Friday, April 23, 2010

Personal Chart, April 24, 2010

Hey gang--I'm off to Chicago for pleasure and then work for the next few days, so there won't be any updates until next weekend. Have a good one.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Billboard Hot 100, May 1, 2010

1. Nothin' on You - B.o.B. feat. Bruno Mars

Lots of excitement on the Hot 100 this week. First up is a new #1, unseating Rihanna's "Rude Boy" after a 5-week stay at the top. "Nothin' on You" is the first top 40 hit for American rapper/singer B.o.B., as well as his featured performer Bruno Mars. The song is currently #1 at iTunes, so it's no surprise to finally see it surmount "Rude Boy," which has more of an airplay edge. This is the fifth #1 hit of the year, just a bit behind where we were at this point last year.

8. OMG - Usher feat. Will.I.Am

Usher climbs two spots to #8 and is this week's Airplay Gainer. I was afraid this would fall after such a big surge last week, but it just keeps going. Fantastic.

9. Your Love Is My Drug - Ke$ha

Ke$ha lands her third consecutive top 10 hit, climbing 10 spots to #9. This one will definitely be top 5; certainly it will top the #7 peak of "Blah Blah Blah."

10. Whataya Want from Me - Adam Lambert

Adam Lambert makes a stunning jump into the top 10, up 13 places as this week's Digital Gainer. He must have performed on American Idol this week, since for no other reason would a song who's airplay is now declining perform in this fashion. This is Lambert's first top 10 hit, out-charting the recent #18 peak of his season 8 competitor Kris Allen's biggest hit, "Live Like You're Dying." He becomes the 12th American Idol alum to score a top 10 hit. He's also the fourth runner-up to do so, and is the only first runner-up to do so where the winner has not.

American Idol alumni and top 10 hits:

Kelly Clarkson: 8 (including 2 #1s)
Carrie Underwood: 4 (including 1 #1)
Clay Aiken: 3 (including 1 #1)
Jordin Sparks: 3
Ruben Studdard: 2
Daughtry: 2
Fantasia: 1 (including 1 #1)
Taylor Hicks: 1 (including 1 #1)
Bo Bice: 1
David Archuleta: 1
David Cook: 1
Adam Lambert: 1

12. Airplanes - B.o.B. feat. Hayley Williams of Paramore

In addition to having this weeks #1, B.o.B. also has the Hot 100's highest debut with his second single "Airplanes," in at #12. This single is similarly melodic pop/R&B with a bit of rap like "Nothin' on You." It features singer Hayley Williams from the band Paramore, which has had a few top 40 hits in the U.S., although nothing this major, and currently has a hit in the UK with "The Only Exception," which is a rather lovely song.

23. Not Myself Tonight - Christina Aguilera

Christina Aguilera returns to the chart with "Not Myself Tonight," the first single from her upcoming fourth album. This is Aguilera's 16th top 40 hit, a list that famously excludes "Dirrty," which despite being a #1 hit in Britain and Ireland, was a flop in the U.S. Even "Candyman" charted higher--by quite a bit. "Not Myself Tonight" is a fine but honestly not spectacular song. It's a decent electro-pop song, but sounds like a lot of others. It feels like she's chasing other acts, such as Lady GaGa, which is a shame, for it seems that she has a lot of talent, but just never found where she could fit in as an original act.

28. Alejandro - Lady GaGa

Speaking of original acts that DO fit in, rather spectacularly it seems, Lady GaGa jumps 22 spots to #28 scoring her 7th top 40 hit. Her previous 6 singles peaked no lower than #6. This Ace of Base-ish track is another sure winner and is produced by RedOne, the guy responsible for most of her hits.

32. Gives You Hell - Glee Cast
35. Hello - Glee Cast

The Glee Cast scores their 7th and 8th top 40 hits. It's the first time since the mashups from the episode "Vitamin D" that they have landed two singles from one episode in the top 40. It does, however, continue the trend of the singles charting in the lower half of the chart, with only their first one, "Don't Stop Believin," having charted much higher at #4. I do predict, however, that this trend will be reversed rather spectacularly next week. Stayed tuned!

36. Bulletproof - La Roux

Finally, British dance pop act La Roux scores their first US top 40 hit, as "Bulletproof," climbs 12 notches. The single was a #1 dance club hit last September.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Album Review: Glee Cast - The Power of Madonna (4/5)

I hope everyone else is as excited as I am about the special Madonna-themed episode of Glee tonight. If the EP, released today, is anything to go by, it's going to live up to my (rather inflated) expectations. Two things I love coming together could be dangerous, but the combination of Glee and Madonna is a smashing success. Many of the songs adhere close to their original arrangements, like the note-for-note remake of "Vogue," which features Jane Lynch's first Glee vocal performance and twists a few key lines to give Sue Sylvester ownership ("Will Schuester, I hate you"). "Express Yourself" also sounds exactly like the remix single version (the one on Celebration), with the Glee kids filling the song with their particular brand of joy. Even better is "Like a Virgin," which sounds really great in this arrangement that gives Lea Michele (Rachel) duet duty during the verses with her new love interest/rival Jonathan Groff (at least I think that's him, hard to tell whether it's him or Finn) and brings in the full group for the choruses. Michele and Cory Monteith (Finn) really shine though on the duet/mash-up of "Borderline" and "Open Your Heart," which, at present, is probably my favorite track here. Including "What It Feels Like for a Girl," a much lesser-known song than the others here, was a gutsy choice. I'm very curious how this will play out in the show, as its performed by all the guys. "Like a Prayer" is, of course, a great song, although I can't help but think that this version falls a bit short, although the song reaches such epic heights in its original form, it would be hard to surpass it. "4 Minutes" is fine, but not a standout on the album. However, again, my opinion of any of these could change after watching the show.

Best: Borderline/Open Your Heart, Like a Virgin, Vogue, Express Yourself, Like a Prayer, What It Feels Like for a Girl

Sunday, April 18, 2010

UK Singles Chart, April 24, 2010

1. OMG - Usher feat. Will.I.Am
2. This Ain't a Love Song - Scouting for Girls

It was a tight race for #1 this week, which ultimately saw Usher unseat Scouting for Girls to score his third UK #1. "This Ain't a Love Song" started the week at #1, but by midweek, it as clear that Usher had a strong chance of hitting the top spot. Usher's chart fortunes in the UK, as well as the US, have dropped a bit in recent years. While 8701 and Confessions each netted him four top 10 hits, including the latter generating his two previous UK #1s ("Yeah!" and "Burn"), his last album, Here I Stand, had only the one, "Love in This Club." The story in the US has been similar, with a successive string of pre-release promotion singles from Raymond v. Raymond failing to make much heat on the charts.

"OMG" turns this around rather spectacularly, taking Usher's pop/R&B sound in a new, more modern electro-dance direction. Credit collaborator Will.I.Am, one of pop music's hottest names at the moment. Besides the multiple hits with his band Black Eyed Peas--including three #1s last year--he's found success collaborating with a diverse range of artists, including Cheryl Cole, his bandmate Fergie, Rihanna and even U2.

3. I Need You Tonight - Professor Green feat. Ed Drewett

Yet another new British rapper makes a splash in the top 10. "I Need You Tonight" is the first single from Professor Green's second album, although this is his first top 40 hit. The song heavily samples INXS's "Need You Tonight," which hit #2 in 1988, becoming the Australian band's biggest hit in Britain.

5. Acapella - Kelis

Kelis nabs her 6th UK top 10 hit this week wtih "Acapella," the first single from her fifth album, Flesh Tone. "Acapella" is a pulsing electronic dance-pop track, a new direction from the R&B singer best known for 2003 hit "Milkshake."

7. Naturally - Selena Gomez & the Scene

Disney starlet Selena Gomez, best known for her role on Wizards of Waverly Place, steps confidently into the music scene with dance pop single "Naturally," debuting at #7. I believe this is the first of the current wave of Disney acts to score a top 10 hit in Britain. Miley Cyrus has come close three times, peaking at #11 with "See You Again," "The Cimb" and "Party in the USA." Jonas Brothers hit #13 with "SOS," and Demi Lovato has had a couple of singles peak in the 30s.

12. Dirty Picture - Taio Cruz feat. Ke$ha

Taio Cruz and Ke$ha climb 28 spots to #12 with "Dirty Picture." I'm surprised this isn't in the top 10, although it charts far better than Cruz's last single, "No Other One," which missed the top 40, making a major disappointment of a follow-up from his #1 hit "Break Your Heart." This is Ke$ha's fourth top 40 hit and her second featured appearance after Flo Rida's #1 hit from last year, "Right Round."

15. Do Wah Doo - Kate Nash

Kate Nash, who scored a major #2 hit in 2007 with "Foundations," returns with the first single from her second album. I'm not surprised to see this outside the top 10, as I personally was not very excited about this song.

36. Set the Fire to the Third Bar - Snow Patrol

Snow Patrol's 2006 single makes a return to the top 40. Apparently it's because it's featured in the Miley Cyrus movie Dear John. Too bad Miley can't get her own single from the movie in the top 40.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Billboard Hot 100, April 24, 2010

1. Rude Boy - Rihanna

Rihanna spends a fifth week at #1 with "Rude Boy." It leads a top 5 of all bulleted singles.

2. Nothin' on You - B.o.B. feat. Bruno Mars

For a change "Rude Boy" is not this week's airplay gainer but B.o.B., who holds at #2.

5. In My Head - Jason DeRulo

Jason DeRulo climbs four spots to #5 as this week's Digital Gainer.

10. OMG - Usher feat. Will.I.Am

Usher scores his 15th top 10 hit with "OMG," his first top 10 hit since "Love in This Club" hit #1 in 2008. This is Will.I.Am's third top 10 hit as a featured soloist, following "Fergalicious" with Fergie and "In the Ayer" with Flo Rida.

20. You and Your Heart - Jack Johnson

Jack Johnson debuts at #20 with "You and Your Heart." Surprisingly, it's his highest-charting single and only his second to reach the top 40 after "Upside Down," which hit #38.

28. Winner - Jamie Foxx featuring Justin Timberlake and T.I.

Justin Timberlake appears on yet another single that isn't his own.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Glee's Vogue

This is MUST see. Check it out over at Fox (they'll patrolling YouTube for this one, so you won't find it there).

Monday, April 12, 2010

This and that

  • Scouting for Girls tops the UK singles chart for a second week with "This Ain't a Love Song," which is also #1 on the UK airplay chart. If those can hold, the group may score a triple as their album, Everybody Wants to Be on TV, out Today, looks like an easy pick to top the albums chart next weekend. Usher scored his biggest hit in 6 years as "OMG (feat. Will.I.Am)" climbs 6 spots to #2. Newcomer Joshua Radin debuted just outside the top 10 at #11 with "I'd Rather Be With You."
  • MGMT's second album, Congratulations, out tomorrow in the US, has garnered rave reviews--4 stars from Spin, Q and Uncut, and 5 from Mojo. Rolling Stone was less thrilled, giving it 3 stars.
  • Christina Aguilera returns to the pop chart this week with "No Myself Tonight," currently #27 at Medibase Top 40 (up from #42). The single is produced and co-written by Polow Da Don, the man behind hits like Chris Brown's "Forever" Usher's "Love in This Club" and Fergie's "Glamorous." Since appearing in 1999, Aguilera has been rather conservative in her musical output, appearing every 3 to 4 years with a new album. Her last, 2006's Back to Basics, was a dual-disc concept album of retro soul and '40s pop. Her next, Bionic, is out this June.

Friday, April 09, 2010

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Billboard Hot 100, April 17, 2010

1. Rude Boy - Rihanna
2. Nothin' on You - B.o.B. feat. Bruno Mars
3. Hey, Soul Sister - Train

There's little change in the top 10 this week. Rihanna's "Rude Boy" leads the list for a fourth week. Once again, it's the airplay gainer, which it's been for quite a few weeks now (not keeping track of that). The song is really holding on there. I expected B.o.B. and Bruno Mars to hit #1 by now. Train is clearly in the running too.

9. In My Head - Jason DeRulo

it's a static top 8 this week, and the only movement into the top 10 is Jason DeRulo's "In My Head," which FINALLY enters the top 10 at #9 in its 17th week on the chart. Anyone want to celebrate a Ke$ha-less top 10 this week?

14. OMG - Usher feat. Will.I.Am

Usher and Will.I.Am debut at #14 with "OMG," ending the curse of the Raymond v. Raymond singles that tried but failed to become hits. It's his highest-charting single since "Love in This Club" hit #1 in 2008.

16. When I Look at You - Miley Cyrus

Radio has taken a pass on this, but the sales continue to prop up Miley Cyrus's "When I Look at You," which climbs 9 spots to #16 as this week's Digital Gainer.

32. Your Love Is My Drug - Ke$ha

Ke$ha scores her fourth top 40 hit as "Your Love Is My Drug" climbs 25 spots to #32. I have a feeling this one will do better at radio than "Blah Blah Blah," which missed the top 10.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

UK Singles Chart, April 10, 2010

1. This Ain't a Love Song - Scouting for Girls

Finally some excitement on the UK singles chart! Leading the pack this week is the new single from British rock band Scouting for Girls, who score their first #1 hit with "This Ain't a Love Song," the upbeat first single from their forthcoming second album. Their eponymous debut scored three top 10 hits--"She's So Lovely," "Heartbeat" and "Elvis Ain't Dead," which, although none peaked higher than #7, managed to stick around for quite a long time, as well as garner a lot of radio play. With none of those making an instant big impression, but working together to creating a lasting one, it's no surprise the band is out the gate so strong this time, after a year-and-a-half hiatus. It's been quite a while since a British rock band appeared at the top of the singles chart--almost 2 years in fact--the last single to do so being Coldplay's "Viva la Vida," which was #1 in June 2008. This is a great song, although it's introduction sounds suspiciously like the beginning of Keane's "Somewhere Only We Know." Listen side by side--they are VERY close. Probably the fact that both are produced by Andy Green has something to do with it.

3. She Said - Plan B

With Duffy and Amy Winehouse on hiatus at present, the recent British pop revival of '60s soul has been threatened with extinction. In walks with Plan B with the quite thrilling single "She Said." It the second single from the rapper's album The Defamation of Strickland Banks, a concept album about a soul singer accused of a crime and sent to prison (it's released April 12). It's his biggest hit, beating the #9 peak of his last single, "Stay Too Long." Song a song than a rap, it's got a great horns-drenched chorus. I'm definitely intrigued by the album now.

4. History Makers - Delirious?

When was the last time a Christian rock single was a big hit in Britain? Like many things these days, this started as a Facebook fad--get a single from Delirious?, a well-known English Christian band that had a handful of top 20 singles in the late 90, onto the charts for Easter. Their song "History Maker" was the chosen one, released last week as a download in both studio and live versions (hence "History Makers" plural for the title). Not a bad song actually--goes along nicely with the one from Scouting for Girls.

8. OMG - Usher feat. Will.I.Am

It's been a struggle getting Usher's latest album Raymond v. Raymond to market. Promotional singles have been coming out from this for months, but nothing's seemed to stick. "Papers," a song about his divorce, hit the US top 40 but just barely, as well as its follow-up "Hey Daddy (Daddy's Home)." Neither were released in Britain, perhaps for the best, for it paves the way for "OMG" to take off on its own right. It's a great single, with a clubby electronic feel we haven't heard from Usher before (courtesy of Black Eyed Peas producer extraordinaire Will.I.Am).

16. Carry Out - Timbaland feat. Justin Timberlake

The Timbo brothers climb 13 spots to #16 this week with "Carry Out," their latest collaboration. This is the third UK top 20 hit from Timbaland's Shock Value 3. I've actually never been into this single that much (its release was reversed in the US with the Katy Perry single "If We Ever Meet Again," which I like better). Justin Timberlake seems content to just appear on other people's singles these days, having not released a proper single off an album of his own in nearly 3 years now. It's working for him, hitting #1 with Madonna and top 10 with T.I. and Ciara. Still, he's overdue for a new long-player, but as far as I've heard, nothing's in the works.

27. Don't Stop Believin' - Glee Cast
28. Don't Stop Believin' - Journey

Who is still buying these? Apparently a lot of people, as they've stuck around the chart all year.

30. Memories - David Guetta feat. Kid Cudi

David Guetta is up 8 this week with "Memories," the fourth single from One Love, who last single "One Love (feat. Estelle)" missed the top 40 after the album's first two singles--"When Love Takes Over" and "Sexy Bitch (Chick)"--were #1s. This gets a digital single release tomorrow, so it could climb a bit.

Next week, Inna's "Hot" gets a physical release, and Joshua Radin's debut single "I'd Rather Be With You" comes out, following its rather notable airplay build up.

Friday, April 02, 2010

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Billboard Hot 100, April 10, 2010

When is something interesting going to happen in the charts? It's another rather uninteresting week on the Hot 100. The UK singles chart hasn't been very interesting of late either--this weekend looks like it will be though.

1. Rude Boy - Rihanna

Rihanna spends a third week at #1 with "Rude Boy," which ties it with "S.O.S." for her third-longest stay at the top, following the 7 weeks for "Umbrella" and the 6 weeks with T.I. for "Live Your Life." She's the airplay gainer yet another week.

2. Nothin' on You - B.o.B. feat. Bruno Mars

B.o.B. is #2 for a second week. If this surges, it could surpass "Rude Boy" and hit #1. Seems possible pretty soon.

3. Hey, Soul Sister - Train

Also hoping to hit #1 soon is Train, who climb four spots to #3. This week, it becomes the group's highest-charting single, surpassing the #5 peak of "Drops of Jupiter (Tell Me)."

No singles move in or out of the top 10 this week.

11. In My Head - Jason DeRulo

Despite the fact that it looks like it will be the next #1 hit at pop radio, Jason DeRulo's "In My Head" is outside the top 10 for the time being, up one this week.

20. Whataya Want from Me - Adam Lambert

Last year's American Idol runner-up, Adam Lambert, scores his first top 20 hit as "Whataya Want from Me" climbs a notch to #20.

25. When I Look at You - Miley Cyrus

Miley Cyrus is this week's Digital Gainer, climbing 33 spots to #25 with "When I Look at You," the single from her new film, The Last Song. While I hear the movie is awful, this song is not bad. A decent power ballad. This is Cyrus' 7th top 40 hit.