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NEW MUSIC FRIDAY: Releases For The Week of January 25, 2019

Big album bows are in their DNA.

There won’t be any million-sellers this week, but there are plenty of lovely releases that are on the money. Here are all the notable albums and singles hitting the market this Friday:

BACKSTREET BOYS – DNA (iTunes)
Features: “Chances”, currently in the top 20 at Hot AC and top 50 on Top 40 radio (as well as prior single “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart”)

BRING ME THE HORIZON – Amo (iTunes)
Features: “Mantra”, currently in the top five at Active Rock radio

VARIOUS ARTISTS – 2019 Grammy Nominees (iTunes)
Features: chart hits from the likes of Ariana Grande, Camila Cabello, Cardi B, Taylor Swift and others

Notable albums out this week: Boogie‘s Everything’s For Sale (iTunes), Dreezy‘s Big Dreez (iTunes), FIDLAR‘s Almost Free (iTunes), Jack & Jack‘s A Good Friend Is Nice (iTunes), Keuning‘s Prismism (iTunes), Kiss‘s Kissworld – The Best Of Kiss (iTunes), Michael Franti & Spearhead‘s Stay Human Vol. 2 (iTunes), Rat Boy‘s Internationally Unknown (iTunes), Rudimental‘s Toast To Our Differences (iTunes), Say Anything‘s Oliver Appropriate (iTunes), Terror Jr‘s Unfortunately, Terror Jr (iTunes), Weezer‘s Weezer (The Teal Album) (iTunes), Wrabel‘s One Nite Only (Live) (iTunes)

Notable EPs out this week: Frank Turner‘s Don’t Worry (iTunes), Julia Michaels‘s Inner Monologue Part I (iTunes), Santana‘s In Search Of Mona Lisa (iTunes), Slenderbodies‘s Soraya (iTunes), Sunflower‘s King Of The Dudes (iTunes), Wild Youth‘s The Last Goodbye (iTunes)

Notable remix packages out this week: TBA‘s TBA (iTunes)

New digital singles that you can buy this week include:
“2021” / “Harmony Hall”, Vampire Weekend (iTunes)
“Against Me”, Luke Christopher (iTunes)
“American Dream”, Sultan + Shepard (iTunes)
“Back To The Start”, Michael Schulte (iTunes)
“Blind”, PRETTYMUCH (iTunes)
“BOOM”, X Ambassadors (iTunes)
“Bug A Boo”, Joe Stone (iTunes)
“Change Your Mind”, Tori Kelly (iTunes)
“Cool As Hell”, Baker Boy (iTunes)
“Crashing”, Illenium featuring Bahari (iTunes)
“Distance”, Nicky Romero x Olivia Holt (iTunes)
“Don’t Leave Me Waiting”, Newton Faulkner (iTunes)
“Excuses (Acoustic)”, Olly Murs (iTunes)
“Exits”, Foals (iTunes)
“Everybody Wants You”, Black Saint featuring Sam Fischer (iTunes)
“Falling Apart”, Broods (iTunes)
“Fake Louis”, Girl Wilde (iTunes)
“Fire Is Love”, SAARLOOS (iTunes)
“Give You Up”, Dido (iTunes)
“Haunted House” and “Moderation”, Florence + The Machine (iTunes)
“Headlights (Madison Mars Remix)”, Hellberg & Leona Lewis (iTunes)
“Heal Me”, Grace Carter (iTunes)
“Heavy Crown”, Grizfolk (iTunes)
“Here Come The Warriors”, UNSECRET featuring Sam Tinnesz (iTunes)
“I’m So Tired…”, Lauv & Troye Sivan (iTunes)
“Joy (R3HAB Remix)”, for KING & COUNTRY (iTunes)
“Karma”, Robinson (iTunes)
“Like That”, Eva Simons (iTunes)
“Listen To Me”, Dirty Heads (iTunes)
“Loca”, Alvaro Soler (iTunes)
“Lost In Translation”, FRANKIE (iTunes)
“Love Me & Let Me Go”, Ashley Tisdale (iTunes)
“Love Me Back”, RITUAL with Tove Styrke (iTunes)
“Middle Child”, J. Cole (iTunes)
“Monster (Under My Bed)”, Call Me Karizma (iTunes)
“Nothing Breaks Like a Heart (Don Diablo Remix)”, Mark Ronson featuring Miley Cyrus (iTunes)
“Out Of Love” and “You Don’t Know Me”, Peter Manos (iTunes)
“Red Bull & Hennessy”, Jenny Lewis (iTunes)
“S.O.S.”, Spazz Cardigan (iTunes)
“Save Me Tonight”, ARTY (iTunes)
“Savior”, No/Me (iTunes)
“Sexual Vibe (Acoustic)”, Stephen Puth (iTunes)
“Slow Fade”, Ruth B. (iTunes)
“Strangers”, Vigiland featuring A7S (iTunes)
“Swan Song”, Dua Lipa (iTunes)
“The First To Know”, Robin Bengtsson (iTunes)
“Think About Us”, Little Mix featuring Ty Dolla $ign (iTunes)
“Undrunk”, FLETCHER (iTunes)
“Velvet”, LINES (iTunes)
“Watching The Waves”, David Gray (iTunes)
“Wicked Hearts”, Junge Junge featuring Jamie Hartman (iTunes)
“Woke Up Late”, Drax Project featuring Hailee Steinfeld (iTunes)
“Won’t Let Go”, Jamie N Commons (iTunes)
“You Say (Piano Version)”, Lauren Daigle (iTunes)
“You’re In His Bed, I’m In His Head”, Mags (iTunes)

Next week, look out for new albums from American Authors, Broods and many more. For Adam’s personal picks of the week, listen to the PGTC Friday Faves list on Spotify!

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TURN IT UP TUESDAY: What’s New In Stores This Week (May 27)

Carey on, Mimi.

Carey on, Mimi.

Memorial Day may be over for this year, but some chart veterans are hitting the scene with new efforts this week, along with a few newcomers to the Billboard 200. Here’s what albums and singles are in stores for the week of May 27:

  • After delays, single changes and scanning childhood self-portraits for the better part of two years, the diva is back and ready to roll. Mariah Carey returns with her first studio album since 2010, Me. I Am Mariah… The Elusive Chanteuse. Though she’ll likely claim the week’s top debut, Coldplay‘s Ghost Stories should be strong enough to hold her back from #1. Nevertheless, the Lambs are ready to strike for their shepherd. (iTunes)
  • Speaking of fanbases, the Mahomies are another strong one. Luckily, their leader, Austin Mahone, is finally out with an EP titled The Secret, which comes nearly two years after his first radio single release. His most recent single, a collaboration with Pitbull titled “Mmm Yeah”, is on there, along with a few extra nu sounds. Look for it to debut somewhere in the top ten with a really front-loaded first day sales total. (iTunes)
  • Former U.K. X Factor finalist Cher Lloyd is hearing those “Sirens” go off today as her second album, Sorry, I’m Late, finally arrives in stores this week after a six month delay. The set was postponed after single “I Wish” failed to chart significantly, although that aforementioned second single isn’t doing much either. Don’t count the Brats out, though – they could deliver a solid entry for her. (iTunes)
  • Other releases out this week include: Crowder‘s Neon Steeple (iTunes), Hercules and Love Affair‘s The Fest Of The Broken Heart (iTunes), Kisss Kiss 40 (iTunes), Neil Young‘s A Letter Home (iTunes), Röyksopp & Robyn‘s Do It Again (EP) (iTunes), Sharon Van Etten‘s Are We There? (iTunes), The Ready Set‘s The Bad & The Better (iTunes) and the original Broadway soundtrack to The Bridges Of Madison County (iTunes).

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

  • “Hello, You Beautiful Thing”, a digital single from Jason Mraz‘s forthcoming album. (iTunes)
  • “I Wanna Feel”, already storming the top in the U.K. for producer SecondCity. (iTunes)
  • “Shades Of Cool”, a digital release from Lana Del Rey‘s Ultraviolence album. (iTunes)
  • “XO”, a remake of a Beyoncé underperforming single by John Mayer. (iTunes)

Miranda Lambert‘s Platinum debuts next week and makes its way towards that lofty certification, while new albums from 50 Cent and The Orwells also try to break ahead of the pack. A full preview is coming on Tuesday!

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Lucky Charms: A Pack Of Fine And Fortunate Songs

They should be so lucky.

They’re magically delicious.

Just like that, the French electronic duo named Daft Punk have scored their very first top 40 hit as a main act on the Hot 100, “Get Lucky”, featuring a vocal from Pharrell Williams. Though they’ve managed to chart here with other songs like “Around The World”, “One More Time”, and “Stronger” (as a featured artist on Kanye West‘s #1 single), the group still aren’t a household name here, though this is anticipated to be their biggest era ever. “Get Lucky” has already made it up to #14 and with an album, Random Access Memories, a few days away, I thought we could look back at the luck that we listened to when we were little (and still do today.) At least two dozen titles have crashed the top 40 with “luck” or “lucky” in their title, but only seven has gone as high as Daft Punk‘s current record. So, take seven of those, plus seven more that I like, and I think we’ve got a whole lot of good luck to contend with. Let me share some with you:

“Lucky Ladybug”, Billy & Lillie (#14, 1959)
The duo of Billy Ford and Lillie Bryant got together in 1958 to record for Swan Records. Their debut single, “La Dee Dah”, written and produced by Bob Crewe and Frank C. Slay, Jr., went to #9 on the Hot 100 in 1958 and sold over 1 million copies. That pairing also wrote their second and final top 40 hit, “Lucky Ladybug”, which went to #14. The group split shortly afterwards after a few failed singles.

“Happy-Go-Lucky Me”, Paul Evans (#10, 1960)
Queens-born Evans struck it big in his early 20’s with a handful of hit singles, including the 1959 record “Seven Little Girls (Sitting in the Back Seat)”, which went to #9. (You’d think it would’ve peaked at #7.) “Me” was his only other top ten hit, and after a couple more charting songs, he was done. He later went into songwriting and production of film and television scores, including CBS This Morning.

“Lady Luck”, Lloyd Price (#14, 1960)
R&B singer Price started making the R&B survey in the early 50’s, but it wasn’t until after a stint in the military that he began to crash the pop charts. He’s best known for his 1959 version of the song “Stagger Lee”, which went to #1 on the Hot 100. He last hit the top 40 in 1963 with a remake of the song “Misty”, though he continued to put out original music for some time. He continues to perform.

“Good Luck Charm”, Elvis Presley (#1, 1962)
He was the King of Rock and Roll and he was still at the top on his golden throne when this song came along, cut in 1961 and released the following spring. “Good” spent two weeks at #1 in April and was one of eighteen number ones on the Billboard Hot 100 for Mr. Presley. Long after his death in 1977, his songs are continually played on the radio, and his home, Graceland, remains a popular tourist spot.

“With A Little Luck”, Paul McCartney & Wings (#1, 1978)
1978 was another hot year on the charts for this group who released their latest studio album, London Town. This first single from the effort made a huge splash and quickly climbed into the #1 spot, which it held for two weeks, with its parent album going to #2. McCartney, having made music for over fifty years now, is still on tour frequently and making original material. There’s definitely no stopping him now.

“Lucky Star”, Madonna (#4, 1984)
The megastar from Michigan first made it into the top 40 a year prior with “Holiday”, but this was her first single to make the top 5 on the Hot 100. Featured on her self-titled album, it is one of her most remembered songs, thanks in part to a music video which established her as a fashion icon. It also prepared her for her forthcoming era, the Like A Virgin album, and a whole lot more luck on the singles survey.

“Some Guys Have All The Luck”, Rod Stewart (#10, 1984)
First done by R&B group The Persuaders in 1973, it became a minor single for them, peaking at #39 on the Hot 100. The Stewart version became the singer’s second top ten hit in a row from his Camouflage album, which was certified Gold in the United States. It still gets a bit of adult contemporary play today. Stewart recently released his first album of all original material in twelve years, Time, on Capitol Records.

BONUS: these singles could have used a little more luck (but I still enjoy them a lot):
“Hard Luck Woman”, KISS (#15, 1977) / remake by Garth Brooks (#45, 1994)
The original comes from the Platinum-certified Rock And Roll Over album; the Brooks remake appears on a tribute album, Classic KISS Regrooved.

“The Lucky One”, Amy Grant (#18, 1994)
Oh, baby baby, this one didn’t do as well as her #1 hit from 1991. This was one of her last major hits to see any attention from mainstream radio.

“Lucky”, Britney Spears (#23, 2000)
“This is a story about a girl named Lucky.” The down sides of fame couldn’t stop it from reaching the #2 spot on my personal chart in the summer of 2000.

“I Should Be So Lucky”, Kylie Minogue (#28, 1988)
She should be so lucky (lucky, lucky, lucky) to appear on the list. “Should” went to #1 in Australia and the United Kingdom, among other countries.

“Lucky Love”, Ace Of Base (#30, 1996)
Following “Beautiful Life”, which came and went, this single didn’t stay around for much time either. The group had one last top 40 hit here in 1998.

“Just Got Lucky”, JoBoxers (#36, 1983)
They were a little more “lucky” in their native United Kingdom where this hit #7 on the Singles Chart. This was their only charting release here.

“Lucky”, Jason Mraz featuring Colbie Caillat (#48, 2009)
This soft rock ballad blended their two voices perfectly and garnered a lot of adult contemporary airplay. It went to #2 on my personal chart for three weeks.

Which song is the luckiest of all in your book? Let me know! Comment below or find me on Twitter: @AdamFSoybel.

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Girls, Girls, Girls: New Singles About To Pop

Before the Radio Report goes up tomorrow, here’s a few of the fierce females releasing new singles to mainstream radio in the next few weeks. From the straight-up sounds of pop to the electronic eargasms of tomorrow, here’s a few of my choices that you may see climbing up the charts this spring.

Ready or not, she's back.

Ready or not, she’s back.

BRIDGIT MENDLER – “Hurricane” (Radio Edit)

Former Disney kid Mendler made a successful transition into the world of mainstream music when her debut single, “Ready Or Not”, hit the CHR top 40 several months ago. Though it wasn’t the biggest of hits for the young singer, Hollywood Records is trying again with this second single from Hello My Name Is…, a song called “Hurricane”. It’s another rap-sung track from the singer, with the same sort of reggae-influenced vibe as Jessie J‘s “Price Tag” or Skylar Grey‘s “C’mon Let Me Ride”. “Hurricane” was co-written by Mendler, Evan Bogart, Andrew Goldstein and Emanuel Kiriakou and produced by the latter two gentlemen. All three previously worked together on Hot Chelle Rae‘s 2011 album Whatever. Mendler once again brings out the cringeworthy, juvenile lyrics. Remember “I like your face, do you like my song?” from “Ready”? This time around, it’s “I’m flopping on my bed like a flying squirrel.” I mean, I just don’t know what to do with that, so I’m going to move on and pretend it never happened. She’s 20. I guess I can deal with it. Otherwise, it’s a harmless and cute little song with a lot of vocal stuttering about a girl who compares her noticing a boy she really likes to “standing in the eye of a hurricane” because of her emotions gone haywire. Young girls can relate to it. It’s not the strongest song from her debut album, but the breezy nature of it could hold it on radio until the warmer months arrive. I would hate to see the effort go to waste just because the wrong single was selected.

Quicker than a Rae of light.

Far from “Over”.

CARLY RAE JEPSEN – “Tonight I’m Getting Over You”

27-year-old Jepsen had a big breakthrough last year with hits like “Call Me Maybe” and “Good Time”, a collaboration with Owl City. Third single “This Kiss” failed to make a significant impact on the charts, so she’s dusted herself off and moved on to a fourth single from Kiss, “Tonight I’m Getting Over You”. The song has a long list of writers on it: in addition to Jepsen, there is Clarence Coffee Jr. (part of a production team called The Monsters and The Strangerz… jeez, who came up with that?) Lukas Hibert (German producer new to the U.S. market), Shiloh Hoganson (Canadian singer whose U.S. crossover failed a few years ago), Katerina Loules (German songwriter with her first big credit) and Max Martin (super-producer behind the Backstreet Boys, Britney Spears, etc.), with production duties handled by Hibert and Martin. The sound is a little more dance-driven than Jepsen’s other singles, with an unnecessary dubstep post-chorus that’s just grating on the ears. Nothing too hard to understand lyrically; the girl is gonna “keep dancing ’til the morning with somebody new” as she gets over her old flame. It’s a decent song, but unfortunately, it comes across as a throwaway track. I’m not quite sure how “Curiosity” got passed over again or even the duet with Justin Bieber, “Beautiful”. With everyone releasing lighter songs as of late, it would’ve fit right in. Alas, a video has been shot and the song’s been sent to radio, so I guess we’re stuck with it. Coming off a flop, I’m not expecting big things from it, but expect it to be a mid-charting hit before Jepsen moves onto recording a new album.

One step "Closer" to a hit.

One step “Closer” to a hit.

TEGAN & SARA – “Closer”

If this is going to be one of the first big Alternative crossover hits on the year, I approve. The two Quin sisters have been singing together since 1999 and are probably best known for their 2004 single, “Walking With A Ghost”. They also had a pair of minor chart successes in Canada as featured vocalists on singles by producers Morgan Page and Tiësto. Their days of dance have rubbed off on their new sound as found on their recent release, Heartthrob, expected to debut in the top ten on the Billboard 200 album chart, and this first single. It was written and produced by the Quins as well as Greg Kurstin, who worked on hits by Kelly Clarkson and Pink. The song itself is about the boundaries of a relationship, with the protagonist egging on her lover to “come a little closer,” but it isn’t just a sexual notion she desires. She explains: “It’s not just all physical/I’m the type who won’t get oh-so-critical/So let’s make things physical/I won’t treat you like you’re oh-so-typical.” This, combined with a glittering electro-pop beat, is the perfect combination for a great song with just the right amount of attitude. Will mainstream radio take a liking to the duo? I sure hope so. The song’s already been a top-20 national hit in Canada and it’s still in the top 100 on the overall chart on iTunes here in the States. It should also be their second song to make my personal chart in just a few weeks. The girls certainly deserve, but it’s up to programmers to decide whether to pump it or dump it.

Are there any other good pop tracks by the ladies that I should be listening to? Let me know! Post your thoughts in the comments or find me on Twitter: @AdamFSoybel.

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