Name: Adam Bernard Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States About Me: Entertainment journalist with 20 years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, and B-movies. Part time ninja. Kicked cancer’s ass. My memoir, ChemBro, is out now!
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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. The summer is almost over, and right now there are a handful of songs that are gearing up to potentially rule the fall. From established boy bands, to up and coming pop queens, I’m taking a look at who will be heating up the upcoming cooler months. The chart positions I’m using are from this past Thursday, and since this is Pop Shots, you know everything is seasoned with a little bit of attitude.
31) One Direction - Drag Me Down
Zayn Malik, or no Zayn Malik, One Direction have cemented themselves as one of the most impressive boy bands of all-time. With songs like “Story of My Life” and “Night Changes” they’ve proven they can make timeless music, and their latest, “Drag Me Down,” is another hit that will get stuck in your head for all the right reasons. The production is incredible (kudos to Julian Bunetta and John Ryan), and the chorus is the kind of next level catchy we’ve all come to expect from One Direction. There’s zero point in fighting this one, it’s going to burrow into your brain at some point, and you’re going to find yourself singing along, perhaps in public, and you’re going to have to admit that you like it.
42) 5 Seconds of Summer - She's Kinda Hot
If you’re into judging books by their covers, or songs by their titles, you might think this is a typical boy band song about wanting a hot girl. Instead, it’s a playful take on relationships, with the kind of humor one might expect from a band like The Offspring. In fact, “She’s Kinda Hot” would fit in nicely in a playlist with “Why Don’t You Get a Job,” or “Pretty Fly For a White Guy” (that’s as far as I’ll go, though, because in this post-Pharrell/Thicke lawsuit world any further comparison could spark lawsuits). 5 Seconds of Summer are also a boy band that’s actually band, so this song is a seriously solid piece of pop-rock (not to be confused with Pop Rocks. Although, truthfully, I have no idea what happens if you mix 5 Seconds of Summer with soda).
64) Tori Kelly - Should've Been Us
Sometimes a song is inescapable. No matter where you go you hear it playing on an overhead, and when you turn on the radio it seems to be on every station. For me, that song is Tori Kelly’s “Should’ve Been Us.” It started at the gym, where I began hearing it every day around a month ago. Now every time I leave the gym, and turn on my car stereo, lo and behold, it’s Tori Kelly’s “Should’ve Been Us.” I think it’s a good song, but there’s also a chance I’m suffering from some kind of musical Stockholm syndrome, kinda like that time we, as a nation, decided we all liked MAGIC!’s “Rude.” Man, that was a weird summer.
67) Elle King - Ex's & Oh's
Embarrassing admission time. The very first time I caught part of “Ex’s & Oh’s” on the radio I had a brief moment of excitement thinking Gin Wigmore was finally getting mainstream airplay. After looking up the song, however, I found out it isn’t by Gin Wigmore, it’s by Elle King. Being that both artists are around the same age, it’s unlikely there’s any style jacking going on here, it’s just two artists who happen to sound alike, and have a similar vibe. That said, I really like that sound, and that vibe, so you can be sure I’m cranking this one up whenever it comes on (and also revisiting some of my Gin Wigmore faves).
79) Alessia Cara - Here
When I first heard Alessia Cara’s “Here” back in July I wrote about how I hoped it would become a mainstream hit, as it’s a perfect anthem for those who aren’t necessarily the life of the party. Thankfully, it looks like a slow build is starting to happen, as my initial introduction to the song at 3am has been followed up by hearing it a number of times during much more regular hours. In a nice twist, “Here” is a pop song directed at those who don’t normally like pop songs, and because of this it’s kind of amazing.
And with that, my time is up for the week, but I'll be back next week with more shots on all things pop.