country artists like Darius Rucker and Rascal Flatts doing their takes on the classics. A cover of “Home Sweet Home” by Justin Moore is currently on the Country chart. (iTunes)
  • Other releases out this week include: Buckcherry‘s F–k (EP) (iTunes), Colton Dixon‘s Anchor (iTunes), Dr. John‘s Ske-Dat-De-Dat… The Spirit Of Satch (iTunes), DragonForce‘s Maximum Overload (iTunes), Imogen Heap‘s Sparks (iTunes), Joel Crouse‘s Even The River Runs (iTunes), Kimbra‘s The Golden Echo (iTunes) and the K. Michelle soundtrack to VH1’s Rebellious Soul – The Musical (iTunes).

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

  • “Edge Of A Revolution”, the latest from rockers Nickelback. (iTunes)
  • “Homegrown Honey”, leading off the latest album by Darius Rucker. (iTunes)
  • “Neon Light”, a new single from Country star Blake Shelton. (iTunes)
  • “Shake It Off”, a hot new single from Taylor Swift. (iTunes)

Petite pop powerhouse Ariana Grande comes back in a grande way with My Everything next week, but how will others like Brad Paisley and Kem rank in the race? A full preview is coming in seven!

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ADAM’S TOP 40 FLASHBACK: March 25, 2012

They're on each other's "Team".

They’re on each other’s “Team”.

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. The idea of graduating from college was all too real at this point during Senior Year. It was one crazy time. Meanwhile, here’s what was happening on my chart dated March 25, 2012:

Debuts:
40. THE FRAY, “Run For Your Life”
39. COLBIE CAILLAT (featuring COMMON), “Favorite Song”
37. DANIEL POWTER, “Cupid”
35. CARLY RAE JEPSEN, “Call Me Maybe”

Biggest Mover:
GRAFFITI6, “Stare Into The Sun” (36-28) (8 spots)

10. ADAM LAMBERT, “Better Than I Know Myself”
Nowadays, you might call him Starchild, the nickname of his character on the FOX show Glee. However, in the spring of 2012, Lambert was in the middle of promoting his album Trespassing. “Better” peaked for two weeks at #8, his third top ten single on my chart. During the summer, he’ll be touring with Queen and then releasing his third album later in 2014.

09. KATY PERRY, “Part Of Me”
Originally written and recorded in 2010 for the album Teenage Dream, the finalized version of “Part” (with an alteration in both lyrics and production) didn’t see a release until early 2012 when the album was rereleased. It entered at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 thanks to strong digital sales and a pretty large airplay debut. She still tops the charts two years later.

08. ADELE, “Set Fire To The Rain”
From her sophomore album 21, you know this song well and yes, you can actually produce a flame in rain. It just takes a little bit of chemistry. No demonstrations, please. What this song was demonstrating, however, was mighty chart muscle. “Set” was the third #1 in a row from that album following “Rolling In The Deep” and “Someone Like You”. That’s too hot.

07. THE SCRIPT, “If You Ever Come Back”
Released as the third single from Science & Faith, “Back” became the fifth top 5 single in a row for this Irish trio, going as high as #4. It wasn’t nearly as successful on any national charts and was only released in a handful of countries. Several months later, the group would return to the #1 spot for four frames with “Hall Of Fame”, a collaboration with will.i.am.

06. GRAFFITI6, “Free”
Not only did the duo of Jamie Scott and Tommy Danvers have the week’s Biggest Mover with “Sun”, but they were also working their way down the top ten with their former #1. “Free” spent four weeks at the top and became my top single of 2012. Though a new album from the two has yet to be released, Scott is previewing material from a new solo project live.

05. ONE DIRECTION, “One Thing”
After the ballad “Gotta Be You” just missed making my top ten during the fall of 2011, the five guys from London headed in a, well, different Direction. The energetic and fun “Thing” was at its peak on my chart a few weeks before it started to build on U.S. radio. The quintet is currently on my survey with two songs, “Story Of My Life” and “Midnight Memories”.

04. ED SHEERAN, “The A Team”
Holding in place at #4 for a second week was the debut hit for Sheeran, whose song peaked at #3 the previous summer in the United Kingdom. “Team” would spend a week at #1 in April and earned him a nomination for Song Of The Year at the GRAMMY Awards. The performer returns with a second album later this year. Look for a new single in about two weeks.

03. KELLY CLARKSON, “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)”
Here’s one of the top singles to reach my chart from the former American Idol winner. She’s gone to the top three times, but unfortunately, “Stronger” got stuck at #2 for four weeks behind an even stronger #1. It was very close. The singer’s been back into the top ten two times since this song, going to #9 with “Catch My Breath” and to #6 with “People Like Us”.

02. TRAIN, “Drive By”
The Save Me, San Francisco did wonders for this trio, responsible for four consecutive top ten singles on my chart. Two years ago, they followed it up with California 37, and “Drive” took the highway to #1 for three weeks. All in all, this era also landed four songs in the top ten, and it sets up the band particularly well for whatever is next. Looking forward to it!

01. GOTYE featuring KIMBRA, “Somebody That I Used To Know”
It was the biggest duet of 2012 and with sales of 7.5 million copies in the U.S. alone, it also ranks as one of the top-selling hits of all-time. Who knew a simple song from Australia would travel around the world and strike it so big? Thankfully, it was an awesome tune, and it spent seven weeks at #1 on my personal chart. Both acts have made my top 40 since this fell off the chart: the former rose to #7 for three weeks with “Eyes Wide Open” and the latter got to #30 with “Settle Down”.

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.

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Keepin’ It Kiwi: Poppin’ Over The Pacific Ocean

Well, well, Wellington.

Well, well, Wellington.

It’s bigger than she ever dreamed, and she’s in love with being queen. You know I’m talking about “Royals”, the current #3 on the Hot 100 from singer Lorde. If she makes it to the top of that chart, she could become only the second act from New Zealand to hit #1 in the U.S. and the first as a main-credited artist; this, while she’s only 16 years old. It’s quite the accomplishment and perhaps a sign of encouragement to other artists from the country to try their material out here. For now, here are some of the notable singers and bands to break in America and the Hot 100 from that land so far away:

CROWDED HOUSE / SPLIT ENZ
New Zealander Neil Finn first made the American charts as a member of the group Split Enz, based out of Auckland, who reached #53 with “I Got You” in 1980. They parted ways by 1984.

Later, Finn led the Australian-formed group Crowded House, who charted a few years afterward. The trio’s biggest single was the classic “Don’t Dream It’s Over”, which spent a week at #2 on the Hot 100 in April 1987. Followup single “Something So Strong” landed at #7 in the summer, and after three other minor entries from through 1991, they failed to break the big chart. They last released an album in 2010.

DANIEL BEDINGFIELD
Bedingfield was born in Auckland before moving to England with his family at age 3. Two of his songs did particularly well here: the dance anthem “Gotta Get Thru This”, which went to #10, and the ballad “If You’re Not The One”, which peaked at #15. Both were bigger on individual radio surveys. His second album was never released here. He appeared as a judge on The X Factor: New Zealand earlier this year.

KEITH URBAN
Urban was born in the town of Whangarei but was later raised in Australia. After a few minor Country chart entries with a trio called The Ranch in 1997, he trekked out on his own in 1999 and hasn’t looked back since. Over two dozen top 40 singles later, 13 of which went to #1, he’s one of the top-selling acts in Country music today. His biggest thus far on the Hot 100 is 2009’s “Kiss A Girl”, which peaked at #16.

KIMBRA
The 23-year-old singer born in Hamilton also plays guitar and tambourine. She has only reached the U.S. charts as a featured act on Gotye‘s monster ballad, “Somebody That I Used To Know”. It totaled eight weeks at #1 and also ranked as the #1 song of last year. Her own solo single, “Settle Down”, saw some limited airplay here, but nothing substantial. Neither act has reached the Hot 100 since their duet.

OMC
The duo from Ōtara went from regional success to international buzz with “How Bizarre”, which hit the top ten in several countries. Due to a lack of CD single in the U.S., which was required to chart on the Hot 100 then, it only ranked on the radio surveys, going to #4 on the Hot 100 Airplay chart. They are a one-hit wonder outside of New Zealand. Lead singer Pauly Fuemana passed away in 2010 at age 40.

SAVAGE
Here’s the most obscure act on the list, but obscure as he is, he did go Platinum. His only single to chart so far was a remixed version of his song “Swing”, with added rapper Soulja Boy who was hot at the time. It peaked at #45 in the fall. Thus far, he’s the only rapper from New Zealand to ever make the U.S. charts. He’s managed to score a few other big singles down under, but nothing has reached our shores.

Other acts from New Zealand to release here but fail to make it outside the airplay charts include Gin Wigmore, Steriogram and The Naked And Famous, who have an active single on the Alternative chart this week with “Hearts Like Ours”. We’ll see how far it goes. For now, if there’s an act that I didn’t mention or you want to let me know who your favorite artist is on this list, comment below or click the “Get Social!” tab to find PGTC on social media.

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PROFILE: Will Passenger “Go” On To The U.S.?

Driving his way around the world.

Driving his way around the world.

Seems like for at least the past few years, we’ve always had an international solo act that writes and sings their own material and dominates the charts with a breakup anthem that you just can’t escape. In 2011, it was Adele‘s “Rolling In The Deep”. In 2012, it was Gotye‘s duet with Kimbra, “Somebody That I Used To Know”. Both sold bucket loads and won awards for their compositions, even if each act didn’t have the same level of success after their signature songs. While we have acts like Ed Sheeran and Emeli Sandé climbing the national surveys today, I’m inclined to think that there may be another act in the wings waiting to breakout and attain that same level of success. With that, let me introduce you to the singer and song that may do it: Passenger and his international hit, “Let Her Go”.

Passenger is a one-man band, 28-year-old British singer-songwriter Mike Rosenberg. He started performing at age 16. Rosenberg previously fronted a band baring the same name that broke up in 2009, and he decided to carry the name with him as he began his solo career that same year. His first albums came and went with little notice, but it’s his third album, All The Little Lights, that seems to have everyone interested him. (It’s been out in the U.S. since late August of last year via Nettwerk Records.) A first single, “The Wrong Direction”, didn’t chart in any territory, but his second release, the aforementioned “Go”, became a major hit in Europe beginning in the summer of 2012. It’s already gone to #1 in Austria, Sweden and The Netherlands and now it’s securely at #1 on iTunes in Australia, which will likely take it to the top of the ARIA Singles Chart there. (UPDATE: It rose 23-2 in its second week on the chart, but is still #1 on iTunes.) In total, it’s charted in over a dozen countries so far, most within the top ten. His album has also been a top ten seller in countries like Germany and Ireland. He recently toured in Australia and New Zealand as the opening act for Ed Sheeran and is now on his own headlining tour in the same region. How fast those things seem to grow.

As for the song itself, it’s a really pretty one. It has a minimal arrangement, at times entirely a capella, but is still commercial sounding in its own way. What really drives the song is that Rosenberg has a really distinctive voice, one that would especially stand out here, but in a good sense. It sort of reminds me of a mix of Ben Howard and Paolo Nutini, both of whom have had some degree of success here. It’s one of those songs you just want to listen to if you’re feeling down and can’t shake the memories of an old flame. In fact, that’s reflected in the lyrics pretty elegantly: “You see her when you fall asleep/But never to touch and never to keep.” As the expression goes, you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone. You realize that you need some essential quality, but it doesn’t happen until after it’s gone. He can put it better than I can: “You only need the light when it’s burning low/Only miss the sun when it starts to snow/Only know you love her when you let her go.” It’s a song that can touch a lot of people, like “Rolling” and “Somebody” did during their respective years in the spotlights. Watch out for Passenger to fill that void at some point.

So, what happens from here? It may be that the sudden sales in Australia translates into Nettwerk promoting “Go” to both Canada and the United States later this spring. It could be longer. It’s currently being considered for only Triple A radio here, but that could easily be expanded. Regardless of what it happens, it will happen, and then maybe you’ll be tired of it by the 200th time you hear it on the radio. For now, it’s a fresh sound that may be the next to pop on the mainstream circuit. You may “let her go”, but don’t let this one do the same.

Download “Let Her Go” on iTunes. / Download All The Little Lights on iTunes.

Are you already enjoying Passenger’s music? Think he can break the U.S. market successfully? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter: @AdamFSoybel.

UPDATE: “Let Her Go” goes for adds at hot adult contemporary radio on April 29! Here’s to a great U.S. run for it.

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ADAM’S TOP 100 OF 2012 – #02 and #01 (Post 11 of 11)

So, by now, you know that I’ve been counting down my top 100 singles of 2012 for the past week and a half and we’re finally up to what you’ve been waiting for. These are the top two songs on my year-end chart based on my weekly top 40 charts. For yet another year, the top two songs have managed to accumulate over 1,000 points each (both are higher than last year’s top two), and neither one of them was the longest-running #1 song of the year. Still, they’re both classics in my book, both by newcomers with their first top-40 hit that peaked early on during the chart year and just stayed a while. They are the only two songs to spend thirty plus weeks on during this specific Dec. 2011-Nov. 2012 chart year.

There’s a reason I called this The Year Of The G. The letter G, that is. Three acts or performers, all with their first hit(s) and all beginning with the letter G, were in the top spot for sixteen out of the fifty-two weeks in the year. We’ve heard from Grouplove, who were at #10 with “Tongue Tied”, and two other acts who charted lower with their followup singles to the two records left in the countdown.

Let’s get to those two biggies.

Don't let him be the last to "Know".

Don’t let him be the last to “Know”.

002. GOTYE featuring KIMBRA – “Somebody That I Used To Know”
ALBUM: Making Mirrors // LABEL: Samples ‘n’ Seconds/Universal
PEAK: #1 for seven weeks // WEEKS ON: 33 // POINTS: 1,071
CHART RUN: 36-29-24-22-14-11-06-05-01010101010101-02-02-03-04-03-05-04-04-06-09-11-16-19-21-24-27-29-33-off

Belgian-born and Australian-raised Wally de Backer likely never expected a song of his to blow up like this. He showed a liking for music from an early age, playing in a band before beginning a solo career. The singer, who calls himself Gotye, had achieved some minor success on the Albums Chart in Australia and Belgium, as expected, but nothing of his managed to garner any high positions on the charts. That was, until this song came around. Originally intended to be recorded with a “high-profile female artist”, she dropped out at the last-minute and a suitable replacement was found in Kimbra, a New Zealand-based artist who was also a relative unknown in her homeland. It was a highly personal song about a relationship gone wrong, where personalities shifted to the point that each of the counterparts were strangers to one another. Upon impact, it stormed the Singles Chart in Australia, lasting eight weeks in the top spot there in August, September, and October 2011. The video was a huge selling point for the track, where both artists appeared as if they were painted into the wall, before Kimbra‘s paint disappeared, symbolic of the lover’s removal from the picture. Now, not every artist from Australia automatically becomes a superstar in the United States as well; in fact, an indie pop artist, as Gotye may classified as, would probably be the least likely candidate to get a full-fledged backing for a successful U.S. crossover. However, in the midst of Adelemania, we needed a male counterpart to balance out all the slower songs on the radio, and “Somebody” fit the role perfectly. As it began blowing up at Alternative radio, I knew that I had to get on it. On the chart for December 11, 2012, it entered into my Next In Line, and then debuted the following week, December 18, at the #36 position. Its run slowed from there, but it suddenly picked up the pace in January and on the chart of February 12, the song zoomed from 5-1, the second largest leap to the top of the year, and stayed there for seven weeks. After a long top ten stay of nineteen weeks that lasted into the early summer, and thirty-three in the top 40, it managed to fall out of the countdown in mid-August. Followup single “Eyes Wide Open” made it to #7 and was back at #40 on the year-end countdown. Both artists are almost certainly not going to repeat the success of this international smash ever again, but I’m sure they enjoyed the world watching their every move while it lasted.

Now, the most popular song of the year. May I present to you:

(Credit: ArtistApproach, Flickr)

Young hearts run “Free”.

001. GRAFFITI6 – “Free”
ALBUM: Colours // LABEL: N.W. Free/Capitol
PEAK: #1 for four weeks // WEEKS ON: 48 // POINTS: 1,290
CHART RUN: 39-35-32-29-21-14-10-06-02-02-01010101-02-02-04-04-04-05-05-05-06-09-10-10-10-11-15-15-18-18-21-23-21-21-16-14-14-17-17-22-22-22-27-29-29-34-off

This is the story of how one little song trumped the competition with a chart run of four weeks at #1, five months in the top ten, and nearly a year in the top 40. OK, but before I even try to dissect that massive line of numbers, a little background on the band and how I first heard the song that is now my top song of 2012.

 Lead singer Jamie Scott was always surrounded by music, whether it was listening to his parents’ collection of classic soul records, or performing in a duo during his college years. In his late teens, Scott sent out several demo tapes to record labels in the hopes that he could compose tracks for other performers, but the general response from these labels was that Scott himself should sing his own music. Sony Records signed him to a solo deal in 2002. His debut album, Soul Searching, was intended for a 2005 release, but was never issued commercially because of a label merger; it got lost in the shuffle. Two singles from the effort, “Just” and “Searching”, became minor top-40 entries in the United Kingdom in September 2004 and January 2005, respectively, and a third solo song, “Made”, can be found on the soundtrack to the movie Step Up. Scott signed to Polydor Records in 2006 and tried again with a band, Jamie Scott & The Town, but their only charting single was “When Will I See Your Face Again?”, which fell just short of the U.K. top 40 at #41 in September 2007. A followup, “Standing In The Rain”, as well as an album, Park Bench Theories, received little promotion and failed to chart.

Tommy Danvers, also known as TommyD, took a different route when it came to music. A multi-instrumentalist, he began on the DJ circuit at age 18, playing at local clubs and then going on to play with high-profile groups like Ministry Of Sound. He also collaborated in the group E-Zee Possee, who scored a U.K. top 20 hit in March 1990 with “Everything Starts With An ‘E'”, banned by BBC Radio 1 for its lyrical content relating to drug use. After a few other minor entries, Danvers went onto work with a new dance band on their debut album, who turned out to be Right Said Fred. Here in the States, they’re one of the biggest one-hit wonders, peaking at #1 on the Hot 100 in 1992 with “I’m Too Sexy”, but they scored several followup hits in the United Kingdom. Over the next decade and a half, Danvers engineered album tracks and remixes for several big artists, like Janet Jackson and Kylie Minogue, though most of his success was achieved in Europe, with no proper U.S. breakthrough.

2008 came along and on the whim of an A&R executive, Scott agreed to meet with Danvers and the two hit it off. Scott intended the sessions to provide some fresh tracks for a solo release, but as he began writing and Danvers began mixing, it was clear that their music together was taking a different direction from what either of the two have done before. The first song they collaborated on turned out to be “Stare Into The Sun”, which was used in an advertisement campaign for The Sun newspaper. It spent three weeks at #1 on my chart this year and ended up at #7 on the year-end countdown. With their nostalgic sound established, the two produced an album in 2010 entitled Colours, which had limited success in a few European countries. Determined to break the States, they signed a deal with Capitol Records in the spring of 2011.

So, fast forward to September of the same year. I’m checking my usual music sites when I notice that a song by an artist that my friend Kurt liked was being sent to Adult Alternative radio in October, so this flawless topic was created by yours truly. Up to that point, I had only seen the video for “Annie You Save Me”, which I thought was alright, but I really enjoyed “Free”. It was a lighter track, but it was arranged really well, and featured a soaring vocal by Scott that I was really impressed with. I suppose it was sentiment of freedom that I really connected with since I was in my senior year of college and the real world was looming. It jumped straight into my Next In Line on the chart dated October 16, 2011 (a radio version of it was released the Tuesday before to iTunes) and debuted at #39 the next week, October 23. In December, it climbed into the top ten and on the chart dated New Year’s Day (January 1, 2012), “Free” became the new #1 on my chart, lasting for four weeks at the top. Colours was released in the U.S. several weeks after the song hit the top.

That should have been the end of the story, but the song just kept sticking around, thanks to the song’s release at Hot AC radio in late February. First, it was an additional eight weeks in the top 5, then thirteen weeks in the top ten, and eighteen in the top 20 before it finally looked like it was descending for good. Nope. With increased airplay at Hot AC radio and a CHR crossover coming, the song launched back into my top 20 for another five weeks, then slowly back down to the point where it fell off, but not until the middle of September, a very long chart run of 48 weeks, 32 of which (2/3 for you fraction fashionistas) were in the top 20. It goes down as the second-longest consecutive chart run in my personal chart’s history. Now, Graffiti6 joins the ranks of acts like Jason Mraz, Duran Duran, Leona Lewis, Lady Antebellum and Adele with a #1 song of the year. Congrats, guys! Best of luck with your new music coming out in 2013. We’ll see if the duo can pull off a year-end repeat. It’s never happened before.

That’s going to do it for this year’s end of the year countdown. Thanks for reading along and I hope you enjoyed.

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If Only… The Christmas Songs Left Off The Record (A Parody)

Wrapper's delight.

Wrapper’s delight.

Your holiday playlist may be filled with lots of Christmas standards, but unfortunately, the A&R department over at Santa’s music HQ didn’t approve these could-have-been classics. Alas, with a little bit of fun and imagination, we can remember these ten songs left on the cutting room floor.

ADELE – “Rudolph Has It”
Off her cancelled Christmas release, 25, this foot-stopper of a track, producer by Ryan Sledder, maybe just have broken up the reindeer when they found out that Rudolph was stalling the sleigh from leaving the North Pole. Bless his nose, he’s really got his head in the clouds, and this one got a head-start at being chopped off the tracklisting.

BRUNO MARS – “It Will Reindeer”
An alternative remix from the film soundtrack to Twlight: Breaking Down, in which the weight of Santa’s sleigh becomes too heavy to handle, this moody track sets the stage for a bummer of a holiday when Dominic The Donkey couldn’t join the lineup in dragging the sled full of toys. If you want a more upbeat track, check out his newest release, a frustrating romp for presents entitled “Locked Out Of Walmart”.

CARLY RAE JEPSEN – “Coal Me Maybe”
With a hit song that was just about as catchy as the common cold, this Christmas remix about a girl who really wants her bad boy elf is enough to send her straight back to Canada. Trust me, it’s not always a good time. Better load up on the medicine.

DEMI LOVATO – “Give Your Hearth A Break”
Lovato had a starring role as a judge on The X Factor this year, but the girl needs to give it a rest with factoring in all the decorating. It’s campier than Camp Rock and that is saying something. She is certainly a Disney girl no more.

FLO RIDA – “Mistle (Toe)”
“Whistle” may have made “Ring My Bell” look tame, but “Mistle (Toe)” is ringing all the bells once again as Flo raps about the holidays in Dade County. Just watch out when the mistletoe is hanging real low, low, low, low. You’ll turn right round and that’ll be something else.

FUN. – “Some Flights”
Ever waited countless hours at the airport for the flight home for Christmas? Listen to these horrible tales from the group of crying children, no leg room and cheap programming on the overhead pull-out television. Most flight attendants, they don’t know any more. Civil War reenactment not included.

GOTYE featuring KIMBRA – “Somebody That I Used To Noel”
Talk about “The Worst Noel”. This duet, with lyrics more loaded than fruitcake, will give you a punch as hard as the three glasses of eggnog you just wolfed down. Yes, they did have to cut you off; at least the tree was trimmed already.

TAYLOR SWIFT – “We Are Never Ever Getting Ugly Sweaters”
Instead of tearing her boyfriends to pieces this holiday season, Miss Swift will have to pull out fiber by fiber her most hated Christmas gift. Even if people don’t know her fashion sense, she’s sure got a whole lot of cents to make up for it.

Bonus cuts:
KE$HA – “Do You Hurl What I Hurl?”
An annual Christmas anthem turned twisted, this hammered hit would’ve quickly compensated for all the radio stations that are dropping “Die Young”. Don’t you wanna hear what the barefoot girl said to the mighty police officer? This song’s about to blow. (I first mentioned this one on a blog last year.)

ROD STEWART – “Da Ya Think I’m Santa?”
He makes a whole album of Christmas songs and he can’t even sing this gem? From the top album of the season, this track, marrying the disco strings of the late 1970’s with a children’s choir, would’ve been the dance hit that ruled the airwaves. Unfortunately, he’ll have to settle for another round of “Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow” for a few more days. Bah humbug.

Well, I hope you enjoyed this look back at these songs that will never happen, but hey, maybe a little wishful thinking and a letter to ol’ Saint Nick could help the process along a bit. You’ll be seeing many of these titles, in regular form, of course, on my year-end chart, being posted right here on the blog starting tomorrow. Until then, happy shopping! (Merry Christmas, too.)

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