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 a personal favorite is on the rise, a traditional powerhouse is having an uncharacteristically weak showing, and some surprises are working their way up.
The rankings are taken from last week’s chart, and since this is Pop Shots, you know everything is seasoned with a little bit of attitude.
40. Halsey – Bad At Love
I’m a bit biased, as I’ve made it pretty clear over the years that I’m a fan of Halsey’s music, but even putting that aside, “Bad At Love” is one of the most relatable songs in quite some time for those of us who are single and have a habit of either choosing the wrong person, or screwing things up with the right person.
Halsey is one of those rare singers who can write lyrics that hit so close to home you wonder if she knows you personally (the big one for me, when it comes to this, is The Summer Set’s Brian Logan Dales). With “Bad At Love” she’s telling a lot of people’s story, which is why this one continues to rise.
53. Taylor Swift – Ready For It
Whenever Taylor Swift releases a single she does it in such a way so as to make sure it debuts either at #1, or at the very least in the top five. This was the case, once again, with “Ready For It,” her second single off of her upcoming album, Reputation. While the song debuted at #4, however, it hasn’t had anywhere near the staying power of its predecessor, “Look What You Made Me Do.” In fact, “Ready For It” has already fallen out of the top 50 just six weeks into its run.
Now, there’s a very real possibility that with radio airplay the song can bounce back, but for now it seems the thing people aren’t ready for is hearing Taylor Swift sing-rap.
As an aside, the production for this song is very reminiscent of Siberia era Lights (see “Everybody Breaks A Glass”). Not a bad woman to choose as an influence!
70. Kelly Clarkson – Love So Soft
I’d heard this song on the radio a few times before looking up the artist, and have to admit I was legitimately surprised to find out Kelly Clarkson is the woman behind it. I thought, for sure, it was an R&B singer making a fantastic comeback, but nope, it’s the original American Idol making a fantastic comeback!
I’ve always felt Kelly’s had soul in her voice, and “Love So Soft” is an upbeat winner that I’m betting we’ll be playing long into the winter months.
83. Maren Morris – I Could Use A Love Song
Maren Morris is an artist the country music world has been excited about for a number of years, and recently she’s started breaking into the mainstream. She was nominated for Best New Artist at the 2016 Grammy Awards, and at the rate country music artists are becoming pop stars, she has a legitimate shot at becoming the next Carrie Underwood, or Lady Antebellum, in terms of Top 40 chart success.
“I Could Use A Love Song” is the perfect song to help her reach that next level, as it has the right mix of country, and pop, to potentially be a huge crossover hit, and lay the groundwork for even more.
85. Hailee Steinfeld & Alesso w/ Florida Georgia Line, & Watt – Let Me Go
There’s been a recent trend in the pop world of creating songs by throwing a bunch of artists together that you might not normally think of as being musically symbiotic. Sometimes, as is the case with “Let Me Go,” it works.
Perhaps it’s a credit to the producer, or simply to the universal commonalities that all artists share. Regardless of the reason, “Let Me Go,” with its big chorus that’s basically inviting you to sing along, has all the earmarkings of a hit.
And with that, my time is up for the week, but I'll be back next week with more shots on all things pop.