Thursday, August 31, 2017

DrogeMiester's Billboard Analysis - September 9, 2017

The new Billboard charts have arrived and so it's time again for me to give you my thoughts! In this weekly post, I cover three sections. First, I give my thoughts on the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100. Second, I give my thoughts on the songs that experienced significant gains below the top 10. Third, I give my initial thoughts on our new arrivals this week. I reserve the right to switch things up in the future, but for now this is what I'm sticking with. I've followed the Billboard charts for a long time now and this is a great way for me to express my thoughts to the world. I hope you enjoy!

Billboard Hot 100 Top 10: 

1- "Despacito" - Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee featuring Justin Bieber (=) -- Part of me never thought this day would come. But it has. Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men charted their 16th and final week at No. 1 on the chart dated March 9, 1996 with their hit single "One Sweet Day." A record that stood for 21 and a half years. During that time period, there have been 26 songs prior to "Despacito" that hit double digits at No. 1 and all of them fell short of tying the 16-week, five of them getting all the way to 14 weeks before collapsing. But "Despacito" has done the unthinkable. Mariah and B2M won't have to give up their crown, but they will have to share it with the most unlikely trio of artists. Who would've thought that a couple of Latino superstars would be the ones to tie the record on the U.S. charts? But of course you look at Justin Bieber's addition to the party and it all makes sense. The three of them managed to break cultural barriers and deliver a hit for millions of people across the globe to enjoy, regardless of language.

I do say that part of never thought that this day would come. I phrase it that way because the other part of me knew it was only a matter of time before it happened, especially since songs are camping out longer and longer in the Hot 100 thanks to the increased presence of streaming in our culture, which naturally has a longer shelf life for songs than radio or sales. Since 2013, songs have averaged 11 weeks in the top 10 and that number only seems to be getting higher. Compare that to Mariah's day when the average was just under 9 weeks. And that is even nearly double the five weeks they averaged from the beginning of the Hot 100 in 1958 until the introduction of the Nielsen SoundScan in 1991. So you can still say that Mariah's run is more impressive.

Does "Despacito" have a shot at breaking the record by getting to 17 weeks? No. It doesn't. If you haven't heard, Taylor Swift released a song just in time that will be soaring up to No. 1 next week as she's set to have the biggest week of sales for any song since Adele's "Hello." Now the question will be how long will "Despacito" remain in the top 10? The aforementioned "One Sweet Day" only lasted 19 weeks in the region after its 16-week run at the top. Radio for "Despacito" has started to collapse and sales probably won't hold for much longer, but solid streaming should keep it around.

2- "Wild Thoughts" - DJ Khaled featuring Rihanna & Bryson Tiller (=) -- I've been saying for weeks now that "Wild Thoughts" didn't have enough chart points or momentum to stop "Despacito" before it got the record. And I was right. It wasn't rocket science, though, so don't praise me too much. Now with Taylor Swift sweeping in next week, "Wild Thoughts" is looking to be stopped altogether from reaching No. 1. And quite frankly I'm happy. Rihanna doesn't need another No. 1. She's had about 20 too many of those. And this song is one of her worst.

3- "Bodak Yellow (Money Moves)" - Cardi B (=) -- I'm certainly glad this monstrosity isn't getting any higher. Yes, I'm glad that a solo woman was able to make it into the top three, but I didn't want this solo woman to be the one to do it. I'll be much happier with Taylor Swift being the woman to break the trend because she's much more deserving.

4- "Believer" - Imagine Dragons (+1) -- Imagine Dragons moves up a spot because "Unforgettable" has started to tank. I actually find that sad. I would've preferred French Montanta and Swae Lee to stay in the top five over Imagine Dragons. That's strange.

5- "Attention" - Charlie Puth (+1) -- Copy and paste the last comment. Except for that last sentence. It's not strange for me to diss on Charlie Puth. The man is bland and boring and I wish that the radio would give up its love affair with this untalented man.

6- "Unforgettable" - French Montana featuring Swae Lee (-2) -- Again, I'm sad that this is dropping. I would've been totally fine if this had eventually snuck its way to the top of the charts. But now it's looking like it is on its way out of the top 10.

7- "There's Nothing Holdin' Me Back" - Shawn Mendes (=) -- More boring, bland white boys singing bland pop songs that the radio has a love affair with. At least we have a small win by keeping this untalented white boy out of the top five yet another week. I mean, we've already had enough damage to the music industry by having this song exist in the first place, let alone break into the top 10. Can we please have a small win by not allowing it into the top five?

8- "That's What I Like" - Bruno Mars (=) -- Why won't this song go away?

9- "Shape of You" - Ed Sheeran (=) -- I want this song to go away, too. But I have to stop and recognize another major milestone in Billboard history right here as Ed Sheeran now stands on his own with Billboard's second most prestigious record, the longest number of weeks any song has spent in the top 10 with 33 weeks... and counting because it won't go away. Ed broke out of the three-way tie he joined last week and shoves LeAnn Rimes' "How Do I Live" and The Chainsmokers' "Closer" down into second place. I do find it sad to see LeAnn fall from this spot after what has now been 20 years. But again, with how long songs are staying in the top 10 today, LeAnn Rimes still has the more impressive run as she did it when staying in the top 10 for that long was unheard of while Ed has done so in a time where a lot of songs have come awfully close.

10- "Rake it Up" - Yo Gotti featuring Nicki Minaj (+14) -- Gross. We already have Cardi B, the Nicki Minaj wannabe, in the top 10. And now we have the queen of trash herself in the region as well? It had this huge of a jump because of the music video being released. I can only hope that the momentum stops here because this really is one of the worst songs of the year. Each week I give the new songs a grade on my Excel file to make it easier on me in creating my best and worst songs of the year. This song I gave a flat out F grade. And I stand by that.

Rising on the Hot 100:

11- "Strip that Down" - Liam Payne featuring Quavo (+2) -- This is heading into the top 10, isn't it? Well, I suppose I'll take this if it means kicking anything from No. 7 to No. 10 out since those songs have already overstayed their welcome. Although with Taylor soaring to the top spot next week and the VMA's impacting sales, it'll be interesting to see what actually happens next week.

18- "Sorry Not Sorry" - Demi Lovato (+7) -- Demi announced her new album and released her newest single. I believe that's what helped this song get a decent jump. And do you know what? I totally fine with this. I'll take a decently average Demi song over our any other females in the top 10 right now. But I'm not confident this will actually get there.

29- "1-800-273-8255" - Logic featuring Alessia Cara & Khalid (+8) -- I'm not sure what has caused this song's most recent resurgence after I thought it was on its way out, but I'm cool with that. This song has helped a lot of people and I think it's decent musically. The VMA performance will help it get another huge boost next week.

38- "What Ifs" - Kane Brown featuring Lauren Alaina (+6) -- We now have three country songs currently in the top 40, with this being the highest riser of the bunch. And I'm fine with this joining the club, I suppose. It's better than the other two at the moment, that being "Body Like a Back Road" by Sam Hunt and "Small Town Boy" by Dustin Lynch. But let's get a good country song to the top of the country charts, please?

41- "Young Dumb & Broke" - Khalid (+8) -- I keep being more or less neutral about this song rising fast. It's not great. It's not awful. It just kinda exists. Although it would really be nice if that Marshmello song with Khalid was the Khalid song rising, but it dropped this week after its debut last week. And this song is another VMA performance, so I'm anticipating a big jump next week.

45- "Drinkin' Problem" - Midland (+6) -- No. This is a country song that needs to go away. I don't care if I lived in a city called Midland once. I want the country band called Midland to disappear.

58- "When it Rains it Pours" - Luke Combs (+10) -- Unlike Luke Combs actual lyrics, I'm going to use this phrase correctly. When it rains, it pours! We have Luke Combs joining Midland, Kane Brown and Lauren Alaina rising this week. There's some good country songs on the charts. Can't country radio accept one of those and send it to the top?

75 "B.E.D" - Jacquees (+14) -- Not time to panic, yet. But let's not encourage this guy to make more music.

New Arrivals:

20- "Friends" - Justin Bieber & BloodPop® -- I'm a lot more happy that I should be that I got the ® on BloodPop® in there. That's all I'll say about that. I had never heard of BloodPop® before this song came out. And that's probably because he mostly only did writing and production work and this is his first released single as a part of the music instead of just being behind the scenes. Although a quick wiki search revealed to me that his previous stage name was Blood Diamonds and then the light bulb went off. Blood Diamonds did a pretty sweet remix of my favorite Ellie Goulding song, "Anything Could Happen," on the "Halcyon Days" album. Maybe he should've kept the name Blood Diamonds. That sounds cooler to me. But anywho, his electronic work with this song is what makes it work on an otherwise average Bieber track. Thus this reminds me a lot of "2U" by David Guetta and Bieber. Although I do think the lyrics are somewhat more interesting and fairly relatable with Bieber asking the age-old question, "Can we still be friends?" Stated after a breakup. Yes, that can happen. But it's hard to pull off. I would've been fine if this had debuted at No. 1. But I think I'm more happy with it debuting at No. 20 because that seems to be a better fit.

34- "I Get the Bag" - Gucci Mane featuring Migos -- Oh my goodness. Did someone just serve me up a plate of horse manure with a side of cow pies? Gucci Mane AND Migos on the same song? I almost just skipped this song, but I did my due diligence and gave it a listen. Although I didn't make it very far. Mostly because I got bored. After a very typical Quavo opening, Takeoff drones on and on with perhaps the most boring rap verse ever. It's super long with no groove and mostly all on the same note with a lot of mumbles. Like Offset recorded it while drunk and high in the studio and 3 a.m. without any previous warm-up. I didn't make it to the Gucci part of the song, which apparently doesn't happen until the second of two verses. So this is more like Quavo and Takeoff featuring Gucci Mane. Because Gucci is barely in this and Offset is not in it at all, so I feel they're cheating by calling this Migos. Anyways, this is as awful as you might think. I don't know how this can be referred to as music.

53- "Roll in Peace" - Kodak Black featuring XXXTENTACION -- Out of the frying pan and into the fire. Gucci Mane featuring Offset-less Migos followed by the untalented Kodak Black featuring the man who should go back to prison and leave the world alone? OK, maybe that's mean, but this XXX dude got popular while in prison and has been nothing but trouble ever since. Yet because making prison rappers famous is the cool thing to do, Kodak Black decides to feature him on his song right around the time where XXX's album gets released. Yikes. Luckily he doesn't show up until the end of the song, but that's no consolation because we just have to deal with an awful Kodak Black for most of the song, mumbling through his nonsensical, dirty, useless lyrics with no groove or flow. Yeah, I lasted longer on the Gucci/Migos song. This is a piece of filth.

77- "Look What You Made Me Do" - Taylor Swift -- Oh hey. I didn't expect this song to get here this week. Taylor released it Thursday night, just in time for next week's tracking week. But I guess this song's sales are so huge that it sneaked into No. 77 with just a few hours of release, meaning Taylor officially misses the chance to debut at No. 1, because this is an absolute guarantee to skyrocket 76 spots next week and stop "Despacito" from breaking the record. So let's get to it!

From the second I listened to this song, which was shortly after its release, I knew this was going to receive a ton of mixed reaction. It's safe to say that this song can be summed with her moment of dialogue towards the end, wherein she says, "I'm sorry. The old Taylor can't come to the phone right now. Why? Oh. Because she's dead!" It's safe to say our innocent, young country pop Taylor is long gone and she's had quite the transformation over her career. But is it a good transformation or just another slip off the deep end like Miley Cyrus in 2012? I'll let you decide what you think of that, but I actually appreciate the transformation she's gone through. Instead of giving us the same stuff each album, she's experimented and evolved. She's written music that represents the feelings and emotions she's gone through. Because, yeah, an 18-year old Taylor is going to have different things on her mind than a soon-to-be 28-year-old Taylor and her lyrics reflect that. Yeah, I know her age. Because it's mine. Her last album was titled "1989" after her birth year. Which is my birth year. So you can say that Taylor and I have progressed through adulthood together.

Specifically with this song, she's just blowing out all the anger and frustration she has towards the world's most unintelligent couple, Kanye West and Kim Kardashian. If you don't know about this feud, go look do a Google search. And laugh at all the horribly awkward things Kanye and Kim have done and said. Sprinkle in a little bit of Katy Perry's boneheadedness of late and Taylor is dealing with a lot of crap. And yes, she should be Christlike and turn the other cheek. But as a human being, sometimes you just need to explode and vent about the horrible things happening around you. I'm not a fan of diss tracks, but this is a loaded, sharp, hatred-filled diss track where every line is a direct attack at yet another dumb moment that's been thrown in her face and as I dug deep into the lyrics of this song, I was blown away by how detailed and emotional every single lyric of the song was and how it connected all together for a huge punch in the face towards Kim, Kanye and Katy.

Musically I also enjoy this. It's very catchy and infectious with quite the range of instrumentation and quite a bit of electronic influences thrown in, which makes me curious about how the whole album will sound. The only thing I don't really like is the chorus. I find it a bit annoying. But outside that I think it's a solid song from T-Swift. If you hate the song, then you'll probably still hate it. But if you were on the fence, give it another chance, because this has the potential to grow on you. And again, the more you know about this drama, the more meaning the lyrics will have.

79- "Younger Now" - Miley Cyrus -- Speaking of Miley Cyrus, here she is right after T-Swift! And talk about someone who's gone through quite the transformation. She went from every 8-year-old girl's role model to the prime example of a singer who's seemingly decided to throw her life down the drain to, well, now. "Malibu" floored me with how great and normal it was. I expected awful Miley still and I got the old Miley back. And that's why I find this song interesting. It's the title track and opening number to her upcoming album "Younger Now" where she expresses that she feels like a new person. She feels younger again, yet she's not afraid of who she used to be because everyone changes and the experiences in life shape you into the person you will become. Even though this album is not out yet, this feels like a great introductory song to her new album where she unveils the new Miley, which then leads right into "Malibu," which is followed by a yet unreleased collaboration with Dolly Parton called "Rainbowland." Standing on it's own, the song is fairly basic and surface level, but I feel it will be a solid intro to an album that I'm excited about!

80- "It's Every Night Sis" - RiceGum featuring Alissa Violet -- I can't believe this is happening. Remember that song "It's Everyday Bro" by that punk kid Jake Paul whose arrogance and cockiness was higher than just about anyone I've seen. Yeah, well apparently it was somehow a diss track towards this Alissa Violet girl and this RiceGum dude got offended, so he teamed up with Alissa Violet to write a direct attack on Jake Paul and his song. OK, I get it. I hate the song, too. But this diss track in retaliation is just as bad, if not worse. Like, I have no idea what stupid, childish feud this group of crybabies is having, but the world doesn't need to hear about it. The only good thing about Jake Paul is that his songs only lasted a week on the charts. Let's hope that's the same here because it's an absolute shame that either of these songs charted when great songs like "Symphony" by Clean Bandit and Zara Larsson don't. But hey, that's 2017 for you. "Symphony" has charted everywhere else in the world, but not here.

82- "Transportin'" - Kodak Black -- I think Kodak Black's album dropped and that is why we have two of his songs to discuss today. Let's just praise the music gods that two songs is all he got because having to go through anymore would be an atrocity. I mean, two Kodak Black songs is already two too many. At least in this song, though, there's no punk prison thug tagged along with Kodak. But that's also the problem. This is just Kodak and no one else. So I had to sit there and listen to Kodak mumble incoherently through three minutes of song. I mean, I've heard worse from Kodak. But that's not saying much. Most things Kodak touches turns to giant piles of horse crap.

90- "Questions" - Chris Brown -- Another rapper that the world doesn't need any new music from. At least this time he's not singing graphic, disgusting sex songs like he is is his previous single, "Privacy." The problem here with "Questions" is that there's nothing to this song. It's a part of his upcoming eight studio album that includes 40 tracks. Yes, you hear that right. 40. This one just over two minutes long and all he does is tell the girl he has a question for her that he wants an answer to. That's it. He repeats that over and over some basic, "I love you" lyrics in the two verses. And he doesn't even reveal to us what the question is. He just says he has a question. If the whole album is going to be this empty, well, I don't know how people can call this interesting music. I just hope that we don't get much of anything from this album on the charts. If I had to cover 40 Chris Brown songs in one week, I probably just wouldn't do it. One is bad enough.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

DrogeMiester's Billboard Analysis - September 2, 2017

The new Billboard charts have arrived and so it's time again for me to give you my thoughts! In this weekly post, I cover three sections. First, I give my thoughts on the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100. Second, I give my thoughts on the songs that experienced significant gains below the top 10. Third, I give my initial thoughts on our new arrivals this week. I reserve the right to switch things up in the future, but for now this is what I'm sticking with. I've followed the Billboard charts for a long time now and this is a great way for me to express my thoughts to the world. I hope you enjoy!

Billboard Hot 100 Top 10:

1- "Despacito" - Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee featuring Justin Bieber (=) -- With a 15th week at No. 1, "Despacito" now stands alone in second place on the list of longest-leading No. 1 hits in the history of the Hot 100. Only one more week to tie the all-time record set by Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men with "One Sweet Day." With the latter song being in the 1990's, that means "Despacito" is now the longest-running No. 1 hit of the 21st century and it also stands alone as the longest-running primarily non-English No. 1 hit of all-time. It's also the longest running No. 1 hit on both the digital sales chart and streaming chart. And while we're at it, a reminder that it's also the most viewed YouTube video of all-time as of a couple of weeks ago.

So the big question is, can it do it? Can "Despacito" tie the 16-week record? Well, we first look at the current runner up, "Wild Thoughts," and the margin decreased quite a bit from this week to last week as "Despacito" now only holds a 1.19-to-1 lead, compared to the 1.46-to-1 lead from the last two weeks. But don't be deceived. "Wild Thoughts" made that push due to a 69-cent iTunes discount because "Despacito" remained steady in all three categories while "Wild Thoughts" went nowhere on radio and streaming. When it comes to 69-cent iTunes discounts, two can play at that game as "Despacito" has now just gone on sale, guaranteeing that "Wild Thoughts" will not stop it from hitting 16 weeks.

But it's still not a guarantee that it will get there as the biggest competitor now will be Justin Bieber's new single "Friends," which is headed for a lofty debut next week. Can Justin Bieber humorously stop himself from getting the most prestigious Billboard record? If he doesn't, *rumor is that Taylor Swift is set to drop a new single on Friday, which will be in play when "Despacito" tries to go for the official record-breaking 17th week at the top. Taylor's snake videos on Twitter and Instagram seem to confirm that at least something is coming real soon. It's proven harder and harder for songs to debut at No. 1 with how important streaming is now, but if any act can do it, both Justin Bieber and Taylor Swift would be the most likely candidates.

*- Rumor confirmed. After typing this up, I went to Taylor's Twitter to see if there was an update and earlier today she announced that her new album "Reputation" will be out November 10 with the first single coming tomorrow night (late Thursday/early Friday). That will take effect when "Despacito" goes for week 17, as previously mentioned.

2- "Wild Thoughts" - DJ Khaled featuring Rihanna & Bryson Tiller (=) -- As I previously noted, Rihanna and friends made a pretty tactful push with that iTunes discount. But it proved to be too little, too late. Record or no record, "Wild Thoughts" is still on target to eventually pass "Despacito," but the aforementioned singles from Justin Bieber and Taylor Swift could prove difficult to overcome if they do in fact debut high and stay high. "Wild Thoughts" may be joining the long list of songs that almost made it to No. 1. Which, if that ends up being the case, I'll be happy. Rihanna doesn't need another No. 1 hit. She's had too many of those in her career. 

3- "Bodak Yellow (Money Moves)" - Cardi B (+5) -- It took us eight whole months, but we finally have a solo female top three hit in 2017. Rihanna, Halsey and Taylor Swift made it into the region this year, but they were accompanied by other male singers on their songs. This is also the first female rapper to hit the top three with a debut entry since Iggy Azalea's "Fancy," featuring Charlie XCX, in 2014 and also the highest charting female rap song unaccompanied by another artist since Nicki Minaj's "Anaconda," also in 2014. This is all fine and dandy, but I really wish a different female artist would've been the one to set these marks because I really don't like this song. But even though it's surging right now, I question how high it can actually go because it currently only has streaming going for it. It could be an eventual candidate for No. 1 if radio and sales catch. I hope they don't, though. This is as high as I want this song to go.

4- "Unforgettable" - French Montana featuring Swae Lee (-1) -- It actually makes me sad to see this song slip a spot. I would've loved to see this pass "Wild Thoughts" on the charts and I would've been fine if it eventually snuck into the No. 1 spot. But now with "Bodak Yellow" skyrocketing into the region, that seems like hopeless thought. But oh well. I won't lose too much sleep over this.

5- "Believer" - Imagine Dragons (-1) -- It's good to see Imagine Dragons falling a spot this week.

6- "Attention" - Charlie Puth (-1) -- It's good to see Charlie Puth falling a spot this week.

7- "There's Nothing Holdin' Me Back" - Shawn Mendes (-1) -- It's good to see Shawn Mendes falling a spot this week.

8- "That's What I Like" - Bruno Mars (-1) -- It's good to see Bruno Mars falling a spot this week.

9- "Shape of You" - Ed Sheeran (=) -- I've been so focused on the potential record-breaking run of "Despacito" that I almost forgot that Ed Sheeran just tied the second-most prestigious record in the history of the Hot 100, that being the 32-week record of weeks in the top 10 of the Hot 100. Ed Sheeran is now in a three-way tie with The Chainsmokers' "Closer," featuring Halsey, and LeAnn Rimes' "How Do I Live." One more week and Ed has the record all to himself, which is looking fairly likely. Although is certainly not a guarantee, especially if Justin Bieber debuts in the top 10 next week.

10- "Body Like a Back Road" - Sam Hunt (+1) -- Well, I saw this coming because Sam Hunt was hanging out at No. 11 while "I'm the One" was taking a nosedive, but... WHY?!?!?!?! Why in the name of tarnation can't we get rid of this abomination?

Rising on the Hot 100:

13- "Strip that Down" - Liam Payne featuring Quavo (+2) -- And why is Liam becoming the most popular 1D member? At least at the moment, because we can't discount Zayn. But even then, why are Zayn and Liam the two 1D members celebrating the most staying power. Harry Styles actually made a really good album and we threw him in the trash in favor of these two punks. Shame.

15- "Slow Hands" - Niall Horan (+2) -- I'm also not a huge fan of Liam doing well. But I could take him over Liam. And why isn't Louis doing well, either? We as an American population should learn to reward good behavior, not reward artists making lazy and/or boring songs.

29- "What About Us" - P!nk (+53) -- This was certainly expected as P!nk debuted at No. 82 last week with only a day's worth of tracking. Now in her first full week, she earns herself a top 30 hit. And I can only hope that this is a song that will stick around. Typically songs tend to drop again in their second full week, so I'll expect that next week, but I really want this to rise into the top 10. Thankfully the radio has always loved P!nk, so I'm crossing my fingers here.

33- "Versace on the Floor" - Bruno Mars (+10) -- I'm now wondering if "Versace on the Floor" will play out more like Ed Sheeran's "Castle on the Hill" and not quite catch on. If this missed the top 10, I would shed no tears, but at the moment the fact that it is rising is a good thing because that takes away from Bruno's other baffling hit, the extremely overrated "That's What I Like."

37- "1-800-273-8255" - Logic featuring Alessia Cara & Khalid (+13) -- Say what you want about the quality of this song. It has inspired people to actually call the suicide hotline and get help. That's a huge win. Although I'm a bit confused as to why it is rising right now. Did a music video get released? Because I thought this was slowly on the way out. Oh well. I don't mind. I both enjoy this song and really appreciate what Logic is setting out to do.

52- "The Race" - Tay-K (+18) -- Do I have to remind you of this song's story. This punk kid is facing murder charges and is currently in prison. He wrote this song during his tenure of breaking free before getting caught again. Why are we rewarding him with fame? Get rid of this right now!

68- "When it Rains it Pours" - Luke Combs (+12) -- And the rest of the risers this week are country songs. This being definitely the least of them. And sadly the top of the risers from this week. Typical country radio. Playing all the dumb country songs.

73- "Unforgettable" - Thomas Rhett (+13) -- In a hilarious turn of events, I have no idea how this song goes. I see the title "Unforgettable" and I start singing the French Montana and Swae Lee song. I sometimes re-listen to songs when that happens to remind me of what I thought about it, but in this case I think it would prove a point by not doing so. This song is quite forgettable.

79- "It Ain't My Fault" - Brothers Osborne (+12) -- Oh heck yes! This song has been hanging out in the bottom of the charts and I've been wanting it to break through. I'm still not confident that it will, but I would love it if this were the country song that becomes a huge hit. I'm not quite as big of a fan of it as some people are, but it's certainly better than most country songs right now.

80- "All the Pretty Girls" - Kenny Chesney (+12) -- And this song can please go away. Again, go listen to the Fun. song of the same title from Fun.'s first album. It's really good. This is not.

85- "Every Little Thing" - Carly Pearce (+13) -- Oh please, please, please, please, please let this be a smash country hit. Good songs deserve to be rewarded, remember?

New Arrivals:

42- "Silence" - Marshmello featuring Khalid -- After a huge year last year, EDM has been rather quiet in 2017, at least when it comes to mainstream hits. Since I love the genre, it's great see a good EDM song show up again. Although I'm not sure how much of this is Marshmello or how much of it is Khalid. Probably more Khalid, but Marshmello is becoming more mainstream after "Alone" broke out last year. As far as EDM hits goes, this is not a strong banger that you can blast at parties and it's not necessarily super deep lyrically, but Khalid has a great voice that works well with an EDM backdrop. On his own, he's still good. But he can ride the line of a bit boring at times. Marshmello gives him just enough energy to make this a better than average Khalid song and it does have enough emotion, given that Khalid is speaking of being emotionally broken by love and thus becoming one with the silence, yet is trying his best to get his sense of confidence back. This is a very nice song that I hope does well. If it does catch on, I would envision more Marshmello collaborations with mainstream artists in the future, which will definitely improve our current state of music.

88- "More Girls Like You" - Kip Moore -- The first of our trio of new country songs goes to Kip Moore. I'm not super familiar with Kip Moore and when I looked at this title, I didn't have very high expectations. But I quickly found myself rather enjoying life while listening. So much so that I listened to the song three times in a row right off the bat. The fact that this is only two and a half minutes helped with that. In addition to a quick song, this is a simple song with a catchy beat that might make me be humming it for the rest of the day. What I really appreciate here from Kip Moore is that he's not trying to hard. He's just singing a simple song about a guy falling in love with a girl that makes me get up and want to go country dancing. And I don't go country dancing.

92- "Something New" - Wiz Khalifa featuring Ty Dolla $ign -- I think there's only been one previous Wiz Khalifa song that I've enjoyed and that of course is "See You Again," the Paul Walker tribute from "Furious 7." And yes, it bugs the living crap out of me when radio stations play the version of that song without Wiz Khalifa, because his rap is what makes that song. Without it, it's just another bland and boring Charlie Puth pop song. Anyways, enough of that and onto this song. Which continues Wiz's streak of making it so there's only one Wiz song that I love. Because yeah this song is crap. And I'm definitely convinced that "See You Again" was just a strange fluke. We actually start out with a nice beat and Ty Dolla $ign opens with a decent chorus, but then the song goes nowhere from there. Wiz sounds bored. Ty sounds slightly less bored. Musically the song goes nowhere and lyrically it's just about them sleeping with women. Yawn.

95- "Untouchable" - YoungBoy Never Broke Again -- What's with this trend of prison making rappers popular? I swear, if you want to find success in the rap community, go commit a crime, spend some time in prison and release a song right when you get released and the whole rap community will think you are the next savior of the world. Oh well. I suppose I shouldn't dwell too much on this. The story with this kid is that he went to the studio right before he got arrested and just spewed out some thoughts he had about life, then did his time and almost forgot about the song. People told him it was awesome and so when he got out, he wrote a second verse and released. Thus we have a simple rap song that's like a before and after prison song. It's actually not that bad when it comes to rap standards. Even though he's partially mumbling and stumbling through both verses, I can actually sense some emotion here. I can tell he's rapping what's honestly on his mind instead of giving your typical sex, drugs, fame rapping. Nothing I'm going to listen to on my own free will. But there's worse out there, so it's whatever. Also, he should pick a different rap name because this one is dumb.

97- "I Could Use a Love Song" - Maren Morris -- I have a soft spot for female country singers. I've always preferred them over male country singers. Along with that, I've grown to enjoy Maren Morris. I wouldn't call her pure country. She's more of a country pop singer that reminds me a lot of Taylor Swift's early years. You know, back when Taylor actually sang country pop, before she completely abandoned the country side of that and went to straight pop. Since Maren is only four months younger than Taylor, I like to think of her as the type of singer that Taylor would be right now if Taylor had stuck with her roots. "I Could Use a Love Song" is fairly simple, but there's an honest hurt to her voice as Maren sings about how bitter love has made her and how she yearns to hear a love song that will take her back to the days where she was hopeful and happy about love, so that she can cure some of the heartbreak she's experiencing now. And, well, in thinking of Taylor Swift again, I feel that if Maren turned on "Love Story," that would be the perfect cure for her!

98- "Fix a Drink" - Chris Janson -- I was hoping we could go three for three this week with our country music after Kip and Maren delivered strong songs. But sadly that's not the case. Yet this is not quite a lost cause. I like Chris Janson's voice and I think this song has a decent groove to it as a country rock song. But there's just no depth behind this. Yeah, Kip and Maren's songs were simple as well, but they were singing about things that I found interesting and they had a lot of passion behind it. Chris is just informing us that he can't fix any of the problems in the world, but he can fix himself or someone else a drink. And that's literally pretty much it. Good for you, Chris. Now after you're done drinking your drink that you so amazingly put together, go back to the drawing board and give me something interesting next time that I can get behind.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

DrogeMiester's Billboard Analysis - August 26, 2017

The new Billboard charts have arrived and so it's time again for me to give you my thoughts! In this weekly post, I cover three sections. First, I give my thoughts on the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100. Second, I give my thoughts on the songs that experienced significant gains below the top 10. Third, I give my initial thoughts on our new arrivals this week. I reserve the right to switch things up in the future, but for now this is what I'm sticking with. I've followed the Billboard charts for a long time now and this is a great way for me to express my thoughts to the world. I hope you enjoy!

Billboard Hot 100 Top 10:

1- "Despacito" - Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee featuring Justin Bieber (=) -- Another major milestone has been reached for "Despacito" as this crazy phenomenon of a song has matched the 14-week run of "Macarena" as the longest run at No. 1 for any Spanish-language song on U.S. Hot 100. In fact, that's the high mark for any non-English language on the U.S. charts as out of the nine songs that have made it to 14 weeks or more, "Despacito" and "Macarena" are the only ones not in English. And speaking of these nine songs that have hit 14 weeks, only one of them managed to make it past this mark, that of course being Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men's "One Sweet Day," which ruled for 16 weeks starting in December 1995. The other seven songs failed to get any further. Thus will history repeat itself for "Despacito" or will history be set with "Despacito" standing on its own in second place? Signs are pointing to the latter as "Despacito" scores 82,000 sales (down 3 percent), 49.4 million streams (down 1 percent) and 134.6 million radio audience (down 4 percent). The margin this week in chart point percentage for "Despacito" vs. "Wild Thoughts" is 1.46-to-1. Which Billboard reports is the same exact as last week. Two weeks ago it was 1.59-to-1. Three weeks ago it was 1.73-to-1. That's a margin that's simply not closing fast enough. Thus I honestly think that, unless we have a major debut drop this week or next, the record is going down.

2- "Wild Thoughts" - DJ Khaled featuring Rihanna & Bryson Tiller (=) -- The advantage that Rihanna has here over "Despacito" is on radio as "Wild Thoughts" rose up 6 percent to 135.1 million in radio audience, narrowly edging out "Despacito" by half a million in total audience. But that 6 percent rise is down a bit from last week's 9 percent rise, meaning "Wild Thoughts" could be close to peaking on radio, which is not a good sign if it wants to move up to No. 1 because sales and streaming are still not good enough. Billboard actually didn't report specific sales and streaming numbers for "Wild Thoughts" in their article this week, but they did report that both "Despacito" and "Wild Thoughts" are both down 2 percent in overall chart points, so do the math from last week and sales for "Wild Thoughts" are somewhere around 30,000 with streams somewhere around 33 million. In order for "Wild Thoughts" to go No. 1 in the next week or two, "Despacito" is going to need to suffer an epic collapse somewhere because these sales and streaming numbers for "Wild Thoughts" simply aren't good enough and I see no signs of that changing.

3- "Unforgettable" - French Montana featuring Swae Lee (=) -- I actually wouldn't mind it if this song went No. 1. But it certainly has no chance of doing so in the next month or so. Sales and streaming are about equivalent with "Wild Thoughts," but the radio is quite a bit behind. But if it manages to be consistent enough, it could happen.

4- "Believer" - Imagine Dragons (+1) -- And then there's the rest of the top 10. Full of songs that are either crumbling due to them well overstaying their welcome or songs that are rising by default. Imagine Dragons is one that's going up by default, but I don't think it has a serious chance of breaking into the top three. And while I certainly prefer this over Mr. Puth or Mr. Mendes, it makes me sad that this is becoming the Imagine Dragons song that is starting to become one of their biggest hits when they've had so many other songs that deserved such an honor but never got it.

5- "Attention" - Charlie Puth (+2) -- Seriously. Why did we let Mr. Puth into the top five? I know he's been here before as a part of "See You Again," but he was more of the frosting on the cake on that song with Wiz Khalifa carrying the meat and depth. In other words, Charlie Puth as an appetizer or side dish is just fine. But as a main course, he's just boring and bland. I don't get it.

6- "There's Nothing Holdin' Me Back" - Shawn Mendes (+2) -- And I honestly don't know which song would make me more upset if it stuck around in the top five. I'm grateful this song hasn't hit the region yet and I can only hope it gets stuck at this spot, but I'm made that Charlie Puth did so instead. No one on planet earth is going to remember either of these two songs in a year from now if they can even remember them at this point. I blame the radio for all of this because that's all these two songs have.

7- "That's What I Like" - Bruno Mars (-3) -- Oh thank heavens, a miracle has occurred. Bruno Mars' most boring and forgettable song yet has FINALLY exited the top five. It didn't belong there in the first place and after over 20 agonizing weeks, it's gone. Now let's hope a quick exit from the top 10 altogether is in the cards for the near future.

8- "Bodak Yellow (Money Moves)" - Cardi B (+6) -- I've been demanding more female presence in the top 10 for much of the year near since 80 percent of the artists in the top 10 in 2017 have been male. But this is not what I meant when I request more females. Cardi B is a Nicki Minaj wannabe and is quite honestly just as bad and annoying of a rapper. Yet sadly I think this is here to stay. It's had so much momentum. This could even be a future No. 1 hit... which scares me.

9- "Shape of You" - Ed Sheeran (=) -- Oh hey, speaking of prestigious records, I hadn't even been paying attention to how many weeks "Shape of You" has spent in the top 10. But it just clocked in its 31st week. The all-time record, which is currently now being shared by LeAnn Rimes' "How Do I Love" and The Chainsmokers' "Closer," is 32 weeks. If "Shape of You" manages just one more week, it'll enter a three-way tie. Let's hope that doesn't happen.

10- "I'm the One" - DJ Khaled featuring Justin Bieber, Quavo, Chance the Rapper & Lil Wayne (-4) -- Oh thank heavens, another blessing from above this week! I was honestly shocked to see this plummeting four spots, but I'm certainly not complaining. This is also a song that is so boring and dull that it never belonged in the top 10, but got there by name recognition alone, not by quality of song. Smart move financially for DJ Khaled to organize this posse, but I wish America would've been smart enough to reject bad music. Apparently not. If this is indeed this song's final week, then, well, don't let the door hit you on the way out.

Rising on the Hot 100:

12- "Bank Account" - 21 Savage (+6) -- On second thought, our current top 10 can stay put. As much as I don't like "I'm the One" or "That's What I Like" and as sick as I am of how long "Shape of You" has stuck around, I'd still listen to those songs any day of the week when given the option of them or this pile of trash by 21 Savage. Like seriously, why are we letting this get so high?

23- "Mi Gente" - J Balvin & Willy William (+5) -- The eventual replacement of "Despacito" in the top 10? Although it has slowed down a bit compared to its first few weeks, but I'm really curious if a non-English song like this can enter the top 10 WITHOUT an English remix. That would be the real milestone for foreign-language songs.

24- "Praying" - Kesha (+8) -- I'm so glad to see this gaining traction on the charts! And I'm sure Kesha's album release will give it even more of a boost next week. This SO belongs in the top 10! It's certainly much better than anything in there right now.

40- "What Ifs" - Kane Brown featuring Lauren Alaina (+8) -- A lot of country songs had small gains this week. This is the one that increased enough to qualify for this list. And I'm fine with it. I'm not madly in love, but we've certainly had worse.

42- "No Promises" - Cheat Codes featuring Demi Lovato (+9) -- Here come the Cheat Codes! If you didn't like the Chainsmokers, don't worry. These guys will guarantee you will be equally as upset. Because to heck with inviting good EDM artists into the top 50, let's popularize all the average and lazy ones. Sounds like a solid idea, right?

46- "It's a Vibe" - 2 Chainz featuring Ty Dolla $ign, Trey Songz & Jhene Akio (+7) -- I'm getting a vibe that this song needs to STOP climbing the charts. It's seriously one of the worst songs of the year. Why have we now invited it to the top 50?

49- "Young Dumb & Broke" - Khalid (+15) -- I've been rather impressed with this song's continued jump of the charts. I didn't expect it in the top 50 this soon. I also don't expect this to break top 20. I'm predicting it will slow down now. At least I hope that's the case. I don't mind the song, but I might be a little upset if it gets too high.

62- "Back to You" - Louis Tomlinson featuring Bebe Rexha & Digital Farm Animals (+12) -- So happy to see that this got a huge boost this week! Let's keep it coming. I've noticed that this is gaining traction on the radio, so I hope that's a good positive sign.

75- "The Weekend" - SZA (+14) -- We're making SZA a star now. I'm not sure how I feel about this. I mean, it's better than this Cardi B woman that's now in the top 10. But I'd prefer if this sudden SZA craze was hit the breaks. 

77- "Honest" - The Chainsmokers (+11) -- Oh dear, please no. Sure, I can't panic just yet at a No. 77 placement, but an 11-spot jump after its arrival on the charts is a bad early sign. I was hoping that we would collectively pretend this song doesn't exist so that it can go away.

New Arrivals:

70- "The Race" - Tay-K -- We have eight new arrivals this week, so let's get started! And we begin with... who in the heck is Tay-K? And why are we inviting him to the party? Out of context, this is another Migos wannabe song with a message I don't understand and plenty of "skrrts" that make everyone drool all over themselves for some reason. Boring. Dull. Awful. I made it through a minute of this song before I was done. And heck, I was almost halfway finished. Oh but then we add context and this gets even better. Tay-K is a 17-year-old kid formerly a member of a trio called Daytona Boyz, all of whom are facing criminal charges, with Santana Sage having been convicted of murder. In a separate incident, Tay-K was a part of a home invasion recently that led to the death of 21-year-old Ethan Walker. Tay-K was placed on house arrest, but decided he was done with that, so he cut off his ankle monitor and fled from Texas to New Jersey, where he was caught again and arrested. He wrote this song during this little escapade and got it released the day he got arrested. Now he is currently sitting in jail awaiting criminal charges for murder, of which the death penalty is an option on the table. So you know, punk kid with a criminal history that possibly might include a murder. Could spend the rest of his life in prison. But we're giving him a chance in the spotlight before that. That's 2017 for you. Well, at least this means we're getting nothing else from him, right?

76- "Patty Cake" - Kodak Black -- Well, at least our next song isn't from a guy currently in prison while facing murder charges. But it is boring, ole Kodak Black, who keeps becoming a thing for some reason. Yes, I don't mind "Unforgettable," but that has more to do with Swae Lee's part, not Kodak Black's rap. And this song, well, he's just talking about drugs, being rich, stealing your girl. The usual for an uncreative dull rapper these days. In the chorus he uses the phrase clap someone like a patty cake. I don't really know what that means and I don't know if I want to.  

81- "OMG" - Camila Cabello featuring Quavo -- Next up is one of two releases from Camila Cabello, everyone's favorite Fifth Harmony girl. Now I didn't mind "Crying in the Club" from earlier this summer. Not great, but better than most of the garbage from Fifth Harmony. However, both songs from me had me nervous just because I noticed features from Quavo and Young Thug. Sounded like a desperation move from a girl that just witnessed her other single flop on the charts. And, well, I'll speak about "Havana" in a second, but "OMG" is about as dull as I expected. The only good thing that came out of this experience for me is that it put Usher's "OMG" in my head and that made me happy, so I went back and listened to that, too. The difference here is that Camila's "OMG" is like a dull, lifeless version of Usher's. She just spends the whole song telling how good this guy looks. Which is actually the same thing that Usher's song does. But the difference is that Usher's version is catchy and infectious with a really awesome groove to it. Camila's is boring, slow, not catchy and has no groove. I also find it interesting that Usher's version actually says "Oh my GOSH," with an "sh." Camila just uses the Lord's name in vain over and over. I don't like cursing in my music in general, but using that word over and over really puts me off. The one positive thing is that Quavo doesn't annoy me too much, even though he's pointless in this song.

82- "What About Us" - P!nk -- How about some good news for a change? P!nk has a new album coming out in October! It's her first since 2012 and this is the lead-off single. Now P!nk hasn't been completely gone. She had her "Alice Through the Looking Glass" song last year as well as her feature with Kenny Chesney. But I'm ready for P!nk comeback with a new album! I love how much fire and personality she brings to her music. She also has a fantastic voice and is a good lyricist. This song implements a lot of these classic elements, which makes me happy. Although she does hold back quite a bit in this song, which I really like. She's not in outright attack mode. This is closer to a P!nk ballad. But there's a lot of emotion bottled in and she does a great job of belting it out in classic P!nk fashion. This is a rather fantastic song that I hope does well. Female singers have had a lot of bad luck in 2017. I hope this changes things. In fact, I believe this hit No. 82 with just a day or two. I'm curious to see how high it can go with a full week of sales. I don't think it has enough power to dethrone "Despacito" at the top, but that would be totally fine with me. Realistically I'm thinking top 20 or top 30. But that's just a random guess. If it can hit top 10 next week, I would be beyond ecstatic. The radio does like P!nk and since they've been desperate for something to latch onto, I hope this is the song. The charts could definitely use a bit of P!nk right now.

84- "Perplexing Pegasus" - Rae Sremmurd -- So this is awkward. You know how I've been *praising* French Montana's "Unforgettable," mainly because of Swae Lee? Yeah. I totally forgot that Swae Lee was one half of Rae Sremmurd. It's him and his brother Slim Jxmmi. Suddenly everything makes sense. And it rather shocks me because I've never really enjoyed anything the brothers have done as Rae Sremmurd. "Black Beatles" was fine, I suppose. I just was mostly bored with it and mad that the dumb Mannequin Challenge sent it to No. 1. With all this in mind, I can definitely say that this brother duo definitely has a better half and that is of course Swae Lee. He doesn't have the beat and groove backing him up like he does in "Unforgettable," but he's definitely tolerable in "Perplexing Pegasus." The big problem is when his brother Slim Jxmmi comes in. He's really annoying and is in all out Migos mode with his sound effects and echoes. But most of the song is actually Swae Lee, which is good. The problem is similar to that of Black Beatles. The song is kinda boring and repetitive. Perhaps Swae Lee needs someone with him writing the music and lyrics to give that portion of the music actual life, because "Unforgettable" proves that he has potential.

94- "B.E.D." - Jacquees -- Isn't it just lovely that we have another awful rapper invited to this poisonous, festering club of horse crap this is hip-hop in 2017? The benefit to this guy is that he's actually rapping without mimicking Migos, like everyone else is. But this song is nearly four minutes long with about a minute's worth of substance that is dragged throughout the run time. And it's not even good substance. He's talking about a girl who obviously wants a real relationship, but Jacquees is just wanting a girl around for him to sleep with and nothing else. If I were this girl, I would get the heck away from this punk, because he's so cocky and caught up in his fame and riches that he feels he doesn't need to work it out. She's going to be all over him once he gets his fame. Because that's all girls want, right? Sex and money. No. Just, no. I don't know how this guy is in real life. Maybe he's a nice dude. But this song is rather repulsive, sexist and flat out uncreative. I hope it goes away.

95- "Chillin' Like a Villain" - Sofia Carson, Cameron Boyce, Booboo Stewart & Mitchell Hope -- Remember two weeks ago when we had two songs from "Descendants 2" sneak onto the Billboard charts in the midst of all that Meek Mill trash? Well, I thought they were fun songs from what I was guessing was a harmlessly fun Disney Channel musical. I was very impressed with China Anne McClain in "What's My Name" and I was fine with "It's Going Down," even though I thought the latter didn't work as well out of context. After that week's post, I had a friend comment who had seen "Descendants 2" and she told me that "Chillin' Like a Villain" was actually the better song from "Descendants 2." So I listened. And yeah. It is the better song. And now here it is! I'm not super in love with the conversation that Cameron, Mitchell and Sofia have in the second half of the song. Maybe that's better in context. And Sofia Carson is certainly not as good of a vocalist as China Anne McClain. But this song is super infectious. I kinda love it in a weird sort of way.  Of course this music isn't anywhere near some of the classic Disney songs from their theatrical animated musicals. But I can see Disney Channel fans loving this song, especially younger kids. And if a song from a Disney Channel musical catches on with the kids, I can totally respect and appreciate that.

99- "Havana" - Camila Cabello featuring Young Thug -- Sneaking in right at the end we have Camila's other song and right out of the gate I will say this is better than "OMG." With Camila's verses and choruses, the song has a decent groove that I could see as very radio friendly song that could be harmlessly playing in the background without making me want to change the station. The song is about Camila falling in love with a bad boy from Havana, which is also the place that Camila grew up in, so she has an ode to her hometown, which is cool. The problem here is what I was nervous about when I saw the song. The Young Thug feature. He's really awful with his verse. Worse than Quavo in "OMG," surprisingly. The more frustrating thing about this is that Camila actually worked with Pharrell on this song. He participated in the writing process and is there for all the echoes in the song. So why didn't she give him the verse instead of Young Thug? He was the only one in Calvin Harris' "Feels" that was having any fun. I think he could've added a lot of passion and personality to balance out Camila. But no. That's not what happened. Ultimately this is a fairly forgettable song. As I said, this could be playing in the background and I wouldn't mind. And I do like the trumpet in there. But this could've been a lot better.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

DrogeMiester's Billboard Analysis - August 19, 2017

The new Billboard charts have arrived and so it's time again for me to give you my thoughts! In this weekly post, I cover three sections. First, I give my thoughts on the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100. Second, I give my thoughts on the songs that experienced significant gains below the top 10. Third, I give my initial thoughts on our new arrivals this week. I reserve the right to switch things up in the future, but for now this is what I'm sticking with. I've followed the Billboard charts for a long time now and this is a great way for me to express my thoughts to the world. I hope you enjoy!

Billboard Hot 100 Top 10:

1- "Despacito" - Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee featuring Justin Bieber (=) -- With Billboard back on track this week after being delayed last week, it feels like "Despacito" had an awfully short 12th week at top before now climbing to its 13th week at No. 1, becoming only the 11th song in history of the Billboard Hot 100 to reign for at least 13 weeks. Of the previous 10 to hit this milestone, only two of them managed to get stuck at 13 weeks while seven of them finished their reign at 14 weeks. Only Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men's "One Sweet Day" made it past that 14-week mark, making it to 16 weeks at No. 1, a record that has stood for 21 years. Of the songs that have come so close to topping the record, 13 weeks hasn't been a tough hurdle, but it's that 14 week mark that no one has been able to get past. While we wait to see if "Despacito" will break Billboard's most sacred record, there are a two other major records that "Despacito" just broke. This week it became the all-time leader for most weeks on top of the sales chart with 14, passing Flo Rida's "Low," Mark Ronson's "Uptown Funk" and The Chainsmokers' "Closer," all of which previous led with 13 weeks. It also just barely passed Wiz Khalfa's "See You Again" for the most viewed YouTube music video of all-time, joining "See You Again" as the only two songs to hit the 3 billion views mark. If you're following my margin's game, Billboard didn't report how close "Despacito" and "Wild Thoughts" are this week after "Despacito" had a 1.59-to-1 lead last week, but the numbers for "Despacito" are as follows: 84,000 sales (down 17 percent), 49.8 million streams (down 6 percent) and 141 million radio audience (down 1 percent).

2- "Wild Thoughts" - DJ Khaled featuring Rihanna & Bryson Tiller (=) -- Comparing the numbers of "Wild Thoughts" to "Despacito," "Wild Thoughts" achieved 34,000 sales (down 5 percent), 34.8 million streams (down 1 percent) and 128 million in radio audience (up 9 percent). So comparing these numbers, if in theory both songs were to follow these exact same peercent changes, when the illustrious 16-week mark hits, "Despacito" will still still have significant leads in sales and streaming while the only advantage "Wild Thoughts" will have is radio, a category in which it could pass "Despacito" as early as next week. So the big question is how heavy does Billboard's formula give weight to radio? Can "Wild Thoughts" get a big enough lead on radio to stop "Despacito" from hitting that 16-week mark? Because it doesn't look like it will be able to do much with sales and streaming at this point. I honestly don't know the answer. This is going to be close.

3- "Unforgettable" - French Montana featuring Swae Lee (+3) -- This is what I THOUGHT was going to happen last week. So after surprising me by falling down to No. 6, "Unforgettable" again surprises me by jumping up to No. 3 this week. But No. 3 is definitely where this is going to stay for a while. While the song increased in all three categories, it's still no where close to either "Wild Thoughts" or "Despacito." I could see this going No. 1 eventually. But not in the next three weeks.

4- "That's What I Like" - Bruno Mars (-1) -- I'd say we're making slow progress with this song falling back down to No. 4. But we're really not as this already fell down to No. 4 before somehow jumping up to No. 3 again. I mean, to heck with "Shape of You" and "Despacito," if this song won't leave the top five, this might end up as the most popular song of 2017. So even if you do like this song, tell yourself. Is this song good enough to be declared the most popular song of 2017. And keeping in mind that "Uptown Funk" isn't Bruno's song (he's only a feature on it), is this really worthy of being declared Bruno Mars' best song?

5- "Believer" - Imagine Dragons (=) -- Well, Imagine Dragons did manage to jump ahead of "I'm the One," but they all also got leap-frogged by "Unforgettable," meaning they stay put at No. 5. And you know, if it means booting DJ Khaled and friends out of the top five with that overrated snooze-fest, then I'm happy for now.

6- "I'm the One" - DJ Khaled featuring Justin Bieber, Quavo, Chance the Rapper & Lil Wayne (=) -- Speaking of this song, let's all stand and shout our hallelujah's that this song FINALLY fell out of the top five. It never belonged there in the first place and only got there because DJ Khaled recruited four popular musicians, not because the song has one ounce of quality. Next step is to get this the heck out of the top 10 and off the charts all together. It doesn't belong.

7- "Attention" - Charlie Puth (+2) -- I'm not quite sure how I feel about this. On the one hand, Shawn Mendes once again got held back from rising any further and "Shape of You" is even closer to FINALLY dropping out of the top 10. But on the other hand, it's boring as tar Charlie Puth that rose up to No. 7. So it's whatever, I suppose. I just hope this somehow loses momentum and sputters out before it manages to camp around in the top 10 for way too long.

8- "There's Nothing Holdin' Me Back" - Shawn Mendes (=) -- "Despacito" is still the No. 1 song on radio when you combine all formats, but Shawn Mendes just passed "Despacito" on pop radio. Because pop radio has nothing better to do than playing boring, bland, worthless pop songs on the radio. But since Shawn Mendes has no traction at all in sales and streaming, he stays at No. 8 for a fourth straight week. Preventing this song from rising higher is a minor win in my book.

9- "Shape of You" - Ed Sheeran (-2) -- It would really bring me much joy if this were the last week in the top 10 for "Shape of You." I don't hate the song. But it wore out its welcome a long time ago and I want it to go away. It's not deserving of song of the year.

10- "Body Like a Back Road" - Sam Hunt (=) -- Speaking of things that would bring me much joy and happiness, if this song were completely erased from existence that would make me the happiest man alive. Meanwhile Sam Hunt should just completely give up singing and go flip burgers at McDonald's. That would make the world a better place.

Rising on the Hot 100:

14- "Bodak Yellow (Money Moves)" - Cardi B (+14) -- There's a whole lot of songs rising right now, making it so we can kinda see what Fall has in store for us once our current stubborn top 10 finally breaks. And, well, it's a very mixed bag. As this song from the Nicki Minaj wannabe continues to soar up the charts, potentially breaking top 10 as early as next week, I'm not super excited about this future. It looks like we can just write off 2017 as a crappy year for popular music.

15- "Slow Hands" - Niall Horan (+3) -- Part of me finds great joy that Niall has now jumped ahead of Liam for current top song from a former 1D member. That's another minor win. But I'd still rather see Harry or Louis in this spot, so it's not a very big win.

18- "Bank Account" - 21 Savage (+3) -- Should I be happy that this piece of crap only jumped three spots this week or upset that it managed to crack top 20?

26- "Rake it Up" - Yo Gotti featuring Nicki Minaj (+6) -- This is now just on the outside of the top 25. While one can only hope this stalls before getting too much further, this song rising at all is a big lose for America. I don't get the appeal to this at all.

31- "Loyalty." - Kendrick Lamar featuring Rihanna (+33) -- I wish Kendrick had picked a better single from his album to promote next instead of the one written just for the sake of popularity with a Rihanna feature, but hey, I'll take this over the other two rap songs I just talked about.

32- "Praying" - Kesha (+6) -- It really makes me happy seeing this reverse course after dropping hard in its second week. I've noticed that the radio has started to latch onto this and that's a good sign. Let's just hope sales and streaming continue to follow because I would really love if this was a major fall hit.

34- "Feel it Still" - Portugal. The Man (+21) -- I would also love for this to become a major fall hit. In a year stuffed full of boring mediocrity, it would give me great pleasure if this and "Praying" can help ease the pain a little bit. We really need more good music.  

37- "Love Galore" - SZA featuring Travis Scott (+9) -- I suppose we are going to make SZA a major star because this song doesn't seem to want to slow down. And if Travis Scott wasn't on this song, I could accept this rising female star. As of now, I'm not happy.

42- "Small Town Boy" - Dustin Lynch (+7) -- Country radio has a lot of rising songs this week. And one of them desperately needs to rise fast enough to top Sam Hunt on the country charts. This song I hope isn't the one because it's not that much better.

46- "Versace on the Floor" - Bruno Mars (+7) -- It makes me happy seeing this song continue to rise. Not because I'm madly in love with it. Because it gives me hope that "That's What I Like" will finally fall off.

47- "Do I Make You Wanna" - Billy Currington (+11) -- Here's a country riser that I would love to see top the country charts. Let's send this one to the top.

48- "What Ifs" - Kane Brown featuring Lauren Alaina (+15) -- I'd also be fine with this song rising to the top, but not quite as happy as Billy Currington.

50- "Drinkin' Problem" - Midland (+10) -- Even though I lived in a city called Midland for a while, we certainly don't need to encourage these guys to make any more music.

51- "No Promises" - Cheat Codes featuring Demi Lovato (+17) -- We have a surprising lack of EDM artists on the charts right now compared to what was happening last year. Although I'd love to see more EDM do well, Cheat Codes can go away. Let's actually popularize a good EDM artist because Cheat Codes isn't one of them. And Demi's done much better, too.

54- "Thunder" - Imagine Dragons (+15) -- Most years I'd be happy to see Imagine Dragons do well. A second song gaining traction on the charts points to them gaining favor in the eyes of the mainstream again after their second album was a big flop in terms of singles. But I just can't get myself to be excited for either "Believer" or "Thunder" doing well.

63- "Heartache on the Dance Floor" - Jon Pardi (+10) -- And for our final country riser this week, well, let's just be glad that this one hasn't quite broken top 50 yet.

64- "Young Dumb & Broke" - Khalid (+18) -- Khalid's punctuationless follow-up single takes a surprising jump in its third week. I can't myself to be too excited for this, but yet there's definitely a whole lot worse happening right now, so I'm not complaining.

73- "Reminder" - The Weeknd (+27) -- I was wondering if The Weeknd was going to have another single do well from his "Starboy" album. This re-entered a little bit ago and seemed to have trouble gaining traction at first, but is this a sign it will do well? While I don't think this is as good as "Starboy" or "False Alarm," and probably a step below "I Feel it Coming" as well, this song does have a decent groove to it and I would be happy if it did well. After mostly enjoying the album, which surprised me, this is not a song I remembered from the album, so that's not a great sign. But again, there's a lot worse happening on the charts right now, so I'm not going to complain at an average, yet groovy song from The Weeknd doing well.

80- "Down" - Fifth Harmony featuring Gucci Mane (+10) -- One of the things that's a lot worse is that Fourth Harmony is managing to stick around and got a boost this week. I was happy when this song started failing. Now let's please send this to the trash bin.

New Arrivals: 

38- "You Da Baddest" - Future featuring Nicki Minaj -- Oh goodness. We have to suffer through more Future? And it's featuring Nicki Minaj? Yikes! What did we all do to deserve this? And why did this song debut in the top 40? Like, I seriously don't understand how people call this music. Future spends the whole song mumbling as usual, making him sound like he's stoned and drunk while recording. And looking at the lyrics it sounds like the same. Like he threw some random, dirty lyrics on a paper five minutes before recording then lazily stumbling through the song during the studio. All while drunk and high. The only positive thing about the song is that it is mercifully short on the Nicki Minaj side of things. She does a quick pop intro followed by a quick rap verse somewhere towards the middle and that's it.

68- "Unforgettable" - Thomas Rhett -- Gotta love Mr. Rhett's timing on this song. He releases a single titled "Unforgettable" while French Montana's "Unforgettable" is in the top five. Now we have two of these songs to follow. And, well, let's just hope America quickly "forgets" about Thomas Rhett's version because this song is very "forgettable." Granted, when compared to "Craving You," his other single from his upcoming album, this song is much better. Instead of telling the girl how much he craves her (not the best word choice when you're trying to be romantic), he's describing the first day they met... which included him spending 30 minutes trying to guess her middle name? Like, who does that? I think Thomas Rhett is trying to be romantic, but it just comes off as boring. Not offensive or horrible, but a song I'm literally going to forget rather quickly.

85- "When it Rains it Pours" - Luke Combs -- We follow up the previous bland and forgettable country song with one that I find a bit confusing. Usually when you use the phrase "when it rains it pours," you are referring to the fact that one bad thing led to a whole slew of awful things. Instead Luke Combs is talking about his girl dumping him and that being followed by a pouring out of great luck that causes him to be grateful that he left his girl. That's the wrong usage of the term, Mr. Combs. That aside, I don't know what light he is trying to put himself in, but as he's describing these events I just think that he's acting like a total insensitive jerk. Not to mention that musically he's using an extremely twangy, drawn-out voice to try to disguise the fact that this isn't a country song at all. Nothing in this song jives with me at all. It's just a big mess.

87- "They Don't Know" - Jason Aldean -- Third time's the charm for our country songs this week? Nope. It's three strikes and we're out because Jason Aldean has released what sounds like an album filler on what's probably a boring album. He brings his southern rock in full force in this song. But, you know, he sings with a twang and wears a cowboy hat. That means it's country, right? At least this song feels more connected than Luke Combs' song, but we're back in the boring range. Aldean is singing about how know one cares or appreciates the life of a farmer. Which I want to say people actually do. But Mr. Aldean can act butt-hurt for no reason if he wants. I'll just log this song away and go on with my life.

88- "Honest" - The Chainsmokers -- I listened to The Chainsmokers' full album when they released it back in April, hoping I'd find more songs like "Something Just Like This" and less songs like "Paris" and "Closer." Unfortunately I was extremely disappointed because most of the songs were like the latter two. It just felt lazy and phoned in. Like they worked hard as EDM artists until they gained this enormous mainstream success which caused them to think they didn't need to try. "Honest" has no life, no soul, no interesting beat, no drop. Nothing. And it's Alex Taggart just singing himself, which I thought he had learned to NOT sing anymore. Songs from The Chainsmokers are better when they feature real, trained singers. As far as the album goes, this song is better than "Break Up Every Night," "The One" and "Bloodstream." But it's a part of the huge clump of songs from the album that are just bland and boring. If The Chainsmokers were to pick another single from the album, I was hoping it would at least be "It Won't Kill Ya," "Wake Up Alone" or "Last Day Alive." At least those three are decent. But nope. Of course they go for one of their many bland ones.

89- "The Weekend" - SZA -- Well I've made it no secret that I'm not a fan of SZA's "Love Galore," which is doing really well right now. Thus I was not intrigued in the least bit to check out the album. But this song was me giving her a second chance because maybe having no Travis Scott or another untalented rapper would make her music decent? But no. This song is boring and stretched out like taffy. Like, I can tell that this girl does have talent in her, but thus far I've not seen that potential unleashed. Now perhaps this song being super slow is reflective of her mediocre, dull life that she's having in the song after realizing that her man is playing around with a bunch of other girls. But she doesn't seem to be as angry or upset as she should be. It almost like she's fine with sharing him, but would just like it if she had more than two days. So I'm not feeling it. Perhaps I should check out the album to see if there's anything worthwhile, but with two dull samples thus far, that's just not super high on my list of albums to listen to.

90- "New Rules" - Dua Lipa -- Unlike SZA, Dua Lipa is a rising female artist that I am excited about. She also has a debut solo album that has been released recently that I'm actually more excited to go listen to. I think Dua Lipa has a great voice, a good musical style and a lot of potential. Although it's not been all rainbows and butterflies. Her first crossover to the U.S. charts was "Blow My Mind (Mwah)," which I found super annoying. But then she teamed up with Martin Garrix for "Scared to Be Lonely," which I really enjoyed. "New Rules" is probably somewhere in between those two songs. There's still a level of potential that I feel she's capable of reaching that she doesn't hit. The song is pretty basic without much depth or passion. But it also has a decent groove to it that makes me prefer it over a lot of stuff that's been crowding the charts. So nothing too special, but a decent pop hit that makes me want more Dua Lipa.

93- "Wish I Knew You" - The Revivalists -- Here's a genre that deserves more love on the Billboard charts. Rock. Any sort of rock. But preferably rock that's more imaginative than Imagine Dragons right now. Occasionally one sneaks in, like this song here, and makes me happy. This is probably classified as a lighter, alternative rock as it topped the Adult Alternative and Alternative charts within the last year and has finally crossed over to the Hot 100 two years after the album was released. And it's possibly hear because it was featured in a beer commercial? Well, it's kinda sad that commercial songs are the only way we get semi-unique songs on the charts these days. But hey, whatever works. "Wish I Knew You" is nothing that will blow your mind. It's a softer, relaxing, groovy alternative song with a simple message. But it's a good song with a lot of good instrumentation and solid lead vocals from frontman David Shaw. A nice breath of fresh air. It makes me want to go listen to more of The Revivalists' music, of which they have three albums worth of content.

94- "Every Little Thing" - Carly Pearce -- We have a new country girl on the scene as Carly Pearce debuts her first ever single on the Billboard Hot 100. I think in general I have a little more of a soft spot for female country singers. They seem to fit the genre better. Not that there aren't any good male country singers. But I think there's a lot more female country singers that I enjoy and I might have to add Carly to my list. This is only based on one song, of course, but it's a great first impression as there's a lot of earnestness to this song. It's a soft song with restrained vocals, but I can feel the emotion as she's singing about, well, a subject that most country singers sing about. She's lost her lover. But unlike some country singers, I can feel the pain here. It's also possible that Carly is singing from the heart because she has yet to have a major hit on any charts. I hope she can stay honest because I'm curious to hear more.

97- "Learn to Let Go" - Kesha -- More Kesha to talk about this week as we now have her third song from her upcoming album "Rainbow" hit the charts. After being blown away by "Praying" and somewhat repulsed by "Woman," I was honestly curious as to where the rest of this album would be going. If it wasn't obvious before, it should be now that this ongoing issue with Dr. Luke is going to be the main inspiration behind this album. Which I appreciate. It's good to put some emotion and personal experience into your album and I think it worked great with "Praying." It's yet to be determined how the whole album will play out, but it was a breath of fresh air for me to discover that "Learn to Let Go" is more in line with "Praying" than "Woman." There's emotion and depth to the song rather than her just shouting about how awful and useless men are. I will say that "Learn to Let Go" doesn't quite hit the vocal heights or power of "Praying." I'd be surprised if any song from the album did, to be fair. But this is a good direction for Kesha that gives me confidence.

98- "All the Pretty Girls" - Kenny Chesney -- If you want to hear a good song called "All the Pretty Girls," go check out Fun.'s song with that title from their first album "Aim and Ignite." I absolutely love that song. This song by Kenny, though, doesn't really amount to anything and is thus pretty forgettable. He starts by talking about some stereotypical pretty girls and some stereotypical lost boys and for a moment you wonder what story he is going to tell. What arc both of these groups are going to go through. But instead it just amounts to them meeting together in a bar, getting drunk and making out. It's pretty anti-climatic and uninspiring. But a tad better than his previous hit.

99- "For Her" - Chris Lane -- This is our sixth new country song of the week and so far we've only had one good one. That being from Carly Pearce. Can we get a second? Unfortunately not. Although I will admit that this started off better than many of the others. Chris Lane seems more honest and earnest in describing this girl and what she makes him want to do for her rather than just spewing out another bland country song. The problem is that the song doesn't really have much of an arc or a story behind it. It's like in this instance, Chris Lane came up with a decent verse and a good chorus, but didn't know how to follow that up and form it into a full song, but he somehow managed to get to the three and a half minute mark by mostly repeating himself both in terms of exact lyrics or similar ideas. Eventually I just got bored.

Friday, August 4, 2017

DrogeMiester's Billboard Analysis - August 12, 2017

The new Billboard charts have arrived and so it's time again for me to give you my thoughts! In this weekly post, I cover three sections. First, I give my thoughts on the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100. Second, I give my thoughts on the songs that experienced significant gains below the top 10. Third, I give my initial thoughts on our new arrivals this week. I reserve the right to switch things up in the future, but for now this is what I'm sticking with. I've followed the Billboard charts for a long time now and this is a great way for me to express my thoughts to the world. I hope you enjoy!

Billboard Hot 100 Top 10:

1- "Despacito" - Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee featuring Justin Bieber (=) -- One of Billboard's top-tier data providers experienced some technical issues this week, hence the delayed charts this week and my delayed thoughts. We're glad it was all sorted out and hopefully we can get back on schedule next week. But that made for an unusually long wait to learn what we all already knew was going to happen. "Despacito" becomes one of just 19 songs to reign at No. 1 on the Hot 100 for 12 weeks or longer. It also ties Ed Sheeran's "Shape of You" for longest reign of the year. As far as margins go, sales and streaming dipped a bit more this week than the previous weeks while radio essentially stayed even. 102,000 sales (down 13 percent), 52.9 million streams (down 8 percent) and 142 million in radio audience (down 2 percent). According to Billboard's report, the gap in chart points this week for "Despacito" vs. "Wild Thoughts" is 1.59-to-1. Compare that to last week's 1.73-to-1 lead. If a similar marginal decrease continued at that rate each week, "Despacito" would make it to 15 weeks at No.1 while being stopped just short of Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men's 16-week record. In other words, this is going to come down to the wire. Last week I mentioned "Unforgettable" as a potential spoiler. Well, that song fell this week, so scratch that off.

2- "Wild Thoughts" - DJ Khaled featuring Rihanna & Bryson Tiller (=) -- I mentioned the margin in chart points this week is 1.59-to-1. The specific numbers for "Wild Thoughts" this week are 36,000 sales (down 9 percent), 35.3 million streams (down 1 percent) and 117 million in radio audience (up 10 percent). In other words, while sales aren't helping at all, "Wild Thoughts" held well enough on streaming and got a good enough radio boost to gain on "Despacito." But there's no margin for error here. It's going to need to continue to hold steady on streaming and continue to rise on radio while hoping "Despacito" continues to collapse on sales and streaming. If "Wild Thoughts" trips and falls, even for a week or two, "Despacito" may just steal that record away. Unless a new song manages to come in and debut at the top. But is there anyone poised and capable of doing that right now? I don't think so. But I'd be fine if there was.

3- "That's What I Like" - Bruno Mars (=) -- Bruno Mars certainly isn't going to rise up back to No. 1. The fact that this song is still at No. 3 shows the weakness of the songs below.

4- "I'm the One" - DJ Khaled featuring Justin Bieber, Quavo, Chance the Rapper & Lil Wayne (=) -- And I'm really surprised that "I'm the One" can't jump ahead of Bruno Mars again. I hope that this is a sign that it's on the way out of the top five. Thanks heavens!

5- "Believer" - Imagine Dragons (+2) -- Well here's a surprise. I expected "Unforgettable" to jump as high as No. 3 this week. Instead that song falls a spot and it's Imagine Dragons jumping into the top five instead. This is a sign to me that it's all up to "Wild Thoughts" or a new debut to stop "Despacito" from breaking the record. Because a rock song certainly ain't going to do it. I mean, tell me. When is the last time a rock band was actually No. 1 on the Hot 100? And don't respond with Maroon 5. They went away from rock a long time ago and barely count as a band.

6- "Unforgettable" - French Montana featuring Swae Lee (-1) -- As I said a few times now, this honestly surprises me to see this fall this week. I thought this had enough momentum to at least jump ahead of Bruno and DJ Khaled. But not only was it not able to do that, but Imagine Dragons also passed it. Now there was a Latin remix of this song that dropped recently where J Balvin was added to the mix. We also had a Major Lazer remix drop as well. So French Montana is doing his best to try to push this song over the hump. Can these remixes help reverse this song's fortunes? Sales and streaming charts on give me doubt, but it would be an interesting turn of events if J Balvin was the key ingredient to stopping Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee.

7- "Shape of You" - Ed Sheeran (-1) -- Baby steps. This fell from No. 5 to No. 6 last week and from No. 6 to No. 7 this week. How many more weeks until this finally drops out of the top 10?

8- "There's Nothing Holdin' Me Back" - Shawn Mendes (=) -- This song has only been here for three weeks and I'm already sick of it. At least it's camping out at No. 8 and not going any higher. Although I expect it to jump ahead of Ed next week. But let's hope No. 7 is where it peaks.

9- "Attention" - Charlie Puth (+1) -- It's been two weeks and I'm also already sick of this song in the top 10. Why are we giving so much attention to bland pop singers with little talent? Get Mr. Mendes and Mr. Puth far away from my Billboard charts and my radio.

10- "Body Like a Back Road" - Sam Hunt (-1) -- Do you want to know an awful horror story? Not only is this song STILL in the top 10, but it broke the record for most weeks on top of the Hot Country charts. So congratulations screwed up American. You have crowned this as the top country song of all time. And it's actually still rising on pop radio, which I can only explain by Sam Hunt's gang breaking into all the radio stations and holding the DJ's at gun point, forcing them to play his song. Because why else would this piece of trash country song be played at all on pop radio?

Rising on the Hot 100:

16- "Strip that Down" - Liam Payne featuring Quavo (+9) -- Really bad news on the rising songs chart. Liam Payne has jumped into the top 20 with his awful turn with Quavo. I'm about ready to crown this man as the worst former 1D member. And sad thing is we're encouraging him to continue to go down the awful route he has chosen? While rejecting Harry Style's brilliant music?

21- "Bank Account" - 21 Savage (+13) -- NO!!!!!! How dare we boost 21 Savage so high!!!! Someone stop this awful mutiny!!!!

28- "Bodak Yellow (Money Moves)" - Cardi B (+21) -- And we're also encouraging the Nicki Minaj wannabe to keep making music. I mean, just look at the title of this song.

30- "Mi Gente" - J Balvin & Willy William (+14) -- Another huge jump for J Balvin this week. Is this song heading for the top 10? If it does, I will be super impressed that it managed to do so without an English-speaking pop star joining the song. Luis Fonsi needed Justin Bieber to make his song a hit in the states. Can J Balvin do it on his own?

32- "Rake it Up" - Yo Gotti featuring Nicki Minaj (+9) -- Oh goodness. Not only do we have the Nicki Minaj wannabe rising on the charts, but we also have the Wicked Witch of the West herself rising on the charts. This song is literally one of the worst songs of the year. Why are we making it a thing and why won't the untalented Nicki Minaj just get out of my life?

46- "Love Galore" - SZA featuring Travis Scott (+7) -- We're making SZA a thing, too? Oh well. At least she's not quite as bad as Cardi B and Nicki. So it's whatever. But why does she have to bring Travis Scott along with her? That man has no ounce of talent.

51- "Whatever You Need" - Meek Mill featuring Chris Brown & Ty Dolla $ign (+38) -- It's a Meek Mill week. He gets six new songs debuting on the charts. Along with that, this song from June gets a huge boost. And I already forgot that this song existed, so let's hope it falls back down next week when these songs go away. Word on the street is that it was the Meek Mill songs that were the cause of this delay this week with some people trying to give him fake streaming numbers.

85- "Glorious" - Macklemore featuring Skylar Grey (+14) -- Yes! With all this mostly bad news this week, we finally have some good fortunes. This song almost dropped out after its debut, as it fell to No. 99. I thought it was done, which was going to make me sad that one of the few good rappers got rejected in favor of all these fakers. But thankfully it has survived. Now a jump to the 80's is nothing to lose my mind over, but at least it's a positive early sign. I want this song to be a hit. And we've had so much bad or mediocre luck on the charts this year that I would really be nice if we had a good song do good on the charts for a change. We all deserve it!

New Arrivals:

40- "Back to You" - Louis Tomlinson featuring Bebe Rexha & Digital Farm Animals -- I actually really liked Louis Tomlinson's first song, "Just Hold On" with Steve Aoki. I thought the EDM mix from Aoki worked really well with Tomlinson's voice. It was a good direction for him and I'm sad it failed to become a hit. Well, now that all the 1D have had a lot of success with their own songs, Tomlinson is back with his second song, this time collaborating with Bebe Rexha. And again, I really enjoy this. Minus the unnecessary cursing. But hey, usually there's clean versions released, so I'll wait for that. But this is a decent duet with Tomlinson and Rexha. A lot more than your typical pop collaboration where the featured act is there for a verse just to boost the song's sales. Tomlinson and Rexha's voices mesh really well and they both get equal time in this song to sing about how they are trying to move on from each other, but they keep coming back to each other. So just like with "Just Hold On,"  the lyrics aren't super original or deep, but the two of them make it work. And the instrumentation by Digital Farm Animals in the background rounds things out rather nice. Well done, Louis! This makes me look forward to your album if you have that on the way.

61- "What's My Name" - China Anne McClain -- Step 1 for this song was to determine who the heck is China Anne McClain. Turns out she's a 19-year-old Disney Channel star. OK. The next Selena Gomez or Demi Lovato? Step 2 is to figure out where the heck this song came from. "Descendants 2"? What the heck is that? And what is "Descendants"? Well, apparently "Descendants," not to be confused with Alexander Payne's "The Descendants" is in original Disney Channel movie from 2015 following the teenage sons and daughters of Maleficent, the Evil Queen, Jafar and Cruella De Vil and they are out to steal Fairy Godmother's wand. OK. And now we have a sequel to this movie that just premiered recently and was popular enough to chart two songs this week? Interesting. Well, in this movie, that I don't care to watch, China Anne McClain plays Uma, the daughter of Ursala. If you didn't know any of that, now you do. As far as the song, this sounds like Rihanna. A good version of Rihanna before she went completely down the drain. This girl has a great voice and good potential if she wants to pursue a music career. The lyrics sound like a villain song, so I'm guessing Uma is the villain of the movie and this is her main song. But I don't care enough to know the exact context. But after listening to this song, I can guess that people who like these "Descendants" movies really dig this song. It's not bad for a Disney Channel movie song.

77- "Issues" - Meek Mill -- If you couldn't tell by the six Meek Mill songs in this section, Meek Mill dropped his album "Wins & Losses." And I'm going to go through this quickly because I've never cared about Meek Mill. In this song, Meek Mill is singing about how he has issues. He's one of the many rappers that has copied Migos with an overdose of sound effects and echoes, which I find annoying. Luckily he manages not to be as annoying as Migos, which is a slight plus. And he's also actually rapping about something instead of girls, drugs or fame, which is another slight plus. But I mostly just got bored of this song. I don't think there's anything interesting here.

79- "Wins & Losses" - Meek Mill -- Here's the title track of Meek Mill's album, which is also the debut track. I do have to say this starts off the album in quite the epic way with an intro that grabs your attention followed by a sample from a speech from motivational speaker Eric Thomas. I can see fans of Meek Mill loving how this grabs your attention for what they probably think is a sick album. For me, though, the problem comes when Meek Mill starts rapping. In this instance, it's just one big, long verse after the intro and while the groove and flow is better than many rap songs, I still got bored 30 seconds into this actual verse and there's nothing unique or special with the lyrics that he sings. In this instance, I would've rather had a break for a chorus or two in between the verses and maybe then I could've given the song a pass, but that's not how the song went down.

81- "It's Goin' Down" - Descendants 2 Cast -- Read above for my brief description of "Descendants 2." This is the other song from the movie that charted and this one has the whole cast, which I'm glad Billboard simplified that for me so I don't have to type all their names. This is a bit harder to try to predict the context, but I'm guessing this is where the heroes of the movie go up and fight the villains on what sounds like a pirate ship where the king is captured. I'm sure it's an epic moment in the movie for those who watched the movie because this is a pretty fun song. Much of the song is dialogue between China Anne McClain and Dove Cameron intermixed with chanting from the two sides. Mitchell Hope has a nice little bridge towards the end that I liked, but the standout is when China Anne McClain gets the opportunity to belt it out and man does that girl have a voice. It's hard to believe the voice is coming from a 19-year-old girl as opposed to a seasoned, trained singer who has been doing this for 20+ years. I think this girl has a good future if she wants it.

83- "1942 Flows" - Meek Mill -- Unlike the previous Meek Mill song I covered, "1942 Flows" actually has some breaks with a chorus and refrain instead of just being one long verse. But in this song, Meek Mill is rapping about one of the most common things to rap about as he talks about how he went from having nothing to having everything. I don't know who the first person was to rap about becoming famous, but I probably wouldn't have been interested in that and I'm certainly not interested in the other 1,502,471 times it's happened since. When rappers don't have the ability to be unique or creative and instead do the same thing that everyone else does, my interest level immediately goes out the window. Also, this song at 4:42 is way too long. I stopped when I got to like 1:30 because I was already bored and I didn't want to listen to the other three minutes. Reading through the rest of the lyrics didn't convince me it was necessary, so I don't feel about at all.

91- "Imitadora" - Romeo Santos -- Romeo previously showed up in March with his song "Heroe Favorito," a song that I don't really remember to well, but upon a re-listen I am reminded that it is a decent Latin song. It's more toned down as opposed to being a big, bombastic Latin dance song, which is probably why it failed to stick around. Now Romeo gets to chart again with "Imitadora," which translates to "Imitator." I don't look to deeply into these Spanish lyrics, but my quick look is that he's trying to get this girl to come back to him as opposed to sticking with this "imitator." Romeo has a very high-pitched, smooth voice, which sells the romantic, sexual tension rather well. I don't need to translate any lyrics to pick up on the tone of the song and where he's going with it. And I think the song works well for what it's trying to do. Although, again, this is a softer song as opposed to an upbeat dance song like "Despacito" or "Mi Gente," so I'm predicting that this song won't have a very long chart life on the U.S. charts. It'll probably stick solely with its intended Latin audience.

96- "We Ball" - Meek Mill featuring Young Thug -- Every time I hear a rap song that talks about them balling, I'm convinced it was written with the sole purpose of making it onto the next NBA 2K game or to be played on ESPN, because for some reason ESPN and NBA 2K are suckers for those types of lyrics, even if they have nothing to do with basketball, just like this song doesn't. And for some reason Meek Mill felt the need to bring Young Thug onto the song with him, despite the two sounding almost exactly the same. If I wasn't looking for the exact moment where the two switched singing, I would've missed it, especially since Meek Mill sings the first half and Young Thug sings the second half and the song doesn't miss a beat. It's kinda like when you have those Glee covers where they unnecessarily have multiple singers singing one song when musically it doesn't make any sense for a new voice to come in. Yeah, not interested.

97- "F--- that Check Up" - Meek Mill featuring Lil Uzi Vert -- Remember when I said it was boring to me when rappers sang about them being famous and rich? Now can you guess how I feel when a rapper sings about it twice in one album? Yeah, I'll let you connect the dots. At least in this song I could tell the difference between the two rappers, unlike the last one. Although I hate Lil Uzi Vert, so I actually stopped the song when he came on. Especially since this boring trash went on for almost four minutes. Not quite as long as "1942 Flows," but still way too long.

99- "Heavy Heart" - Meek Mill -- I'm really glad I only had to cover six of these songs this week instead of all 17 songs on this way too long album that I'm just going to go out on a limb and say has absolutely nothing interesting on it. Just looking at the song titles, this was the one song that I thought could perhaps have more depth and emotion to it. Nope. He's just upset that all this fame, riches and girls left him unfulfilled. There could've been depth. But instead he just comes across as a self-entitled, stuck-up prick. If you like Meek Mill, I'm sorry. I just don't understand the appeal.