Archive for Music

Shard Awards 2010- Guilty Pleasure

Posted in Music, Shard Awards with tags , , , on December 7, 2010 by Niveous

It’s December. 2010 is coming to a close and it’s time to start all those year end lists. Here at Audioshards, I figure I’d do a little looking back at the year that was. I present the first annual Shard Awards. Throughout the month, I’ll give out awards in various categories. Let’s start off with…

Guilty Pleasure of the Year

There were a lot of contenders this year thanks to my Billboard Chart watching. The big winner is my kids fault. There are many songs that I started listening to because my sons watch Nickelodeon & the Disney Channel. Miranda Cosgrove, Selena Gomez and Big Time Rush all ended up with songs in my jukebox. Hell, I even started liking a Miley Cyrus song that wasn’t “Party in the USA” (but I blame that on Toby Gad)

This + 3 animated chipmunks= guilty pleasure

The song that wins this award is from the soundtrack to the Alvin & the Chipmunks Squeakquel movie. My youngest son is slightly obsessed with the Chipmunks and so I heard a lot of things from the soundtrack including this odd song by Queensberry. Queensberry is a British girl group born from a reality music competition. They gave them a duet with the Chipettes about a song that gets stuck in your head. The thing that hooked me about this song is that it essentially equates the Chipettes to insanity. Everytime they sing “You think I’m crazy, baby/ I just may be, baby”, it’s in the Chipette voice. I’ve heard this song without the Chipettes and it doesn’t work the same. You need the high pitched craziness.

It’s ridiculously catchy and incredibly strange. Most people wouldn’t admit to listening to a song with Chipettes on it, but I seem to lack a decent amount of shame. The 2010 Shard Award for Guilty Pleasure of the Year goes to “The Song”  by Queensberry & the Chippettes.

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A Step in the Right Direction

Posted in Music with tags , , on December 2, 2010 by Niveous

I do a lot of talking about the Billboard charts and I am a person who questions their current formula for determining what is a hit song. Times are changing so rapidly. The current formula still puts a large focus on radio, because according to Nielsen research 91% of people are still listening to the radio (though mostly in the car). I don’t know how accurate that is but satellite radio has been big business for quite some time.  How much does XM and Sirius and webradio like Pandora factor into the current formula? I have no clue because Billboard doesn’t really make their sources easily available & they don’t show their numbers either. So, I still have a lot of criticisms when it comes to how Billboard figures out what a #1 is.

Today, Billboard has added a new chart to their listings and I must say that it’s a step in the right direction. The chart is called the Social 50. It ranks artists (not songs) by their web presence. The formula measures new followers to their social media pages; weekly song plays and page views. And the best part is that it uses Next Big Sound. NBS is very clear about where it gets its info. I can go to the NBS website and clearly see they use Last.fm, Twitter, Myspace, Facebook, YouTube and iLike. It’s not a perfect system, but it’s clearly a great step to really figuring out what a hit record is in this day and age.

For instance, who is Christina Grimmie? The Social 50 ranks her right alongside Usher, Taylor Swift and Michael Jackson. She doesn’t have any “hit records” but she has a huge internet fan base (and a pretty good voice, I have to say). People are listening to this girl on YouTube. If she has a song that gets thousands of views in a week, that fits the definition of a popular song. But it’s not a conventional release….but we are in an unconventional time. The Social 50 is going to make things interesting in the land of Billboard.

The Social 50: http://www.billboard.com/charts/social-50?tag=chscr1

Next Big Sound: http://www.nextbigsound.com/

Formulaic

Posted in Music with tags , , , on November 22, 2010 by Niveous

I have finally stumbled upon it. Today, I found Billboard Magazine’s formula when it comes to what goes into the Hot 100. With the way that the internet is, I found it awfully strange that it was so incredibly hard to find this information. I still can’t find a list of sites Billboard derives info from or any sort of statistical data like you find with a chart like Mediabase, but I’ll take what I can get. What I’ve found is that in the current scheme, physical singles accounts for only about 1% of a song’s stat. That makes sense in this day and age. About 40% is digital sales, which I also can’t complain about. Maybe it’s a little low. 5 percent goes to streaming media though it’s mostly coming from Yahoo & Aol music. That leaves 55…and that belongs to “radio audience”. What does that even mean? Billboard says the chart factors “radio impressions”. I don’t get that. And in this day and age where everyone lives in their iPods and watches music videos on YouTube…is this even close to a viable formula? What do you think?

The Return of Audioshards

Posted in Music with tags , , on November 20, 2010 by Niveous

Hello to all that have stumbled upon this humble little blog. I’m Niveous and I’m back. I took a couple of days off from blogging due to my recent move to New York and a ton of happenings at work. But now I’m back and I’m going to do some things a little different around here, just to ensure that I have more content. My old blog 10kdays (10kdays.livejournal.com), I would write one post about music each day. I figure I was able to do that for over a 1000 posts, I could do the same sort of thing here. So, keep looking at the blog each day and there will be something different.

Today, here’s a cross post from another site that I have begun working with Cupcake Goth. Here is my review of the new album by Underoath:

%C3%98Band: Underoath
Album: Ø (Disambiguation)
Label: Tooth and Nail
Release: November 9, 2010

The band Underoath has earned its share of detractors. There are a multitude of reasons. They came onto the musical landscape early in the 00’s and were lumped by many into the emo genre, in part to their dual vocalist style and their appearances on the Warped Tour. They have also been lumped into the Christian Rock scene due to the band member’s faith. Neither of these labels truly apply to Underoath. They aren’t singing about Jesus and their music is far harder than the Jimmy Eat World’s and Taking Back Sunday’s that inhabit the mainstream emo scene. Underoath at its core is a metal band and their seventh album Ø (Disambiguation) makes that fact undeniable. I think it’s time for the detractors to take another look at Underoath.

Ø (Disambiguation) marks the first album without singer/drummer Aaron Gillespie, who has gone off to front acoustic Christian band The Almost. With a new lineup in place, including former Norma Jean drummer Daniel Davison, Underoath’s sound has changed and grown considerably darker. There were times in my listening to this album where I found myself comparing Underoath’s aggression to bands like Slipknot. On other songs, they found a way to channel a dark atmosphere on their songs comparable to the Deftones or Tool. It’s all a far stretch from songs like their breakout hit “It’s Dangerous Business Walking Out Your Front Door”. It’s a band reborn and I like this band’s new direction.
The album’s opening track “In Division” sets the table by starting with eerie keyboards before lead singer Spencer Chamberlain unleashes a vocal fury. With Davison’s blistering drumwork, the energy of the band has changed. There was a certain precision to previous Underoath songs. “In Division” is less about creating a balance, it’s moreso unleashing the band’s raw energy. That energy carries over into “Catch Myself Catching Myself”, a song which includes a NIN/Filter-esque breakdown with Chamberlain in hushed tones singing “I’m not the same anymore”, a statement that could be the mantra of this entire album.

The highlights of the album include the moody “Paper Lung”, which may be one of the album’s most tame songs but it’s a song filled with strong guitar work and one of Chamberlain’s best vocal performances of his career proving he could handle the clean vocals aspects he didn’t do while under Gillespie. Chamberlain’s grittier vocals also get a chance to shine on the album. On “A Divine Eradication”, the band finds its most powerful groove. As Chamberlain growls “where is my fix”, Davison and bassist Grant Brandell build a heavy foundation for the two guitarists to layer sheets and sheets of sonic chaos. It all comes together to make one of the best songs on the album.

Ø (Disambiguation) is not a perfect record. It does lose some steam towards the end with more generic songs at the end. “My Deteriorating Incline” and “Vacant Mouth” both lack the power of the previous songs while album closer “In Completion” spends too much meandering in their old sound. It may have its flaws but it remains an album that I would highly recommend. This is the start of a new sound for Underoath and I look forward to the opportunity to hear more.

4/5

Check out a live video of Underoath doing “Paper Lung”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=atuLIc3Bns4

Chartbreaker 10-26-10

Posted in Chartbreaker, Music with tags , , on October 27, 2010 by Niveous

I took a week off from the Chartbreaker last week as things were a little slow on the Billboard Charts and I was swamped with moving preparations. This week, the charts are full of all sorts of oddities, wild returns and a #1 song that has made me very happy. Let’s take a look at the chart:

95. “Angel” by Akon

Akon returns to the chart this week with the song “Angel” (after a one week drop off. Last week was wacky). The funny thing for me is I didn’t think I was going to hear anything from Akon again for a long time. No, it has nothing to do with his grinding on a teen onstage controversy or his tossing someone Naruki Doi style off the stage controversy. Akon has stated quite clearly that he’s making money hand over fist right now and doesn’t have to perform. Where’s all the money coming from? Lady Gaga. He’s been a part of that hit machine since day one. First words that most of us ever heard from a Gaga song were “Red One. Konvict. Gaga” (the first line of “Just Dance”). Red One is the producer. Konvict refers to her label, owned by Akon. So now, making
hits is like a hobby for Akon. That’s mindblowing to me.

84. “Loca” by Shakira f/ El Cata or Dizzie Rascal

There’s a question one needs to raise here. The song “Loca” has two versions, one in English which features Dizzie Rascal and one in Spanish featuring El Cata. Billboard lumps them both together here as one song but are they really? There is a big difference between the collaborations of El Cata. El Cata’s song is the basis for “Loca” and he contributes to the song like it’s a duet (but allows Shakira to shine). Dizzee Rascal does only a little of the back and forth. In fact, he has a whole verse to himself. Should both songs be allowed to chart the same? It’s the same base but there are two very distinct differences between the two.

74. “Stereo Love” by Edward Maya & Vika Jigulina

I’ve seen this long linger around the UK charts for quite some time now, where it made it all the way to #4, and honestly I didn’t see this song hitting the US charts. I figured it was like the Li’l Wayne/ Tinie Tempah dynamic. The US charts are full of Li’l Wayne, the UK charts- not so much. The UK Charts are full of Tinie Tempah. The US has no clue who he is. I figured this Edward Maya song was going to be a part of that strange dynamic. But it hit here in the states. Maybe there’s some hope for Eliza Doolittle, Katy B and Swedish House Mafia. (???)

64. “Black & Yellow” by Wiz Khalifa

Are you ready for some football? Wiz Khalifa is back on the charts with his song featuring the colors of the Pittsburgh Steelers, though the song has nothing to do with the team. In fact, it’s a pretty generic rap song (look at my car, my jewelry, the women, etc.). But it’s got two things going for it. One, the chorus is catchy and the other is that Wiz Khalifa got a lot of buzz from being listed in XXL’s Freshmen class of 2009 (which included B.o.B. & Wale). Sure, he was just an honorable mention but so was Drake.

59. “No Love” by Eminem & Li’l Wayne

Inspiration comes from interesting places. For instance, I wonder how Kanye West got the idea to rap over King Crimson on the song “Power”. Then there’s this song. Of all songs to use for a sample, what inspired Eminem & producer Just Blaze to choose “What is Love?” by Haddaway? Was someone watching “A Night At The Roxbury” and got that headbob going and thought, here’s the beat I need. It sure is an interesting choice and it works but where did that inspiration come from?

50. “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” by Glee Cast

The Glee Cast’s spree of “chart once and dispose of” hits continues with an odd set of songs. I watched a couple of episodes last season but I haven’t touched this season, so I have no clue where this came from but it was a set of odd duets. The oddest for me was seeing “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” back on the charts. But enough about that, let’s fast forward to tomorrow. Tomorrow is new chart day and it’ll be the first chart since Newscorp started its row with
Cablevision. Basically Newscorp wants more money for Fox and pulled it from all Cablevision stations. While that’s not devastating, Cablevision is the 8th largest cable company in the US and services a large chunk of New York (as well as NJ, CT & PA). I wonder if sales will take a little dip due to Glee not getting shown in those areas. Probably not, it’s a juggernaut.

38. “Runaway” by Kanye West f/ Pusha-T

I’m a little surprised to see this song tumbling down the charts. This is easily the Kanye song I’ve enjoyed the most since “Champion”. Maybe people miss Kanye’s odd rap non-sequiturs when he needs to make a rhyme. I still wanna know why he would do anything for a blond dyke. I’m curious to see what happens next week for this song as it’ll be the chart after the release of Kanye’s mini movie music video. Will ballerinas, big explosions, giant Michael Jackson heads, red Klan hoods, a half naked Phoenix and other bits of Kanye’s dark twisted fantasy be enough to turn this song into a hit?

The Band Perry

Now in the top 20, the Band Perry. "If I Die Young" is at #19.

17. “Fuck You” by Cee-Lo Green

As much as I love the current #1 song, I wonder why this song isn’t #1. Then again, this is the US charts. This is a place where Usher doesn’t sing “Oh My God”, he sings “Oh My Gosh”. Our conservatism/ prudence is mighty strong. I should be glad that a song that tests that a little has even made it to the top 20. Thursday will be fun as it looks like the charts will have “Fuck You” and a song called “Porn Star Dancing” (The My Darkest Days song f/ Zakk Wylde) is at #101 currently. I bet a couple of people are going to be unhappy about that.

15. “Animal” by Neon Trees

This may be the Neon Trees’ 3rd consecutive week at #15 but I couldn’t be happier about its chart performance. I’ve been vocal in previous editions of Chartbreaker about the plight of rock Songs on the Billboard Hot 100. In fact, the current #1 Billboard Rock song (“Say You’ll Haunt Me” by Stone Sour) is nowhere to be found on the Hot 100. But this song is #2 on the rock charts and there it is at #15 on the Hot 100. Yes, the song has crossover pop appeal due to its sound which  harkens back to 80’s New Wave, but it’s clearly a rock song. Rock songs don’t often get  the notice they deserve because of how the system is skewed. It may be stuck at 15 but it’s a huge victory in my book.  

11. “Raise Your Glass” by P!nk

The woman with the exclamation point in the middle of her name is back. Hmm, there’s P!nk & there’s Ke$ha. Maybe I should change my stage name to Nive()us or N!ve()u$. Super bandwagon jump! 🙂 Speaking of superjumps, this song flew up the charts. Last week, it had a modest debut at #51. Now it’s at #11 which is a little bit of a surprise after how “Glitter in the Air” lingered so low on the charts and the fact that this is the classic new single to get you to buy the greatest hits album. But it’s a P!nk/ Max Martin/ Shellback collaboration, I should not have been that surprised. That’s a proven hitmaking trio.

1. “Like a G6” by Far East Movement f/ The Cataracts & Dev

There’s something about this song that I love. I can’t explain it. It’s a bit of an anomaly on my jukebox. Over the past year, songs like Skillet’s “Hero”, Flyleaf’s “Missing” and Them Crooked Vultures’ “New Fang” have dominated my listening. Somehow this song has found a place among them. The beat is simple but infectious. The energy of the song is tremendous. It’s a marvel of production and when I saw that it had reached #1, I was very pleased. In a year dominated by songs like “Tik Tok” (which I grew to tolerate) and “California Gurls” (which I still hate like it’s audiocancer), it’s nice to have a #1 that I like hearing. Congratulations Far East Movement, Cataracts & Dev. I salute you (with the okay hand sign thing).

Why Can’t I Be You: A Review of CureFight

Posted in Music with tags , , on October 12, 2010 by Niveous

It has taken me forever and a day, but at last, here are my reviews of Songfight’s Curefight

Caravan RayPrimary (original)

Songfight’s greatest import from Down Under decided to take a very punky song from the early Cure days (it’s a song from Faith back in 1981). He decided that the song needed to slow down. It’s a funny thing because it’s almost as if the Wish era Cure had just written the song. But then again, this is Caravan Ray and his style is always evident in anything he does. The triple tracked harmonies are there in abundance and turns the song into almost a drinking song/sing along. It’s a creative take.

Jack ShiteJust Like Heaven (original)

The drums take a greater focus on this cover of one of the Cure’s best known songs. The vocals are a far cry from Robert Smith’s. It almost comes off like one of the Boss Hoss’ covers. Everything else is pretty much straightforward, except it’s a step slower. After hearing Dinosaur Jr and AFI rock this song out and Katie Melau do a sultry acoustic version, this version seems uninspired. There’s much more that can be done with this.

TuuurThe Love Cats (original)

The bass heavy swinging Cure song gets a funky remake from Tuuur, opting to bring out the guitars more. It’s not a wild deviation from the original but it’s enough to make it stand out. What makes this really stand out is Tuuur’s performance. On the original Robert Smith seems to be having a modicum of fun, Tuuur is enjoying playing this song and it shows.

The Idiot Kings A Night Like This (original)

I always think it’s great to hear the Idiot Kings. There are hints of the original here but at the same time, this is clearly the Idiot Kings, especially because of the vocal delivery. Robert Smith is much more monotone but Chris can’t bring his voice down to that depth. That’s actually a positive in this as it gives a little added energy to the song and when it gets to the well done and very creative bridge, he’s made quite a groove. The last verse adds some background vocals and it’s the icing on the cake. Great job.

The Lord of OatsGrinding Halt (original)

An interesting song choice going with one of the Cure’s earliest songs. The Cure come off almost like a punk band in the original. Lord of Oats is better known for being able to do very experimental arrangements. This was very straightforward which may not have been the best for him. His vocals still need some work and except for the well played guitar solo and the ending, I felt like it didn’t expand much on the original. It’s an okay cover. Hard song choice to make feel special.  

Robert Smith

Johnny in the CornerIn Between Days (original)

This is an interesting choice of arrangement. I say that because I have heard The Cure do some very different things with this song over the years (like the version with Korn and the remix on Mixed Up). At first, this seemed very straightforward stuff out of Jack Shite & J$, but they added a nice little touch by doubling the vocal track. Still, it didn’t exactly break any new ground and just made me wanna listen to the original some more. Good cover but it lacks something to make it truly special.

Ross Durand Pictures of You (original)

Ross decided to strip away the Cure’s electronics and make it a folksy acoustic song but it still resonated with a lot of power. He added some reverb to the mix and simple percussion which was nice. My favorite part of this cover is the fact that he lets it build. The Cure don’t do enough of that on the original as it just gets bigger on the chorus without that tension. The thing I don’t get enough in Ross’ version is a connection with lyrics. I don’t get the emotion of the song. Musically well done cover, but I don’t know if the feeling is there.

Chris CogottBoys Don’t Cry (original)

This is as straightforward as you can get. This could have been a karaoke performance, up until the small switch-up at the end. It’s a fine cover for what it was. Well played, well sung, and pretty basic. There is so much more that can be done with this song. Have you heard Scarlett Johansson’s version?

Josh MillardStrange Attraction (original)

A song from Wild Mood Swings-era Cure. It’s a double edged sword- you get a lot of energy, you lose a lot of atmosphere. Millard totally makes this song his own. The percussion on this leaves something to be desired and there are some odd background vox choices but this is pretty solid. If I heard this outside of the Curefight frame, I wouldn’t have known it was a Cure song. He stripped away the Cure’s groove which was much slower and he made it into something I could see Ben Folds doing. Very well done.

Dollar Bill & The InkpointsLet’s Go to Bed (original)

Johnny Cashpoint & Heuristics Inc are a pair who are never afraid to experiment and this is definitely that. They took the music and created this industrial soundscape out of it. The problem is that the vocals now no longer fit the way that they use to. The do-do-do chorus comes out great and robotic but the vocals come out disjointed.

Naked Philosophy End (original)

I took a huge step backwards when I heard this cover and said “Wait a second, this is the closer from Wish??”. NP stripped it done but kept it very electronic. It’s almost what would happen if Devo was the Cure. The problem here is that by stripping away all the ambiance off the song, it doesn’t stand up for a long amount of time. By the three minute mark, it begins to wear thin. I like how the lyrics get a little more prominence in this mix but by the time the song hits five minutes, it’s way too long and it still goes on for another minute and a half.

AlbatrossA Forest (original)

 This started off with a great idea, taking one of the Cure’s more upbeat songs and making it slower and darker and for the first two minutes, I was excited to hear where it goes. Then the song kicked in full force and it became a pretty normal cover of the song except with almost Owl City-esque vocals. At least, it didn’t stay straightforward though as it went into this crazy guitar solo ending. Still, it didn’t venture too far off the path. Albatross made little footprints in the song but it just made me wanna hear the original.

My favorite out of the bunch was Josh Millard, followed by Idiot Kings and Tuuur. Too many straightforward covers and not enough attachment to the songs across the board. For me, I listen to the Cure and I am always in awe by the emotion put forth in the songs. I didn’t get that here. Perhaps, it was because they are the Cure and this was more emulation and tribute then it was finding the bands finding what the songs mean to them and conveying that.

Chartbreaker 10-11-10

Posted in Chartbreaker with tags , , on October 12, 2010 by Niveous

Happy Columbus Day everyone. Last week, I didn’t put out a Chartbreaker. The reason why is because I usually look at the charts on Monday and that gives me until Thursday to put out the Chartbreaker. Thursday is when the new chart comes out. I didn’t see it until Tuesday and started writing on Wednesday. I didn’t finish it and by the next day, it was too late. But this time, I’m on the ball and ready to look at a very very whacked out hot 100 chart.

91. “Power” by Kanye West f/ Dwele

The song may be on the way out but I don’t think that this is the last we will see of this song, not after Kanye’s SNL spectacle. If you haven’t seen it, allow me to try to describe it. Someone gave Kanye the license to do his performance up as he pleased. So, there was none of the classic train station background. It was just white. And there was Kanye, dressed in red, wearing a gold laurel leaf crowd atop a staircase. Below him are white sheets which are billowing and then reveal about 20 women in white bodysuits, writhing. There are people doing ballet on pedestals. One woman is just lounging, like a cat sprawled on the top of a sofa, at the front of the screen. I would continue but I fear I cannot do this madness justice. I have to give it to Kanye for attempting to make his performance into art but this was wacky.

88. “Hope She Cheats On You (with a Basketball Player)” by Marsha Ambrosius

Marsha Ambrosius used to be one half of the group Floetry and since then she has been songwriting for others like Kelis and Alicia Keyes and doing appearances on songs like Justin Timberlake’s “Cry Me a River”. Now she has her solo return with this very specific tune. It’s not just I hope she cheats on you. It’s hoping for a basketball player or an “NFL baller”. It’s a little odd. Then there are lines like “Don’t know the difference ‘tween a touchdown and a layup”. Huh? If that’s some sort of mixed metaphor, I don’t get it. There’s all these mixed sports references and i’m just shaking my head.Plus, the song is born out of bitterness.

78.  “Anything Like Me” by Brad Paisley

As a New Yorker, everytime I turn on the charts, I seem to learn something new about the very foreign world of Country music. This time, I learned about Bard Paisley. At first, I took Brad Paisley as something less than serious. The first song of his I had paid any attention to was “Water”, a song that talked about wonderous things like wet t-shirt contests. But then I checked out this guy’s discography. Every single one of his singles have hit the top 100 charts and that’s going back to 1999. Holy crap. The guy has 27 hit songs, 17 #1 singles (on the country charts) and I didn’t hear of him until he got a song in Rock Band. Funny how things like that happen.

My Chemical Romance

Debuting at #77, My Chemical Romance's "Na Na Na"

75. “Bill Gates” by Li’l Wayne, 65. “I Am Not A Human Being” by Li’l Wayne, 42. “What’s Wrong With Them” by Li’l Wayne, 39. “Right Above It” by Li’l Wayne, 17. “Gonorrhea” by Li’l Wayne

Still in jail. Yes, but he’s got a new album out and it’s all over the hot 100. I gotta say, this album has some tremendous song titles. First up, you’ve “Bill Gates”, which rhymes “hatin” with “Bill Gate-in”. Then there’s “I Am Not A Human Being”, the title track. There’s “What’s Wrong With Them” which features Nicki Overexposed Minaj; and “Right Above It” which features the almost overexposed Drake. Okay, those two are lackluster titles but you can’t beat a title like “Gonorrhea”. That being said, I can really do without a chorus like “pussy ass nigga, i don’t want your gonorrhea”. Really?  That lyric has created a top 20 hit. **Shakes head**.

58. “Roll With It” by Easton Corbin

I’m always fascinated by songwriters. I’ve written about Dr. Luke on several occasions and his domination of the pop music world. I often wondered if it was the same way in other genres. Country always seemed like a genre built for singer-songwriters, so I was a little surprised to see that this song wasn’t penned by Easton Corbin. A little more research and I found that it was done by a trio of country hit writers. There’s Tony Lane, whose written for Randy Travis, Chris Ledoux and many others; David Lee, whose penned for Montgomery Gentry, Trace Adkins and Faith Hill; and Johnny Park. Part of me is excited to see that. As a lyricist, I enjoy writing songs for others. At the same point, it breaks my rose colored view of the country artist who is bringing their particular worldview to life with their records.

37. “September” by Daughtry, 31. “If I Had You” by Adam Lambert, 77. “Mama’s Song” by Carrie Underwood

Over the last few weeks, I have heard Nigel Lythgoe talk alot about American Idol and how they need to create a new idol, almost saying that the show had failed to make a true star recently. They are reworking the whole concept with new judges Steven Tyler (can you believe he’s in his 60’s) and Jennifer Lopez and they are going to change how the artists can present themselves, whatever that means. I understand the need for change in the wake of Cowell and DeGeneres leaving but I don’t get the failure talk as I look on the charts and see Glambert hanging in the top 40, Daughtry racing up the charts and Underwood debuting her 13th hit single. If they thought they would get more hitmakers from the sea of contestants, they’re delusional. Not everyone is built for stardom.

25. “The Only Exception” by Paramore, 26. “The Only Exception” by Glee Cast

In some weird kismet, the Lea Michele cover of Paramore’s big ballad debuted on the chart, right below the original. Now, I only listed the one Glee song there. There are a ton more of them on the chart. (After all those Li’l Wayne songs, I was tired on looking all over the chart.) It is a sad state of affairs that Glee now has more hit records than the Beatles. I’m not going to say that the members of the Glee cast don’t work hard but it’s essentially a tribute band scoring hit records. And they are disposable hits too because Glee songs don’t last more than 2 weeks on the charts. It’s another head shaker on another whacked out Billboard chart.

21. “Fuck You” by Cee-Lo Green

This song debuted on the UK chart at #1. US, what is taking so long! Don’t be such prudes. Embrace the Fuck You.

15. “Animal” by Neon Trees, 2. “Like a G6” by Far East Movement f/ The Cataracts & Dev

I am very excited that “Like a G6” is the #2 song in the country. It’s kind of a slow week in the top 20 with lingering Katy Perry tunes, a Glee song, a Li’l Wayne song, that ridiculous Mike Posner song still hanging around, more of the usual suspects (Taio Cruz, Ke$ha, Taylor Swift, Usher, Eminem), and Bruno Mars is still sitting at the top. It’s nice to have something a bit different in the mix. I’m happily surprised to see Neon Trees bringing a very new wave sound in the top 20, while Far East Movement, et al. bring a mix of rap and electronica. Usually I can be a little negative about the charts but these two songs being hits make me happy.