Tag Archives: RCA

RADIO REPORT: What’s Popping At Top 40 Radio This Week (January 7-8, 2019)

It’s time once again to analyze the airwaves and find out if your favorite new releases will be lighting up your local station’s playlist this week. Which tunes will climb to the top and which ones will hit a stop? Here are three tunes impacting this week at the Top 40 format:

BACKSTREET BOYS – “Chances” (RCA)
Album: DNA (2019)
Past T40 History: The group’s comeback song “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” got to #16 in August, another cut from their new set.

POST MALONE – “Wow.”
Album: (TBA) (2019)
Past T40 History: With a former #1 track on iTunes, Malone’s hit should easily join his two other active singles in the top 40 soon.

SABRINA CARPENTER – “Sue Me” (Hollywood)
Album: Singular (Act I) (2018)
Past T40 History: The 19-year-old performer has now hit the top 30 at the format with three tracks, but the top 20 still eludes her.

Next week: Lauren Daigle preaches to the pop choir with her Christian crossover winner “You Say”. The track is well into the top ten on the Hot AC chart and receiving solid early airplay at this format.

Which of these new songs would you like to see top the charts? Let me know!

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What’s The Hassle? Erik Hassle’s All “About It”

"Talk" about a comeback.

“Talk about” a comeback.

Several years ago, Erik Hassle made a spectacular debut onto the music scene with a pop and dance fusion that led to some big hype from the blogosphere. You can include me as one of those fans as well. His smooth vocals combined with some progressive-sounding arrangements was relatively new at the time, and although it garnered mixed reaction on the national surveys, it was very much ahead of its time. Sadly, his career largely dropped off after his first single, but now the performer returns with a track ready to deliver him a second chance at stardom, “Talk About It”, released on his new American home of RCA Records. It’s fresh and a banger ready to smash. First, a bit about Hassle’s story so far in the biz.

Hassle was born in 1988 in Katrineholm, Sweden, originally wanting to get into sports before going to a secondary school primarily focused around music. Taken with this new direction, he signed a deal with the TEN Music Group out of Sweden in his teens. His debut single, “Hurtful”, off of his eventual #2 album in that country, Hassle, was released in the fall of 2008 and went as high as #11 in his native land and to #2 in Denmark. This was followed by “Don’t Bring Flowers”, which went to #25 and #11, respectively, and then a few other minor singles from an EP entitled Taken.

Meanwhile, in the United States, “Hurtful” saw a radio release to the Hot AC format during the spring of 2010 on Universal Republic, landing at #30 on Billboard’s Adult Pop Songs survey at a peak of about 30 radio stations at the format. It initially crossed my radar in October 2009 before making my top 40 in February 2010, climbing as high as #8 for two frames. After a 20-week run on my chart, it ranked on my Top 100 of 2010 at #36, his only charting release to date. An international reworking of his album, Pieces, never made the Billboard 200 but I quite liked it. No followup single was issued in the States; there was no need given how little “Hurtful” actually accumulated both in airplay and sales, which is still a shame to this day.

Since then, Hassle’s continued to record for label Roxy Recordings over in Sweden, and although some his additional EPs and albums have achieved minor chart peaks outside the top ten, no singles from them have charted and these recordings generally aren’t remembered as well as his debut material. He was also featured as a vocalist on an English version of Stromae‘s “Alors On Danse”, which was a hit in its original form internationally, though the remix with Hassle did garner some airplay in various parts of Europe. Again, it never would’ve done well in the U.S. in any form. Otherwise, Hassle’s been on a break, still writing music, but mostly just lying low as he tells blog Pigeons and Planes in a recent chat. That is, until now.

Giving us a little taste of his forthcoming album, title yet to be announced, Hassle’s “About” is a great piece of pop, carefully put together and crafted so beautifully. Lyrically, the song tells of a male’s take on a relationship where he recognizes that he’s not been the only man in the picture and wants out, yet he can’t deny the feelings he once had and wants to carry on in his own ideal situation with his significant other. Hassle sings, “I don’t want to talk about it, no/Then nothing would be beautiful between us/I don’t want to think about it, no/Just let me know what would call this thing between us.” A crisp vocal with a strong lyrical set over a minimalist beat combine perfectly together, making for a rich composition without being overproduced or cluttered in multiple layers. It’s a great comeback for the young singer and one that should get him a lot of notice, especially with a proper backing from RCA. Let’s hope they actually go through with it.

Looking for more information regarding Erik Hassle‘s new album soon, as well as a forthcoming North American tour coming later in 2014. “Talk About It” is available at digital retailers on November 5 and look for it In The Mix for my top 40 this weekend.

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SINGLE PREMIERE: Miley Cyrus – “Wrecking Ball” (+ Lyrics)

We're seeing her again.

We’re seeing her again.

“Wrecking Ball” serves as the second single from Cyrus’s forthcoming album, Bangerz. It’s a much different side to Cyrus than her current hit, “We Can’t Stop”, which sees her serving up a more urban image. This ballad incorporates hints of 80’s electronic music as well as a more modern pop edge.

Listen to the premiere of “Wrecking Ball”. / Purchase “Wrecking Ball” on iTunes.

“WRECKING BALL”

[Verse 1]
We clawed, we chained, our hearts in vain
We jumped, never asking why
We kissed, I fell under your spell
A love no one could deny

[Bridge]
Don’t you ever say I just walked away
I will always want you
I can’t live a lie, running for my life
I will always want you

[Chorus]
I came in like a wrecking ball
I never hit so hard in love
All I wanted was to break your walls
All you ever did was wreck me
Yeah, you wreck me

[Verse 2]
I put you high up in the sky
And now, you’re not coming down
It slowly turned, you let me burn
And now, we’re ashes on the ground

[Bridge]
Don’t you ever say I just walked away
I will always want you
I can’t live a lie, running for my life
I will always want you

[Chorus – Extended]
I came in like a wrecking ball
I never hit so hard in love
All I wanted was to break your walls
All you ever did was wreck me
I came in like a wrecking ball
Yeah, I just closed my eyes and swung
Left me crouching in a blazing fall
All you ever did was wreck me
Yeah, you wreck me

[Middle 8]
I never meant to start a war
I just wanted you to let me in
And instead of using force
I guess I should’ve let you in
I never meant to start a war
I just wanted you to let me in
I guess I should’ve let you in

[Bridge – Half]
Don’t you ever say I just walked away
I will always want you

[Chorus – Extended]
I came in like a wrecking ball
I never hit so hard in love
All I wanted was to break your walls
All you ever did was wreck me
I came in like a wrecking ball
Yeah, I just closed my eyes and swung
Left me crouching in a blazing fall
All you ever did was wreck me
Yeah, you wreck me

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SINGLE PREMIERE: Miley Cyrus – “We Can’t Stop” (+ Lyrics)

We're seeing her again.

We’re seeing her again.

Former Disney star turned pop rebel Miley Cyrus is back with her first new album in three years, due in stores later this year. The first single from it, “We Can’t Stop”, is said to be different for Cyrus, who has been working with a number of new collaborators of her latest effort, including Pharrell Williams. She also appears on new singles by Snoop Dogg (“Ashtrays And Heartbreaks”) and will.i.am (“Fall Down”), the latter of which is currently being used in a summer campaign for the television network Bravo. After the mixed reaction of “Can’t Be Tamed” and the album of the same name, Cyrus hopes to reconnect with a mainstream audience as a new era for her begins. The song is 3:52 in length and is being released on Cyrus’s new label, RCA Records.

Listen to the premiere of “We Can’t Stop”. / Purchase the song on iTunes.

“WE CAN’T STOP”

[Intro x2]
It’s our party we can do what we want
It’s our party we can say what we want
It’s our party we can love who we want
We can kiss who we want, we can screw who we want

[Verse 1]
Red cups and sweaty bodies everywhere
Hands in the air like we don’t care
‘Cause we came to have so much fun now
Got somebody here might get some now
If you’re not ready to go home, can I get a hell no
‘Cause we gonna go all night
‘Till the sunlight, alright

[Bridge]
Li da di da di
We like to party
Dancing with Miley
Doing whatever we want
This is our house, this is our roof

[Chorus]
And we can’t stop, we won’t stop
Can’t you see it’s we who own the night?
Can’t you see it’s we who ’bout that life?
And we can’t stop, we won’t stop
We run things, things don’t run we
Don’t take nothing from nobody

[Intro]
It’s our party we can do what we want
It’s our party we can say what we want
It’s our party we can love who we want
We can kiss who we want, we can screw who we want

[Verse 2]
To my homegirls here with the big butt
Shaking it like we at a strip club
Remember only God can judge ya
Forget the haters ’cause somebody loves ya
And everyone in line for the bathroom
Trying to get —- in the bathroom
We all so turnt up here, getting’ turnt up yeah, yeah yeah yeah yeah

[Bridge]
Li da di da di
We like to party
Dancing with Molly
Doing whatever we want
This is our house, this is our roof

[Chorus]
And we can’t stop, we won’t stop
Can’t you see it’s we who own the night?
Can’t you see it’s we who ’bout that life?
And we can’t stop, we won’t stop
We run things, things don’t run we
Don’t take nothing from nobody

[Intro]
It’s our party we can do what we want
It’s our party we can say what we want
It’s our party we can love who we want
We can kiss who we want, we can screw who we want

[Middle 8]
It’s our party, we can do what we want to
It’s our house, we can love who we want to
It’s our song, we can sing if we want to
It’s my mouth, I can say what I want to
Yeah yeah yeah

[Chorus]
And we can’t stop, we won’t stop
Can’t you see it’s we who own the night?
Can’t you see it’s we who ’bout that life?
And we can’t stop, we won’t stop
We run things, they don’t run we
Don’t take nothing from nobody

We can do what we want to
Do what we want to

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SINGLE REVIEW: Justin Timberlake featuring Jay-Z – “Suit And Tie”

It suits him well.

It suits him well.

You may as well call this a zoot suit riot. It’s finally here, the new single from Justin Timberlake, “Suit And Tie”, featuring rapper Jay-Z.  Understandably, the traffic to Timberlake’s website is a little heavy at the moment, but we’ve got your hookup to the hotness that is, by far, the most anticipated track of 2013 thus far.

Before I start, kudos once again to the various members of Pulse Music Board who put the puzzle pieces together (Follow the madness here) and came up with the correct titles for both the single and album title names for Timberlake’s new releases. Special thanks to Kurt Trowbridge who put up an amazing post on his blog, which you can see by clicking on his name. Really neat stuff that proved to be entirely right in the end!

Timberlake has of course been a huge success on the national surveys ever since he started in the boy band *NSYNC; he had at least one top-40 hit per year from 1998-2010. In recent years, his presence on the charts has lessened considerably, mainly due in part to the singer’s focus on acting and developing some of his own acts on his label Tennman Records, including Esmée Denters and FreeSol. (None of them have been big successes to date in the States, though his collaboration with Matt Morris and Charlie Sexton, a version of “Hallelujah” performed at the Hope For Haiti Now telethon, became a digital hit.) His last significant radio single was a feature on Jamie Foxx‘s “Winner”, which peaked at #27 on CHR radio in May 2010. It also featured rapper T.I., but it’s long faded from the airwaves. Now, Timberlake is back in action with this first single from his forthcoming third solo album, The 20/20 Experience.

The song was written by Timberlake, Timbaland, Jay-Z, Jerome Harmon and James Flauntleroy. Harmon’s worked with a number of acts since 2007, from Ashlee Simpson to Chris Cornell. Fauntleroy was a co-writer behind “No Air” by Jordin Sparks and Chris Brown, as well as one of the last hits Timberlake featured on, “Love, Sex, Magic” by Ciara.

“Suit” is very much an old-school record inspired by the early 70’s R&B sound, from the funky horn section to Timberlake’s sweet and tender vocals. It’s like a mixture of Smokey Robinson and Marvin Gaye vocally with the explicitness lyrically of a Barry White record. At a hefty 5:28, the version on iTunes will be used as the album version, while a radio edit will chop it down a bit. It starts off with a slow section combining Timberlake’s vocals and Timbaland’s production, stopping about forty seconds in with a clear break. Timbaland questions: “Wait a minute. Are you ready, JT?” That’s an affirmative. (This part is cut out on the radio edit, thank goodness. It’s like what Timbaland tried to do with “4 Minutes” by extending Madonna and Timberlake’s song to a length of 4:04 with a non-event intro and outro. Keep it short and simple, please.)

Timberlake is in the mood for some steady romancing crooning that he “can’t wait to get [her] on the floor”. She’s a fiesty one who burns him to the touch and “ain’t nothin’ but a little doozy when she does it,” but he proceeds with his lady because, as he states in the chorus, “love is swingin’ in the air tonight/Let me show you a few things”. She may be dangerous for the “innocent” character in Timberlake, but “she’s all mine.” Yet, this is no casual romance. Oh, no, no, not for Mr. Timberlake, who is “fixed up to the 9’s” and “all dressed up in black and white”, matching the perfectly picked-up out dress by his female cohort. How sizzling! All of this is against a really dreamy sounding arrangement which really goes a nice job of combining both the classic soul sound with some up-to-date techniques, like the steady drum machine line and the multi-layered instruments.

At 3:14, the bark of an order from JT: “Get out your seat, HOV!” Hey, look, it’s Jay-Z on this record! His flow is solid as usual, proclaiming, “This is trouble season/Time for tuxedos for no reason.” It’s another part of what makes this track so sensual, and even though it’s probably the most current thing about this dated-sounding record, it actually isn’t too bad. In fact, this is probably the most I’ve liked a song featuring the rapper in at least two or three years. Is it an essential part of the song? Perhaps not, but it for sure works. Timberlake’s vocals are done for the most part by the 4:48 mark, ending with a really pretty mixture of drums, keyboards, horns and a little bit of steel drum as if you’ve been whisked away into paradise for five-and-a-half minutes. This guy is good.

So, yes, I’m in love, for now at least. It’s a more mature sound for the former boy bander; the only potential problem I see is that a younger audience may not connect with it since it’s not particularly kid-friendly. The Urban audience may also write this off as a Robin Thicke reject, but who cares? Justin Timberlake is back, and praise the Lord that this isn’t an electro-pop dance song like the majority of the material on CHR radio today. It’s a game changer, just like “SexyBack” was in 2006. The song will easily debut high on the CHR chart on the weekend’s update, which is perfect timing given that it will also be the fifteenth anniversary of *NSYNC‘s debut single, “I Want You Back”, hitting the top 40 on the same chart. Will the song be able to score the biggest debut digital sales frame of all-time? We’ll have to see, but the buzz behind it is immense. Look out below!

For more singles reviews and music news, follow us here at POP! Goes The Charts and my personal Twitter handle: @AdamFSoybel.

Buy “SUIT & TIE” on iTunes. (Album version)

(If you’re interested in a solo radio version without Jay-Z, you can contact me on here or on Twitter.)

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