Name: Adam Bernard Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States About Me: Entertainment journalist with 15+ years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, fringe movies, & chicken shawarma. Part time ninja. Nerdy, but awesome. See my complete profile
Welcome to your weekly dose of pop world musings. Covering all things pop culture, this week Pop Shots is hitting you with some Billboard singles chart analysis. I haven’t done this since February, so I felt it was about time to break down who’s making moves, and what I really think of their latest hits. The chart positions I'm using are from the Billboard Hot 100 as it was listed on Billboard.com last week, and since this is Pop Shots, you know everything is seasoned with a little bit of attitude.
1) Gotye w/ Kimbra - Somebody That I Used To Know
Damned near every pop artist has a break up song or twelve in their arsenal, but very few of those songs have an impact that lasts any longer than the time it takes to play them. When the four minutes is up, so is the emotion. That’s not the case with Gotye’s debut single, and monster breakout hit, “Somebody That I Used To Know.” With “Somebody That I Used To Know” Gotye has managed to make a break up song the likes of which we haven’t heard since No Doubt’s “Don’t Speak.” From the chronicling of why the relationship went bad from both the male and female perspective, to the feelings after the complete dissolution of everything, this is a breakup song that will live on for years to come. The video is also pretty cool, and reminiscent of something Peter Gabriel might have done in his prime.
5) Flo Rida w/ Sia - Wild Ones
I have to admit, I thought Flo Rida was going to be a one hit wonder. Instead, he’s become the new MC Hammer. He makes, for the most part, patently inoffensive dance oriented hip-hop songs you can play at your family’s summer BBQs. It’s pop rap, but as I’ve stated before, pop rap can be a good thing if it’s used as a gateway drug to bigger and better hip-hop. He’s probably never going to write a song that inspires people to take on their government, but we have other artists looking to do that. Flo Rida is going to make you dance, and we need artists like that in our lives, as well. Quite frankly, if “Wild Ones” doesn’t make you want to shake your ass there might be something wrong with you.
32) Jason Aldean - Fly Over States
I’m a city kid. I love being able to walk everywhere and have places open 24 hours a day. That being said, country superstar Jason Aldean’s “Fly Over States” makes me appreciate the less inhabited parts of America a little bit more. I still wouldn’t want to live there, and yes, Jason, I have driven through Indiana, and despite the billboards advertising fireworks it wasn’t exactly a Fourth of July celebration in highway form, but after hearing this song it’s hard not to think of those areas a little bit differently. That ability to make a listener look at something in a new light is a true testament to the song’s greatness. Many attempt to do it, Aldean succeeded.
53) Demi Lovato - Give Your Heart A Break
I have a very weird compliment for “Give Your Heart A Break.” The first time I heard it I wanted to know why it wasn’t on Natalia Kills’ album. Turns out, it’s because it’s not a Natalia Kills’ song, it’s a Demi Lovato song. The reason I was fooled? The chorus, which has a cadence that is classic Natalia Kills. I give all the credit in the world to Demi Lovato for fooling me, because before this I had always thought of her as “not Selena Gomez.” Now she has a song that I turn up when I hear it on the radio, and gets stuck in my head for hours on end. This one’s a true winner for her and I’d love to see her continue making pop music in this vein.
71) Havana Brown w/ Pitbull - We Run The Night
Holy mother of God, when it comes to addictive, fist pump inspiring, songs “We Run The Night” is far and away the new title holder. Ignoring the fact that Pitbull is on it, because pop radio now apparently has a minimum daily requirement of Pitbull (who knew that in the food pyramid of radio he’d be one of the artists in the gigantic base section?), the beat of this song makes me want to punch through the ceiling... in a good way. The limited singing on it is solid for a dance song, and, more to the point, it is categorically impossible to sit still when “We Run The Night” comes on. Seriously, I can’t even do it when I’m driving, and I’m 99% sure it’s the song and I don’t have some kind of condition. Although, if I told someone I had a bad case of Havana Brown it would kind of sound like something a doctor would want to take a look into.
And with that, my time is up for the week, but I'll be back next week with more shots on all things pop.
B-Listers are a select group of artists that were featured in my Artist Of The Week series that ran every Monday from April of '06 to April of '11. All of these artists have two things in common; extreme talent, and a flight path far too under the radar for my liking. They took on the title of B-Listers as they embraced being featured by me, Adam B. Check out the AOTW Archives for all the interviews.