Tuesday, July 19, 2016

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - july 30, 2016

I have mixed feelings about the Hot 100 this week. On the one hand, our new entries look pretty promising for the first time in a while, and I have to hope that a few of these tracks will actually stick around for a bit... but on the other hand, I also have to take a look at our gains and realize that even they start to gain traction, they've got a ways to go to overtake the tidal wave of garbage that's ascending up the charts when the summer lull blocks out most competition. Joy.

Well, surely the Top Ten is finally experiencing some movement, right? Well, in a way... and I'm not sure it's in any way good, because 'One Dance' by Drake ft. Kyla & Wizkid is still at the top. And here's the thing - with the exception of the streaming that will never die, it is losing both sales and airplay. The difference is that it's losing them slower than 'Can't Stop The Feeling' by Justin Timberlake, which might have held sales for a final week but is slipping on airplay and has never had significant streaming or YouTube. And it's got real competition now from 'Cheap Thrills' by Sia ft. Sean Paul, which actually jumped up to #3 on real airplay momentum, strong sales and okay streaming, even if a slip on YouTube kept it from getting higher. And 'This Is What You Came For' by Calvin Harris ft. Rihanna remains a contender too at #4, with consistent boosts in airplay and streaming to match its YouTube dominance, but the big boost here came in sales, driven by the Calvin Harris/Taylor Swift breakup that might have been the best parting gift Taylor could have given him... except that if she's credited as a songwriter, she'll get a cut too, so everyone except the general public can win! Now these pushed back 'Don't Let Me Down' by The Chainsmokers ft. Daya down to #5, but that might have happened anyway - it got muscled back on airplay and sales, with okay streaming keeping it most where it is. But it might be vulnerable to a challenge from 'Ride' by twenty one pilots, which moved up to #6 on good sales, okay streaming, and decent if not quite consistent airplay traction. Hell, it moved past 'Needed Me' by Rihanna, which out of nowhere picked up some significant airplay to match its huge streaming and compensate for its crap sales. And this allowed it to remain above 'Panda' by Desiigner, which collapsed to #8 as it spent the week losing in all categories. Now you'd think that such weaknesses would have allowed 'Don't Mind' by Kent Jones to advance... but no, weaknesses in sales and streaming and hitting an airplay peak meant it was stuck at #9 and I don't really see it getting higher. And this takes us to our new top ten entry: 'Send My Love (To Your New Lover)' by Adele. And look, I'll repeat what I said when I covered 25 that I don't really like this song, but it's still bringing an standard of quality simply because it's from Adele that allows it to maintain a bit of sales and airplay momentum. And while I'm definitely not pleased this will end up beating out 'When We Were Young', it's not precisely a bad track, so I'll take it.

Where things look a little worse is when we consider our losers and dropouts, the latter category showing a fair amount of solid songs exiting the charts. Yeah, nobody's going to miss 'Cut It' by O.T. Genasis and Young Dolph or either 'Still Here' and 'Hype' from Drake, but we're also losing 'oui' by Jeremih - which kind of grew on me - 'Wild Things' by Alessia Cara, and most sadly, 'The Sound Of Silence' cover from Disturbed, which will probably wind up just short of the necessary points it needs to hit the year-end list, which is just fantastic. And our losers... okay, they're more of a mixed bag, I'm not about to complain that 'Noise' by Kenny Chesney had a terrible week on the radio falling to 84 or that 'Wake Up' by Fetty Wap collapsed to 60. And I'm a little overjoyed that 'M.I.L.F.$' by Fergie crashed hard to 80, proving the American public might actually be able to resist naked provocation for once. But along the way, 'Famous' by Kanye West and Rihanna slipped to 88 - I expect this to be temporary - 'Pillowtalk' by Zayn Mallik fell to 48 - probably its last week on the charts - and 'You Don't Own Me' by Grace ft. G-Eazy lost all of its gains from last week to drop hard to 83. Lovely.

And again, I might not care so much if our gains and returning entries had any promise - but it's not a good sign when Kanye West might be the factor driving any vestige of quality on the Hot 100. He had the sole returning entry with 'Father Stretch My Hands Pt. 1' at 100 and he probably helped ScHoolboy Q gain traction for 'THat Part' up to 43 off the Blank Face LP. But beyond that... by the Nine Hells, have you seen this garbage? 'Treat You Better' by Shawn Mendes rises off the video to 20, 'I Got The Keys' by DJ Khaled ft. Jay Z and Future goes to 34, 'We Don't Talk Anymore' by Charlie Puth and Selena Gomez refuses to take its own advice and goes to 35, 'Wherever I Go' by OneRepublic continues to let everyone down at 55, 'My PYT' by Wale remains a shallow ripoff up to 64, 'Money Longer' by Lil Uzi Vert continues to be mediocre crap at 74 - we'll deal with more Lil Uzi Vert later - and 'Lockjaw' by French Montana and Kodak Black actually gains traction going to up to 79. It's not a good sign when the best tracks here are the white-bread safety of 'Brand New' by Ben Rector up to 82, the snoozefest of 'I Hate U I Love U' by gnash and Olivia O'Brien at 50, and 'Luv' by Tory Lanez... a song that I actually don't mind all that much, so okay, let's hope it maintains its momentum past 69.

So yeah, a lot of garbage rising up the charts... but maybe our new arrivals have some promise? Well, let's start with...

99. 'No Money' by Galantis - I've been getting requests to cover this song on World Hit for a while now - and that's no surprise, given that this Swedish duo has been making real traction everywhere else except the US, where this song was lurking just below the Hot 100 for a while now. And I have to admit I'm a little surprised that this is their very first song to cross off the dance charts and onto the Hot 100, especially as half of the duo was formerly a member of Bloodshy & Avant, who helped write 'Toxic' for Britney Spears along with a load of her absolute worst songs. Unfortunately, I wouldn't quite put this on par with their best either - and yes, it's almost entirely because of the heavily autotuned child voice. Yeah, the tropical synth and sandy percussion is alright, but between the whoops, the pitch-shifting, and the incredibly on the nose anti-bullying message, it just wears on my nerves in record time. So yeah, for those of you asking, there's a reason I didn't cover it for World Hit... and here's my counterpoint.

97. 'Lush Life' by Zara Larsson - I covered this a few weeks back when I had no idea if this was ever going to pick up any momentum, but it's finally here and it's definitely not worn out its welcome. A tight wiry synth and percussion line, enough watery effects to compliment the mix without swamping it out including a surprisingly subtle whistle, and Zara Larsson showing some pretty solid pipes fitting somewhere between Rihanna and Alessia Cara. And again, for a song about a girl who is living out her summer bouncing from crush to crush, it's pretty damn infectious. Again, the real crime is that it took this long for 'Lush Life' to chart - let's hope it sticks around.

95. 'La Bicicleta' by Carlos Vives & Shakira - and almost like clockwork, we get one of two Spanish songs entering the Hot 100 - and unless you get a huge crossover hit, they tend to stick near the bottom throughout the summer before fading away. And yet there's a part of me that hopes that doesn't happen, mostly because I consider it a net positive if there's more Shakira on the charts. Now in this case it's a duet with Colombian singer Carlos Vives, who has been very successful on the Latin charts but not quite crossing over to the Hot 100 until here with 'La Bicicleta'. And... eh, it's alright, I guess. I'm not quite sure what it is that's not quite clicking with me - Shakira sounds great as always and she and Carlos have good chemistry, and the bouncy love song flair in the lyrics is generally pretty likable, especially with some of the details in the lyrics. I honestly think it might be the instrumentation - sure, the acoustic guitar adds some nice groove and I'm not going to complain about some good accordion and slightly more textured percussion, but the main rubbery bass beat that runs through the entire song feels tacked on here to make it more pop, and frankly, it's not needed - although with how polished the rest of the song feels in the percussion, I'm not all that surprised. At the end of the day, though... not bad, but I still don't think Shakira's quite at her best yet, so we'll see.

91. 'You & Me' by Marc E. Bassy ft. G-Eazy - okay, here's something a little embarrassing about myself - for probably longer than I should otherwise admit, I thought the word bass was pronounced as 'bass' - yes, like the fish - and thus when I saw this guy's name, my mind immediately went to a juvenile place. Oh, don't look at me like that, I'm only twenty-six here - but in all due seriousness, Marc E. Bassy, otherwise known as Marc Griffin, has been around in the pop scene for a while now, a member of the pop soul group 2AM Club before going solo with a mixtape in 2014 and this being the lead-off single for his upcoming new album. And... well, it's definitely not soul. Instead Marc E. Bassy goes straight for a very weedy reggae sound that's about the furthest thing from natural, especially coming after the piano intro and especially when he tries to use the second verse to contort his voice into a reggae accent as he and G-Eazy try for their version of 'Hotline Bling'. And sure, while initially I was onboard with painting the situation as a respectful moving on, two niggling issues made that difficult, the first coming where Marc E. Bassy implied in his verses he's still got feelings and then G-Eazy throwing in how the relationship might not have been great but why did you have to go cheat on him and mess it up! It adds the sort of petty sourness that reminds me of MAGIC! in a bad way, and at least that band had a little more atmosphere to their petulance. This is just plastic and thin, not recommended at all.

89. 'You Was Right' by Lil Uzi Vert - okay seriously, American public, of the XXL Freshmen, why are you giving this guy a second song on the Hot 100 when both Anderson .Paak and Denzel Curry would be far better choices? Because I sure as hell didn't like the last song I heard from Lil Uzi Vert, and this isn't good either. And I could go on about how Metro Boomin's production is limp and underwhelming with a muted warble for a melody that has no presence, but it's still probably the best thing here compared to Lil Uzi Vert. And I've got the perfect word to describe this guy: lazy. The hook sets up a song of regret that he shouldn't have taken this groupie home when he has a girlfriend and how communication between them is falling apart... so why then at the end of your first verse you say if someone comes at you, you're going to fuck her sister and 'make sure she vanish' - that's psycho and it doesn't solve the problem of your girl feeling devalued. The apology of the hook screams of insincerity, especially because on the second verse you only give four bars to trying to extend any sort of comfort, and nowhere on this song do you actually apologize. Ugh, why the hell does this twerp have a career again?

86. 'Duele El Corazon' by Enrique Iglesias ft. Wisin - you know, I'm still a little stunned that Enrique Iglesias can continue to release singles that do well. Most of his recent success has been Spanish, but he's been reasonably consistent in releasing tracks for the past fifteen years, and when 'Messin' Around' with Pitbull dropped off the charts this week, he had this collaboration with reggaeton artist Wisin ready to replace it. Now Wisin actually has charted before - he had a very minor hit in 2014 backed by J.Lo and Ricky Martin with 'Adrenalina', and this is doing even better... although it's definitely got its fair share of problems. For one, I don't recommend you translate this song to English, because right in the opening lines Enrique describes how he wants to finish in his girl's mouth - charming. And when you realize that this is also a song where Enrique is trying to woo over this girl from her boyfriend - a relationship he doesn't care about, no matter how much it's clearly putting her in crisis - and then Wisin follows it by saying maybe they should go party with said boyfriend because she can handle it! Wow, that's brazen, and while I might buy it from Wisin, I'm not sure I can buy it from Enrique, who has never been convincing in a role like this from all the way when he made 'Escape'. The one point I will give to its favour is that the instrumentation is actually pretty tight with the sharper acoustic groove that builds to a pretty propulsive hook, even if I think those synth accents and fizzy percussion could have been pitched out in favour of something with a little more grit. In other words, even though the song has its issues, I can see myself liking this in spite of myself, so it'll be interesting to see how it progresses.

72. 'Love Make The World Go Round' by Jennifer Lopez & Lin-Manuel Miranda - you know, it can be very easy to get cynical about these sorts of charity singles... but some reason, Lin-Manuel Miranda seems to have an uncanny ability to short-circuit that for me. Everyone nowadays knows him from Hamilton, but I remember him more strongly for In The Heights for managing to tap into personal struggles of a son of immigrants struggling to keep his bodega running with an immediately distinctive voice and textured delivery. And while there's a part of me that'd love to see Daveed Diggs use his Hamilton success to push clipping to primetime exposure, Lin-Manuel Miranda is right now getting a potent boost of his own, this time teaming up with Jennifer Lopez for a heartfelt tribute to the victims of the Orlando gay nightclub shooting. And honestly, I'm not sure Jennifer Lopez is the best person to make this tribute, mostly because the production reframes the entire track like a flashy tropical dance number... but then again, given the kind of music that would have typically played on a latin night at that club, there's potent symbolism there. But let's get real, this track because Lin-Manuel Miranda drops a strong, well-written and heartfelt verse that's easily the highlight. I don't know if it'll be enough to keep this song around more than a week, but I suspect that since it's not framed or written like your typical charity single, it might have more staying power. And I hope it does, it's a good song.

So yeah, that was this week... yeah, it wasn't great, but it was far from bad, which is definitely a nice change of pace. We also had more entries so for the best it's easy: 'Lush Life' by Zara Larsson takes the top spot with 'Love Make The World Go Round' for the Honourable Mention. On the flip side, 'You Was Right' by Lil Uzi Vert somehow makes the bad grammar of this week even more insufferable as the worst, with 'You & Me' by Marc E. Bassy ft. G-Eazy as the Dishonourable Mention - probably a more contentious opinion, but give it a few listens, this song is rancid. Overall, though, you have to have hope that things are finally starting to look up a bit.


  1. WHAT SHOULD'VE HAPPENED AFTER THE TONYS: Billboard's world turned upside down as Yorktown smashed onto the Hot 100 as one of my favorite songs to have charted this year.
    WHAT DID HAPPEN: Money Longer and a bunch of bleach bottles cracked open.

  2. I am quite sure you may haven't got any request for it so i will be the one to suggest it,you should give a try C-Bool Never go away a poland hit.