Thursday, August 16, 2012

Billboard Breakdown 8/16: Once More, With Fun.

I'll be honest. My readership is really slacking as of late. Heck, only 24 of you lazy pricks read my last column. But you know what? I'm fine with that. No really, I'm okay. Trust me. Because at least the right people are tuning in week after week.

And no, I'm not talking about the pop stars I so relentlessly berate behind their backs like a headphone-clad Benedict Arnold. I'm talking about the powers that be. No. Not the record producers. Not the labels. The Pop Music Gods are apparently loyal to my small mark on the blogosphere.

They've smiled upon me this week. Sure, the Hot 100's top three songs are Flo Rida's playfully sexual assault romp, "Whistle," Ellie Goulding's nap aid, "Lights," and Carly Rae Jepsen's cutesy squealing on "Call Me Maybe." But I've reviewed those already. Now, the Pop Music Gods have peppered the Top 10 with two songs I've listened to and actually like. What a concept. Like so much manna from heaven, the great Hitmakers in the Sky have bestowed upon me the gifts of fun. and Phillip Phillips.

Man, I've been calling fun.'s smash "Some Nights" a surefire hit for months now. My constant complaining and whining landed the song on the Top 10, but I'd sell my soul to see it land at the top spot. Where Nate Ruess and company's "We Are Young," was simple, elegant and got me singing and dancing on top of a bar (don't ask), "Some Nights" is boisterous and full of pop and circumstance. Ruess is a black leather bondage police jacket away from being a Freddy Mercury clone, even if the African-inspired drums are more Graceland than A Night at the Opera. And is that a guitar solo in a Hot 100 tune? You'd better believe it.

"'Call Me Maybe' is still a thing? Fuck."
But that's not all, folks. "American Idol" and bad-luck name lottery winner Phillip Phillips finally broke the Top 10, which at least drops him out of the running for the talent show's "Least Likely to Succeed" title, which, as it stands, is:

5. Ruben Studdard. Who would actually win "Most Likely to Eat Ryan Seacrest for Breakfast."
4. Lee DeWyze. This is John Mayer if he actually cared about Taylor Swift's repeated ball-kickings.
3. Fantasia Barrino. What network gave her a movie? Oh, right. Lifetime.
2. Kris Allen. See #4, but think ganglier, scrawnier and more forgettable.
1. Taylor Hicks. Just because.

Soul Patrol forever, baby.
I'd even venture to say that Phillips' "Home" is actually a really moving song. It has a Wilco, Fleet Foxes kind of vibe, and could even put folk music back on the mainstream radar. Which is a lot to ask for from a kid, but fuck it. I'm asking.

For the rest of the Hot 100 Charts, check out Billboard's site.

Erik van Rheenen will provide his weekly rantings about the Billboard charts every Thursday. Send him an email at erik@sanctuaryreview to tell him how wrong he is and why his opinion isn't as valid as yours.

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