Tag Archives: Native

“Out” With The Old: In With The New Singles

Spring is here and the big bands are battling for their spots on the charts. You know their hit singles, you’ve seen them in concert and you have a t-shirt, a water bottle and maybe even a lunchbox with their name on it. However, when it comes to their latest releases, maybe you’re not so up-to-date on all the information. However, you will be now to the point that you can’t get these songs “out” of your head. OK, maybe you can, but that’s beyond the point. Time to get rocking:

Imagination's got the best of you.

Dragon the line.

IMAGINE DRAGONS – “Bleeding Out”
Release Date: out now

“On Top Of The World” may be this band’s biggest hit on my survey, but on the national charts, it’s not been so easy for this fourth single from Night Visions to rise to the top. It barely scraped the top 20 on Alternative radio and is making a small gain here and there on the Hot AC airwaves. Considering how huge “It’s Time”, “Radioactive” and “Demons” were, however, I guess it’s not too much of a stretch. Perhaps it would be best to make a change to this single, their current 5th release from the effort in Australia and New Zealand. In fact, it’s already into the top 50 on iTunes in the latter country. Although drastically different from “World” given its dark and synth-driven nature, “Bleeding” is another solid track on the album that could potentially do well in the States should it be given a chance, though it most likely won’t. Still, there are always the overseas markets and, of course, the hype that will lead into their second era. It should be cool to watch.

They've lost that lovin' feeling (again.)

For Tedder or worse.

ONEREPUBLIC – “Love Runs Out”
Release Date: April 7 (?) / May 6 (CHR radio)

For a few weeks, Interscope Records was promoting “I Lived” as the next radio single from this quintet’s album, Native. Then, for no good reason, the song was pulled from most radio servicing outlets, even though a handful of stations like SiriusXM’s The Pulse were steadily playing the song. It was a real shame as it made a great followup to “Counting Stars”. However, out of the blue comes this announced single about a month ago, which the group has been previewing live out on the road. “Runs” officially goes for adds at pop radio on May 6; however, this tweet from the band’s Twitter account (presumably leader Ryan Tedder answering back) would suggest that the single is coming within the next few days. It’s also unclear whether it will appear as a stand-alone release, on a reissue of the aforementioned Native that has yet to be announced, or on a new album. Described as a “swampy Southern stomp” by the BBC, we’ll see how it sounds very soon.

Which of these two new singles do you think will outdo and outshine the other? Let me know! Comment below or click on the “Get Social!” tab above to find PGTC on Facebook and Twitter.

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“Something” Is Better Than Nothing: Future Hits Gone Hazy

Sometimes, it’s okay to be less than specific. A little vague goes a long way. Who am I kidding? Give me “something”, anything! Well, here are two new singles by acts that are giving us a little insight into the drama that is not so detailed. Plus, they’re doing their best to spread their clarity to the musical masses. Let’s get digging:

"New" kids in town.

Oh “Say”, can’t you see?

A GREAT BIG WORLD – “Say Something”
Release Date: Fall 2013 (Hot AC radio)

Here’s an act I did a piece on about seven months ago, so let’s see where the duo of Ian Axel and Chad Vaccarino are now. Earlier this year, the band built up a small fan base thanks to the incorporation of “This Is The New Year” into an episode of Glee during the second half of its fourth season. It was performed by the New Directions group as a whole. It aired at the end of January and though the Glee version wasn’t the biggest selling song of the episode despite airing at the end of it, the commercial potential of the original version was properly spotted and it led the duo to sign a contract with Epic Records during the spring. With a bigger label behind them, “Year” accumulated some airplay on both the CHR and Hot AC formats and entered the top 50 on each list, though promotion of the single has ended at both. Now, the duo find themselves in a similar position with the use of this new song a few nights ago on another FOX show, So You Think You Can Dance. Used as the background accompaniment in a dance by finalists Amy and Robert, reaction after the performance came quickly and the song leaped into the top 100 on iTunes. It will be serviced by Epic to radio soon. Although much slower than their past single, the song is also very heartfelt, with a burst of strings and powerful vocals at the end and an emotional drive behind the narrator’s request to “say something, I’m giving up on you.” Let’s hope that radio doesn’t give up on this one as quickly.

They've lost that lovin' feeling (again.)

The “Need” to succeed.

ONEREPUBLIC – “Something I Need”
Release Date: out now (Australia), unknown (U.S.)

Hello again, you five friends from Colorado. Over the past few years, OneRepublic have made a name for themselves on the pop charts, and lead singer Ryan Tedder‘s list of clients in the production and writing department keeps on growing. He recently remixed “I Want Crazy” for Hunter Hayes, and now, his band are all over Australian radio with this song that appears to have exploded out of nowhere. At the moment, “Need” is only being fully promoted at radio and retail in Australia, where the song appears headed for a top 5 placing on the national ARIA charts there. (You’ll see on iTunes that it’s also placing in the lower rungs in other countries largely in Europe, but nothing worth pointing out.) With “Counting Stars” still building in the United States at radio and selling at a moderate pace, it will be some time before we know if “Need” will end up as a fourth single from Native here, largely due to the fact that all of their previous releases from this era have been mid-charters at best. Could this be a game changer given the initial positive signs from down under? Not so fast. “Need” is a solid pop/rock song, but it doesn’t sound like a hit, at least for the sake of the U.S. market. At least, I always thought of it as an album track. Plus, I don’t think you’ll exactly see Tedder crying into an empty piggy bank. The band is promising an entertaining video for the single, so maybe that can spike interest in an average song. That’s something it really needs.

Does “something” tickle your fancy from the two new singles listed above? Let me know! Comment below, follow the blog below or click the “Get Social!” page to find PGTC on social media.

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SINGLE REVIEW: OneRepublic – “If I Lose Myself”

They've lost that lovin' feeling (again.)

They’ve lost that lovin’ feeling (again.)

It was five years ago this week that OneRepublic was ruling for their last of seven weeks on the CHR chart with “Apologize”, their very first mainstream hit. Back then, it was credited to Timbaland presents OneRepublic, even though the producer just added an extra percussive beat and “eh, eh, eh” repetitions to it. It launched them into superstardom and made Ryan Tedder was of the most used writers and producers of pop music over the last few years. Six top-40 hits on the format later, including “Stop and Stare” and “Good Life”, they’re about to deliver their newest hit, the second single from the forthcoming album, Native. It’s entitled “If I Lose Myself”, and once you take a listen to it, you’ll understand why.

“Myself” is the followup to the non-traditional charity single “Feel Again”, which crept into the CHR top twenty and Hot AC top ten several weeks ago. Some of the proceeds from the sales of the track went to the Save The Children Fund. A lot of critics noted at the time that the heavy drums and clapping syncopation was reminiscent of Florence + The Machine‘s “Dog Days Are Over”, which was quite possibly one of the reasons it’s been stalling on the charts. “Days” wasn’t a big U.S. hit beyond the Hot AC chart, and even then, it was a slow-rising top twenty hit. It was also better. While OneRepublic are a core format artist now, it just wasn’t the same sonically as their past material, and now, it’s begun to crash down. Personally, I thought it was way better than their last leadoff single, “All The Right Moves”, which sounded like it was about three songs jumbled into one and just burned really quickly for me. Plus, the single cover was essentially an artistic version of fellatio; not that you needed to know that, but just think about it. Yeah, we are going down.

So, now that their album has been pushed back to March, the label has enough to promote this second single, which is released to iTunes on January 8. Now, I know what you’re thinking. Halfway through the fourteen second synthesizer intro and you’re like, “A dance song? By a rock band? Sheesh. #Sellout.” First of all, please don’t embarrass yourself by talking in hashtags. That’s just awkward. Second of all, you’re sort of right, if you didn’t realize that lead singer Tedder has been featured on several dance tracks in the past year, including one on Zedd‘s recent album. Yes, this is probably the most electro-pop that the band has trended towards, but it was the natural next step for them given what becomes a hit today. Face it, kids, electro-pop singles by a band with an alternative background is the new one-off rock band disco single. Listen to “Goodnight Tonight” by Wings, “I Was Made For Lovin’ You” by KISS, etc. and you’ll know what I’m talking about.

Lyrically, this starts off as an introspective piece, Tedder staring off into the sun and looking at all the faces before him, glancing at his “life out the window”, which I’m assuming means that this is taken from the perspective of an older man looking back on his youth. Then, bizarrely, he sings that “if I lose myself tonight, it’ll be by your side,” which now makes me think he’s younger and inexperienced and hooking up with a girl for the first time. Come again, guys? I remember one time during their debut era that the label purchased some banners for them on ProBoards, describing the band’s songs as “lyrical journeys”, but the only journey I’m taking is one that’s running around in circles. Remember when they talked about sending their album straight to Gold status in “Secrets”? Yeah, that certification took over two years, let’s not jump the gun, boys. That’s basically it in the lyrics department, as the second verse is essentially a repeat of the first, save for a few word changes. This is, except for a middle eight where an overdubbed group keeps chanting “Take us down and we keep trying / 40,000 feet, keep flying”, which makes me think that they’re giving up on music to become jet pilots. That’s a really big career change, guys, I would think about that one a little bit. Seriously, though, sort of a cheap shot at their critics if you take it that way. “Hey, we know you hate on our music, but we’re still flying on airplanes to the next gig, holla.” I think that’s all I have to say on that. Youngblood Hawke‘s “We Come Running” does the whole chanting thing better if you want a current example, plus it’s children doing it.

Despite my nitpicking, this is exactly what the band needs to have a successful CHR hit as well as their regular Hot AC airplay; a repetitive, quick keyboard section that sounds like it’s done by David Guetta (though it’s obviously not), their signature drums, and Tedder’s usually solid emotive vocal, maybe a tad bit less whiny than usual. I still think they can do better than this Maroon 5 and Neon Trees lite material they’ve been releasing as of late, and I’m sure there’s some more diverse material on their forthcoming album, Native. At least they don’t need Donald Duck doing the background vocals. (I’m looking at you “One More Night”.) That being said, this will do as a single, and should rank higher on the charts than “Feel” did, as well as chug along at a faster rate. I’ll say it’ll be a solid top 15 single at CHR and a top 5 hit at Hot AC. However, they’re still a faceless band to me, which is a problem, and they’re straying away from a pure pop sound that gave them their biggest hit of their last era. As far as I’m concerned, there’s nothing else left to “lose” — until we see how the general public responds to it. –AFS


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