dispatches from the pop scene...minus the corn syrup.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

US Chart Roundup: Wiz Khalifa's 'Furious 7' Hit Ends The Reign Of "Uptown Funk"

Awwww, poor "Uptown Funk"... it will have to remain relegated to runner-up for the longest stretch at #1 along with "I Gotta Feeling," "We Belong Together," "Macarena," "I Will Always Love You" and all the rest of it after having its reign atop the Billboard Hot 100 come to end after 14 weeks. That means Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men's record 16-week run with "One Sweet Day" remains intact.

Wiz Khalifa is the one who manages to kick "Funk" to the curb, with his Charlie Puth-featuring Furious 7 soundtrack cut "See You Again." The movie itself is a smash, having raked in $803 million at the global box office ($255 million in the States alone) in just under two weeks. Wiz's "See You Again" video plays on viewers' emotions, as it's pretty heavy on the Paul Walker footage.



If you think that's the type of manipulative thing people don't want to see, then consider this: Yesterday afternoon when I checked the "See You Again" video on YouTube, it had 46 million views. (It's only been on the video-viewing site since April 6, by the way). This morning it's up to 52 million views.

Anyway, congrats, Wiz, on your second chart-topping single. Pittsburgh represent!

The U.S. Top 10:

1. "See You Again" - Wiz Khalifa feat. Charlie Puth *1 week*
2. "Uptown Funk" - Mark Ronson feat. Bruno Mars
3. "Sugar" - Maroon 5
4. "Trap Queen" - Fetty Wap
5. "Thinking Out Loud" - Ed Sheeran
6. "Earned It (Fifty Shades Of Grey)" - The Weeknd
7. "Love Me Like You Do" - Ellie Goulding
8. "G.D.F.R." - Flo Rida feat. Sage The Gemini & Lookas
9. "Shut Up And Dance" - Walk The Moon
10. "Style" - Taylor Swift

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Sunday, April 12, 2015

UK Chart Roundup: Nick Jonas Can't Quite Get On Top Of Jess Glynne

The past week was the first time it seemed there was a real chart battle happening in the UK in quite some time, and in the end, Jess Glynne won out by sticking around at #1 for a third week with "Hold My Hand." If she holds out for one more week, she'll match the stretch at the top of the UK chart "Rather Be," her Grammy-winning pair-up with Clean Bandit, had last year. (It's all money in the bank for Clean Bandit's Jack Patterson, really, since he co-wrote and produced "Hold My Hand.")

And so Nick Jonas settles for debuting in the runner-up slot with "Jealous." It's all come full circle around these parts, actually, since "Rather Be" was #1 and "Jealous" was #2 on Chart Rigger's roundup of the Best Pop Singles Of 2014 back in December.

That leaves recent The Voice UK winner Steve McCrorie to enter at #6 with his cover of Adam Levine's Begin Again soundtrack song "Lost Stars." Is this the highest-charting single for a contestant from the UK version of that show? I have no idea. They're all flops here in the States, except for maybe that dim country THOT, RaeLynn.

The UK Top 10:

1. "Hold My Hand" - Jess Glynne *3 weeks*
2. "Jealous" - Nick Jonas *new*
3. "King" - Years & Years
4. "Hold Back The River" - James Bay
5. "Bloodstream" - Ed Sheeran & Rudimental
6. "Lost Stars" - Steve McCrorie *new*
7. "Sugar" - Maroon 5
8. "Uptown Funk" - Mark Ronson feat. Bruno Mars  
9. "FourFiveSeconds" - Rihanna, Kanye West & Paul McCartney
10. "Take Me To Church" - Hozier

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Friday, April 10, 2015

I Interviewed Shayne Ward And Mike Stock, And You Can Read That Right Now

My lengthy, in-depth interview with handsome UK singer Shayne Ward and legendary pop producer Mike Stock is now up over at Idolator.

As you may know, Mike produced Shayne's fourth album Closer, which will be available on iTunes worldwide this Sunday (April 12) and on CD Monday. I talked with the two of them together last month, on March 12, right after they'd taken part in the album playback for fans in London.

What you get with this writeup is pretty much the full, unfiltered 31 minutes of our conversation — complete with lots of great insight to the making of Closer and the songs on the album, plus some great anecdotes from Mike on Kylie, Donna Summer and Stock Aitken Waterman.

Go get it here.

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Thursday, April 09, 2015

US Chart Roundup: "Uptown Funk" Rules The World + Highly Inappropriate Whitney & Nick Jonas Talk

I could be super pressed about the fact that "Uptown Funk" is now tied with the following songs for the second-longest run at the top of the Billboard Hot 100, at 14 weeks...

* "I Gotta Feeling" - Black Eyed Peas (2009)
* "We Belong Together" - Mariah Carey (2005)
* "Candle In The Wind '97" - Elton John (1997)
* "Macarena (Bayside Boys Mix)" - Los Del Rio (1996)
* "I'll Make Love To You" - Boyz II Men (1994)
* "I Will Always Love You" - Whitney Houston (1992)

...as well as the fact that, if it sticks around for just two more weeks at #1, "Uptown Funk" will be tied with Mariah and Boyz II Men's "One Sweet Day" for the longest stint at the top of the chart ever. But you know what — with the exception of "We Belong Together," all those other singles can kiss my ass. [Cue up Whitney's dead wig rolling over and thumping against the coffin lid.]

In fact, screw all of the above...I'm most excited about Nick Jonas' "Chains" sliding up to #13. There's a jam that should be #1 for 29 weeks. I'm telling you, once he quits fucking around with all the teasing and whips his baby stick out, it's all over. It's time to stop with the kid's play, Nick, and get serious about your career...drop the sex tape already, even if it's just you in a Whitney Houston wig, naked with nothing but a jar of Skippy in one hand and an electric toothbrush in the other.

The U.S. Top 10:

1. "Uptown Funk" - Mark Ronson feat. Bruno Mars *14 weeks*
2. "Sugar" - Maroon 5
3. "Love Me Like You Do" - Ellie Goulding
4. "Earned It (Fifty Shades Of Grey)" - The Weeknd
5. "Thinking Out Loud" - Ed Sheeran
6. "Trap Queen" - Fetty Wap
7. "Style" - Taylor Swift
8. "G.D.F.R." - Flo Rida feat. Sage The Gemini & Lookas
9. "FourFiveSeconds" - Rihanna, Kanye West & Paul McCartney
10. "See You Again" - Wiz Khalifa feat. Charlie Puth

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Madonna's "Ghosttown" Video Continues The Flawlessness Of Her 'Rebel Heart' Era

Have I mentioned yet that I'm totally on board with Madonna's Rebel Heart era? Because I am. I even bought this trash on vinyl! Also, one week ago I wrote up a thinkpiece-ish type thing on Idolator asking "Why Isn't This Album A Hit?", which has racked up nearly 500 comments.

So anyway, yeah — I'm totally down with Madge in her floppiest era ever, because the music is her best in 10 years (since Confessions) — or, I might argue, 17 years (since Ray Of Light).

This, then brings us to Rebel Heart's second single, "Ghosttown," the music video for which has now premiered (with no thanks going to the Meerkat app). Madonna pulls out all the usual stops for this one: a photo of her mother; a crucifix; some pretty impressive dancing; an ethnically diverse cast; and the old standby of automatic weaponry. And, you know what — it all works, and fits the song perfectly.



You can watch the visual above and see for yourself, but I'd say this is Madonna's best music video since maybe "Jump" in 2006 or even "Hung Up" in 2005.

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Sunday, April 05, 2015

UK Chart Roundup: Jess Glynne Is #1 For A Third Time

Back in January, I wrote that Jess Glynne's second official solo single "Hold My Hand," a jubilant house-pop gem if ever there was one, deserved to become a big hit. And lo and behold, the song is perched at #1 in the UK for a second week, making her the only only artist to be a part of three different chart-topping singles by three different lead acts. (Her vocals, in case you forgot, also appear on Clean Bandit's Grammy-winning "Rather Be" and Route 94's  "My Love.")



Looking ahead, Nick Jonas' 2014 Top 10 hit (in America) "Jealous" was finally released across the pond today, and it's currently at #3 on iTunes, stuck behind "Hold My Hand" (#2) and Voice winner Stevie McRorie's rendition of "Lost Stars" (#1).

The UK Top 10:

1. "Hold My Hand" - Jess Glynne *2 weeks*
2. "Bloodstream" - Ed Sheeran & Rudimental
3. "Hold Back The River" - James Bay
4. "King" - Years & Years
5. "Uptown Funk" - Mark Ronson feat. Bruno Mars 
6. "FourFiveSeconds" - Rihanna, Kanye West & Paul McCartney
7. "Sugar" - Maroon 5
8. "Take Me To Church" - Hozier
9. "Love Me Like You Do" - Ellie Goulding
10. "Elastic Heart" - Sia

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Carly Rae Jepsen Releases "All That," Produced By Dev Hynes & Ariel Rechtshaid

Carly Rae Jepsen continues to release some of the most exciting pop of 2015, this time with brand new single "All That." The track follows "I Really Like You," a woefully overlooked (by US radio) jam that arrived on March 1.



Jepsen performed both songs on Saturday Night Live last night — something that, if there's any justice in the world, should hopefully propel at least one or the other into being a hit.

"I Really Like You" on SNL



"All That" on SNL



The singer worked with producers Dev Hynes and Ariel Rechtshaid on Prince-like ballad "All That." I interviewed her in early March for Idolator, and she had this to say:
Dev was through Solange. I was really into her, and while being in New York for Cinderella and having time during the day, I would be on the Internet and my guitarist would come into town, and we’d be like, “Well, who did the production on that? Who co-wrote that with her?” Then I got into the Blood Orange Cupid Deluxe album, and I was like, okay, I need to meet this guy. So I ended up meeting him in New York, and we started a few things together. One of the tracks, it kind of had that Prince-y element to it and we loved it, but Ariel got involved with it recently to add his spin to it too. It’s a pretty big slow jam, so we brought the tempo up a little bit. Sorry, this is probably getting too detailed.

And with Ariel, on the separate train of things, I was a big fan of the Sky [Ferreira] stuff. [Starts singing “You’re Not The One.”] I was obsessed with that. We had a couple coffee dates, just talking in between all the stuff that he’s got going with Brandon Flowers, and we were like, “How are we sneaking in a day to get this done?” We just made it come together. I remember when I got both [Dev and Ariel] in the room together to work on this track, it was probably one of the most magical days ever. It’s nice to really be in a moment like that and feel like, okay, this is why I’m in this business.
Now that's a good interview.

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Saturday, April 04, 2015

An Excerpt From My Shayne Ward & Mike Stock Interview

So here's the deal: Mike Stock, pop legend, produced Shayne Ward's upcoming fourth studio album, Closer. It's out next weekend, on April 12. (You can pre-order on iTunes, worldwide.) As you might know, I've been crowing about this here and over on Idolator since last fall. And the album is worth crowing about, because it's pretty great. It's not dance-pop or modern R&B, as you might expect from Mike and/or Shayne, given their past output, but it's a nice set of original Philly soul/Motown throwbacks with a few current-sounding upbeat numbers in there, too. I think it's even better than Sam Smith's record, because it doesn't make you want to fall into a dark depression and slit your wrists with each listen.

Naturally, I had to seek these two out and interview them. What I didn't realize is this: While both Shayne and Mike have been doing rounds of interviews to promote the album, I was the only one (so I'm told) to get them both at the same time, together in the same room.

Shayne and Mike gave me a good 40 minutes or so of their time recently, so we covered a lot of territory. I'll be posting the full chat over on Idolator this coming week.



Until then, I tossed an excerpt up already, which you can read here. It's all about my favorite Closer track, "The Way You Were." Listen to a minute-and-a-half clip above...it's pretty rad, as far as pop in 2015 goes.

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Stuff I've Picked Up On Vinyl Lately: Early 2015 Edition

Just some vinyl I acquired one way or another between January and early April. By the way, are you following me on Instagram? No? What the fuck is wrong with you!?!?

A photo posted by Robbie Daw (@chartrigger) on

A photo posted by Robbie Daw (@chartrigger) on

A photo posted by Robbie Daw (@chartrigger) on

A photo posted by Robbie Daw (@chartrigger) on

A photo posted by Robbie Daw (@chartrigger) on

A photo posted by Robbie Daw (@chartrigger) on


Grab me on Instagram here.

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Nick Jonas' Grade A Single "Jealous" Is Coming For You In The UK

Nick Jonas is sexy as fuck, this we know. And tomorrow, his Top 10 US single "Jealous" will finally get a release in the UK.

You know, I'm still amazed at how right Moogaboo got it right with our Best Pop Singles Of 2014 list, on which "Jealous" landed at #2.

A reminder of what the two of us said about this song, because you really should buy it. (I am the Chart Rigger, after all...)
D'luv says: "I said this in a writeup on 'Jealous' elsewhere, but it bears repeating: Everybody wanted to fuck Nick Jonas this year. That said, if only he had gone the extra step and done full frontal, he'd be at #1 on this list. All joking aside, 'Jealous' is just a really great pop song."
Moogaboo says: "Nick's cakes have worked wonders in promoting himself/this single, and I can't say that I blame him for going there. Have you seen what the other Jonases are up to? Not much. Besides that, it's always refreshing to see a star find new and innovative ways of scoring a hit without having to roll over for Max Martin."
Klass.

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