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 a little Billboard singles chart analysis, as fall is here, which means a new batch of songs are ruling the airwaves. The chart positions I’m using are from this past Wednesday, and since this is Pop Shots, you know everything is seasoned with a little bit of attitude.
1. The Chainsmokers w/ Halsey – Closer
"Closer" is the latest in a string of hits for The Chainsmokers, but not everything is all rainbows and unicorns for the chart topping duo. A terrible live performance at MTV’s VMAs, and a cringe-worthy, potentially career-shortening, interview with Billboard, have them teetering on the brink of self-destruction. They make some pretty darn good pop music, so hopefully they'll wake up, and realize douchiness, and finger pointing, is no way to live life, or have an extended career (unless you're Kanye West). As many of you know, I'm a huge fan of Halsey, so the fact that she's on "Closer" makes it a win for me, even if, for the time being, I wince at the mention of The Chainsmokers.
15. Lady Gaga – Perfect Illusion
Apparently, much to my chagrin, "Perfect Illusion" is not Lady Gaga's ode to David Copperfield. Instead, after years of singles that were, at best, a mixed bag, "Perfect Illusion" is a return to form for the pop star. It's a song reminiscent of The Fame Monster era, as it's sure to fill dance floors. Heck, it even features elements of disco, which her voice has always been perfect for. If we get more singles like this from her, we could be looking at a very Gaga fall and winter.
19. Ariana Grande w/ Nicki Minaj – Side To Side
You already know I think Ariana Grande is pretty great. I consider her voice to be one of the best in music today. For her latest single, “Side to Side,” she's joined by Nicki Minaj, who she teamed up with before on "Bang Bang." Once again, the result is a great pop song. My only gripe is that despite being in the top 20, I rarely hear "Side to Side" on the radio. What's up with that, Clear Channel?
Side note: If the spin classes at my gym looked anything like the one in this video I'd hop on a bike in a millisecond, and pedal like a champ.
28. Flume w/ Kai – Never Be Like You
If I asked you if you like the latest from Flume, you might give me a strange look, having no idea what I'm talking about. However, if I asked you if you like the song that played ad nauseam during commercial breaks on MTV, as the network advertised some show you never thought of watching because it just looked like a bunch of annoying hipsters partying, you'd know EXACTLY what I'm talking about, and heck yeah you like it, because the chorus is freakin killer.
51. Martin Garrix w/ Bebe Rexha – In The Name Of Love
Bebe Rexha is an artist who's equally adept at singing, and songwriting. She's had hits of her own, and written hits for others. She's also a great live performer, and she’s certainly easy on the eyes. With all that in mind, it's a bit confusing as to why she isn't mentioned alongside the upper echelon of pop stars yet. Perhaps her collaboration with Martin Garrix, "In The Name of Love," will be another step up the ladder of success. Personally, I'm interested in listening to anything she releases (even if her team did flake on an interview with me a few years ago, less than an hour before it was supposed to happen).
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.