Friday, November 20, 2009

[WGO] Let's Hear It For New York

...Settle in, folks. This is gonna be a long one. Let's take a rather rambly view of 'What's Going On' in the American music market.

In terms of the Hot 100, in this now post-Black Eyed Peas singles chart (well, I suppose it's not really post, considering "Meet Me Halfway" is #1 this week in the UK), a number of former-#1s all continue to prove their relevance.

Yes, that's Jay-Z and Alicia Keys, pointing to the stars on the steps of the lit up TKTS fixture in the middle of Times Square, where you can get discounted same-day tickets to all of your favorite Broadway shows. It's a quintessential landmark of New York -- the beautiful place that I get to call home.

The duo have captured the #1 with his ridiculously catchy homage to my city, "Empire State of Mind". The song is the first time a Hova-centric song has taken the pole position, but he has appeared there three times before as a featured artist (Mariah's "Heartbreaker, Beyonce's "Crazy In Love" and Rihanna's "Umbrella"). I also find it interesting to mention that, per Billboard Magazine, the song is the first time a song has hit #1 that has a New York City-themed title. It's certainly seen a dramatic rise since being "premiered" this past September at the MTV Video Music Awards, including been an unofficial theme song to the New York Yankees baseball team (and a chanted mantra now that they have officially won this year's World Series). The song knocked back Owl City's suprise breakthough "Fireflies", which is officially runner up this week and has now held the #1 position for two non-consecutive weeks.

The other main attraction is country group Lady Antebellum and their soaring jump with "Need You Now" from #22 to #5, just behind the aforementioned Jay-Z and Owl City, as well another former #1 Jason DeRulo's "Whatcha Say" at #3 and digital phenomenon Iyaz's "Replay". The song is the Digital Gainer of the week (only Taylor Swift has sold more for a country artist in one week), and also per Billboard, it is the first time a country artist has bounced into the Top 10 since the Dixie Chicks in 2007.

It's also important to note the entrance into the Top 10 by Ke$ha, who is best known for supplying the female vocals to Flo Rida's "Right Round" earlier this year, which of course went on to be a ridiculously huge hit. The song has been floating around for quite awhile, so its encouraging to see her finally start to break in a big way.

The complete Top 10 is as follows:
1. Jay-Z feat. Alicia Keys - Empire State of Mind
2. Owl City - Fireflies
3. Jason DeRulo - Whatcha Say
4. Iyaz - Replay
5. Lady Antebellum - Need You Now
6. Britney Spears - 3
7. Jay Sean feat. Lil Wayne - Down
8. Miley Cyrus - Party in the USA
9. Lady Gaga - Paparazzi
10. Ke$ha - Tik Tok

In terms of the album chart, Bon Jovi debuted at the #1 position with their latest, The Circle, selling around 166K. Surprisingly, Andrea Bocelli's Christmas album, My Christmas, came in second (don't underestimate the power of a classical music fanatic!). He, Carrie Underwood and her latest Play On, and the Michael Jackson soundtrack This Is It (arriving in the chart in that order), all managed to sell over 100K this week. Taylor Swift lands at #6, followed by Now That's What I Call Music 32, Michael Buble and the first volume of the Glee Soundtrack.

I want to extend a hugeeeee congrats to the talented people in Flyleaf (whom call the same label home that I interned at this past year), as their sophomore album Momento Mori debuted at #9! I highly suggest the album if you enjoy pop/rock, and definitely feel that "Beautiful Bride" could be a killer single for them on rock radio. "Again" is already gaining a foothold of momentum, but more on that later...The top 10 is rounded out by -- who else? -- the Twilight: New Moon soundtrack, selling just shy of 51K.

I realize I haven't talked about radio spins in a long while and this is something I hope to remedy. Jumping right in:

Ke$ha proves she is hot property to watch, as "Tik Tok" jumps six spots to #14, and is gaining at a rate of almost 40%. She is often compared to contemporary Lady Gaga, who also made big strides this week with "Bad Romance", the lead single off her new EP The Fame Monster, hits #15 and gaining at a rate of around 23%. Hot 100 chartopper "Empire State of Mind" sees Jay-Z land at #16, also gaining spins rapidly. But the overwhelming winner in terms of spin strides this week at Top 40 goes to (suprise, suprise) Taylor Swift and her ode to first love "Fifteen". It's only up three spots to #28, but has gained at a rate of 52.4%.

Jason DeRulo officially rules the #1 spot at CHR/Top 40 radio, beating out Lady Gaga's "Paparazzi", which is starting its downtrend in spins given the excitement starting to build for "Bad Romance". The rest of the ENTIRE top 10 has stayed completely unchanged, however spin counts have gone up and down. Jay Sean's "Down" (#3), Miley Cyrus' "Party In the USA" (#4) and Beyonce's "Sweet Dreams" (#5) all are suffering from rather considerable losses in spins, while Britney's "3" (#6), Owl City's "Fireflies" (#7), Kelly Clarkson's "Halo"...err, "Already Gone" (#8) and Black Eyed Peas' "Halfway" are all garning positive leaps in airplay. The real winner seems to be Iyaz and his runaway hit "Replay", which lands at #9 this week, gaining around 600 spins.

David Guetta's "Sexy Chick" with Akon sees a defiant step toward top 10 territory at #12, up two spots and gaining around 500 spins. The success of the song seems a bit belated in my eyes, but it also sits at the same spot on the Hot 100 this week. It seems to be getting the majority of its respect at Rhythmic formats, sitting at #6 this week and poised to break the 3K spins a week barrier very soon.

Justin Bieber's breakthrough single "One Time" is finally starting to wane at pop radio, falling back five spots to #18. It is still hot property at Rhythmic, at #17 and still gaining, but I'm figuring it will probably be giving way for other singles on the Pop chart ("One Less Lonely Girl" waits in the wings at #46, up nearly 10 spots this week), as the fervor around this kid is kind of undeniable. Just today, an autograph signing featuring the teen hearthrob had to be cancelled due to mobbing and fans were even threatened to be arrested by local police! Insane! I have to give credit to Island/Def Jam where it's due, though -- it definitely has it's finger on the pulse of how to market effectively to the right demographic. Bieber is forgoing the usual debut album release in favor of releasing two shorter EPs spaced a few months apart. Interesting to see how this method fares for him, and if it will become more of a common practice as time goes on to continue momentum for a project.

Despite the fact that her new album hits stores this upcoming Tuesday, Rihanna's fresh single "Russian Roulette" flounders at Top 40 radio, staying static at #22 and barely gaining any fresh spins this week. The song debuted in the Hot 100 at #9 last week, and this week, sunk to #16 this week. Hate to say I told you so, Ri -- but who knows. Anything can happen in the wake of Rated R's release. If anything, Ri's fresh material seems to be appealing mostly to the Rhythmic crowd, as "Hard" jumps from #39 to #26 and almost doubles its spin count. This makes most sense to me. After hearing Rated R in its entirity, it's definitely not the pop record we have seen in the past from the Barbadian beauty, so Rhythmic and Urban will definitely be her commercial saving graces.

As "Love Drunk" starts to wane in spins, Boys Like Girls have a fresh single, "Two Is Better Than One", sitting at #25 (just two spots below the aforementioned), gaining at a solid rate of almost 20%. Orianthi, who was poised to be Michael Jackson's guitarist for his final tour and appears in the 'This Is It' film, sees her debut single "According to You" rise into the Top 40 at #36 and gaining at a reputable range. She may be looking at 1K spins a week by the early December. Keep a weather eye out for some very exciting news regarding her to appear on this blog shortly. :)

While I'm pleased OneRepublic's new single "All the Right Moves" continues a steady ascent up seven spots to #41, I'm more than a little bummed that Priscilla Renea, a new R&B flavored artist who just brims with potential, falls from #35 to #40 with "Dollhouse" and drops nearly 200 spins.

Top 40 is reflecting my waning excitement for the new Timbaland project, as "Morning After Dark" flounders at #44 and struggles to grab a foothold. Shame, too, because this is the one leaked track I really enjoy.

In terms of Rhythmic, Jay-Z's New York anthem claims the #1 spot in addition to the Hot 100 #1, and edges out his wife Beyonce's "Sweet Dreams" at #2. Chris Brown's "comeback" track with Lil Wayne, "I Can Transform Ya", lands him at #9. The song is fun for the ears and the dancing feet, but the more I listen to it, the more I'm irritated by Weezy's lack of imagination and repeated namechecking of Optimus Prime. ::shakes head::

It surprised me, so it may surprise you. Mariah Carey's "Obsessed" sits at #21 at Rhythmic (and losing spins) and #30 (and losing MORE spins) at Top 40. I'm surprised this song is even still relevant at radio. It's safe to say it's not the flop we all kind of joked it to be, but there is no question that Island definitely dropped the ball with it.


Myfizzypop said...

golly that was really comprehensive and fascinating to read ;) I love your overview of the charts. I'm loving lady ante,,, at the mo - partially because i like the song, and partially because the 2 dudes are unconventionally but insanely hot .

John said...

Re: Obsessed...good riddance. If Mariah had stood behind it and acted like it was legit, maybe it would have done better. It became a hit in spite of her disowning it.

"Dollhouse" annoyed me every time I heard it on the radio. I trust your judgment, though, and I will look forward to hearing what else she has coming.

"Two Is Better Than One" is a foregone hit at this point, thanks to Taylor Swift being on it.

What a great shot of Jay and Alicia!

Mel said...

Paul - Thanks! I've yet to hear the Lady Antebellum track -- I know, I'm slacking! I've heard good things from a variety of people for about a year, and considering just how into I'm becoming re: country pop, I'm definitely giving it a spin.

John - Exactly! That is why the song and it's relative success continues to completely confuse me. As for "Dollhouse", I agree, it wasn't the best track to launch her career, because it doesn't really separate her as a new artist. I really feel like her best is yet to come. And as for Jay and Alicia -- so true. I don't know when these major celebs take these pics in such iconic and tourist-filled places. I never see it happen. Haha!

Poster Girl said...

No way--Guetta's single is getting that much radio play? Maybe we're just slow to pick up on it around here or maybe I just need to listen to the radio more. Or maybe it's the Rhythmic dominance that's causing me to not have heard it that much in a radio context.

Mr. Will-W. said...

God, Memoirs is a total write-off. But yes, I'm shocked it's even getting airplay still. H.A.T.E.U. would've been a much better first single I think still. Lost cause.

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