Monthly Archives: January 2011

Billboard Chart Flash: Week of Jan. 3 – Jan. 9

For a third week in a row Taylor Swift and Tim McGraw top Billboard’s country charts. Find out if there was any movement in throughout the charts in this week’s Chart Flash.

On the Country Albums chart, Taylor Swift’s Speak Now reigns supreme as it sells another 52,000 copies this week and passes the 3 million mark in just 11 weeks. Holding strong at number two is Jason Aldean’s My Kinda Party which passes the 700,000 copies sold mark this week. Making a big-time leap into the top three is the Country Strong Soundtrack which sees a huge sales jump due to the film’s nation wide release. Coming in at number four is Lady Antebellum’s Christmas EP, A Merry Little Christmas, while their sophomore album, Need You Now, rounds out the top five.

Over on the Hot Country Songs chart, Tim McGraw’s “Felt Good On My Lips” continues to be the top country song country for a third straight week. Moving up to number 2 this week is Carrie Underwood with her latest smash hit, “Mama’s Song.” Coming in at number three is Kenny Chesney with his recent single, “Somewhere With You,” while Keith Urban moves up to number four with “Put You In a Song.” Rounding out the top five songs is Chris Young with his latest top five hit, “Voices.”

This week’s debut singles are led by Rascal Flatts’ latest release, “I Won’t Let Go,” which comes in at no. 45. Following the trio is Steve Holy with his recent single, “Love Don’t Run,” at no. 58 and Leann Rimes’ “Crazy Women” at no. 60.

This week we’ll see the numbers Steel Magnolia’s debut album posted in its first week of release which could knock off Taylor Swift’s Speak Now from the top of the albums chart. On the singles chart, early numbers look like Kenny Chesney could leap into the top spot. We’ll sort out all the drama in next week’s Chart Flash!

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Steel Magnolia, "Last Night Again"

Steel Magnolia has enjoyed great chart success with its first two singles. The duo reached the top five with “Keep On Loving You” and the top 25 with “Just By Being You.” Now they’re releasing their third single, “Last Night Again,” with hopes to repeat the success of their previous singles. Does the song have what it takes to become the duo’s first number one hit?

Ever since their run on CMT’s Can You Duet?, I’ve always thought Joshua Scott Jones and Meghan Linsey had an endless supply of potential to become the genre’s next super-duo. The duo showed off that potential on its debut single but nearly erased it all with the disastrous follow-up single, “Just By Being You.” Thankfully Steel Magnolia has recovered nicely with its third single, “Last Night Again.”

“Last Night Again” finds Jones and Linsey splitting the vocal leads on a song about turning a one-night stand into something more. “Don’t want to leave you here tonight so let’s do what we did last night…again” sings the duo as they realize that what happened the previous night could be something more. The conversational lyrics allows the real-life couple to show off their chemistry as they both offer solid solos during the verses as well as great harmonies during the chorus.

What I love most about this song is the unique production. It’s a fantastic percussion based production that gives the song a nice country-pop groove that is extremely catchy and instantly hooks the listener in. I personally love the mixture of guitars which give it an old-yet-modern sound that will give country radio a bit of shake-up that it needs. It’ll be interesting to see how well this song will perform on the charts and at country radio, but I think “Last Night Again” has the potential to be the duos next top five single.

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Brad Paisley, "This Is Country Music"

The 44th Annual CMA Awards turned out to be the night of Brad Paisley’s career. Not only did the superstar claim his first Entertainer of the Year trophy, but he also introduced his latest single, “This Is Country Music,” during the awards telecast. Does Brad have an artistic hit on his hands or is it yet another addition to his long list of novelty singles?

I want to like this song, I really do, because it has all the ingredients for a song that I should like. First off it’s performed by one of my all-time favorite artists who has rarely missed the mark in his career (though “Ticks” and “Online” were major misses) when it comes to song choices. On “This Is Country Music,” Brad delivers one of the most solid vocal performances of his career which includes an attempt at showing off his upper vocal range during the chorus (though he falls a bit flat).

Another thing the song has going for it is its brilliant production. The song begins with a fantastic banjo, fiddle, acoustic and steel guitar introduction that alone encompasses all the elements that make the song country. Once the song reaches the second verse, the song turns into a typical Paisley song as his electric guitar skills take over, but never does the production stray away from the original introduction. The production alone easily fulfills the song’s title which is why it should’ve just been an instrumental piece. Unfortunately, Brad added lyrics to the song which turns it into a bit of a mess.

Turns out country music is nothing but artists singing about cliches and stereotypes that surround the genre which range from singing about tractors and little towns to “telling folks Jesus is the answer.” To ensure that nearly every cliche is thrown in, Brad also delivers lines about supporting the “ol’ red, white, and blue” as well as singing about having a “cold one on the weekend.” I understand what Brad is trying to do with the song (tell the world how awesome country music is), but including titles of country classics like “Hello Darlin’,” “Mama Tried,” “He Stopped Loving Her Today,” and “Stand By Your Man” isn’t the way to do that. After listening to the song, I’m always left thinking about what the song could’ve been had the lyrics been totally different.

This will undoubtedly be another smash for Brad. However, it’s unfortunate that an artist of his caliber isn’t living up to the artist potential that he’s shown on songs like “Whiskey Lullaby” and “Welcome to the Future.” Let’s hope this is just a small bump in the road for the reigning CMA Entertainer of the Year.

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Billboard Chart Flash: Week of Dec. 27 – Jan. 2

This week saw little changes on both of Billboard’s country charts. Taylor Swift and Tim Mcgraw held onto their number one positions for another week. See which other artists follow the superstars in this week’s Chart Flash.

For another week, Taylor Swift’s Speak Now is once again the top selling album in the country. Taylor sold an additional 77,000 copies of the cd. In addition to holding down the top spot, Taylor was named the biggest selling artist of the year for 2010, a feat that she also accomplished back in 2008. Once again following Swift at number two is Jason Aldean with his fourth studio release, My Kinda Party. Moving up one spot this week to number three is Rascal Flatts’ Nothing Like This while Lady Antebellum’s Need You Now lands at number four this week. Rounding out this weeks’ top five albums is Sugarland’s The Incredible Machine.

On the Hot Country Songs chart, Tim McGraw’s “Felt Good On My Lips” spends a second week atop the chart. Stuck in the number two position for another week is Jason Aldean with his smash hit, “My Kinda Party.” Following closely at number three is Carrie Underwood with “Mama’s Song” while Kenny Chesney stays at number four with “Somewhere With You.” Moving up into the top five this week is Keith Urban’s latest hit, “Put You in a Song,” which rounds out the top five songs in the country.

This week saw the debut of three new songs which were led by Ashton Shepherd’s “Look It Up” at no. 55. Following Shepherd are Trace Adkins’ “Brown Chicken Brown Cow” at no. 57 and Faith Hill’s “Give In To Me” at no. 60. This week’s biggest leap comes from Miranda Lambert’s “Heart Like Mine” which jumps up 14 spots to number 44 this week.

Next week should once again see little movement in the charts as there are no major album releases to report this week. On the singles chart, it’ll be interesting to see if Jason Aldean can finally breakthrough to the top of the charts with “My Kinda Party” or if Tim McGraw will hold him off once again. Find out in next week’s Chart Flash.

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The Band Perry, “You Lie”

thebandperry The Band Perry has become one of country’s most successful new artists this past year. The ACM nominated trio first hit country radio with the perky “Hip to My Heart” and captivated audiences with the heart-wrenching “If I Die Young.” Now the group shows off their sassy side with the new single “You Lie.” Does the single have what it takes to land the group their second number one single?

What I love about The Band Perry is the fact that, judging by their single choices, they aren’t afraid to show country radio the different personalities the group consists of. With “Hip to my Heart” they showed off their fun, bubbly side while doing the opposite on “If I Die Young” which showed off their serious, tender side. Now on “You Lie” they are showing off plenty of attitude and sass that hasn’t been heard on country radio in years.

“You Lie” finds Kimberly Perry taking on the role of a woman scorned by her lying, cheating man. “So don’t bring me those big brown eyes and tell me that you’re sorry” she tells her boyfriend during their confrontation. She continues tearing apart the sorry guy by telling him “I oughta kill you right now and do the whole wide world a service” and that her “daddy is gonna straighten you out like a piece of wire.” In order for a song of this nature to be pulled off, the singer needs to infuse their vocal performance with attitude and sass and group leader Kimberly Perry provides plenty of it in the narration of the story.

The production consists of a fantastic blend of country, bluegrass, and a splash of pop which utilizes plenty of mandolin and fiddle to create such a brilliant sounding production. This trio is on its way to becoming one of the genre’s finest groups and could give new super-group Lady Antebellum a run for its money in the coming years. The country world better watch out because The Band Perry has the potential to take the genre by storm.

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Billboard Chart Flash: Week of Dec. 20 – 26

This week’s Chart Flash includes the final sales numbers for 2010’s holiday season and boy were they great for country artists as most country albums experienced a sales increase. On the singles chart, last week’s number one song, Reba’s “Turn on the Radio,” takes a fall from the top to make room for another superstar. Find out who topped this week’s charts in our Chart Flash!

On the Country Albums chart, Taylor Swift once again leads the way as she moves another 259,000 copies of her third album, Speak Now, which has now sold over 2.8 million copies and could outsell Lady Antebellum’s Need You Now as soon as next week. Rising up one spot to number two is Jason Aldean’s My Kinda Party which passes the 600,000 mark. Also rising up one spot to number three is Sugarland with their recent release, The Incredible Machine, which moves nearly 80,000 copies this week. Though they saw an increase in sales, Rascal Flatt’s Nothing Like This still fell two spots to number four but they crossed the gold mark of 500,000 units sold. Rounding out the top five is Lady A’s Need You Now which crosses the 3 million mark this week becoming the band’s first triple platinum album.

Over on the Hot Country Songs chart, Tim McGraw’s “Felt Good on My Lips” takes over the top spot becoming the superstar’s 23rd number one song of his career. “Lips” made a two spot leap to replace Reba’s “Turn on the Radio.” Holding strong at number two is Jason Aldean with “My Kinda Party” while Carrie Underwood’s “Mama’s Song” moves up one to number three. Also making a one spot jump is Kenny Chesney’s “Somewhere With You” which moves to number four. Last week’s number one song, Reba’s “Turn on the Radio,” plummets four spots down to number five.

Only two songs made their debut this week and they happen to be from 2010’s biggest artists, Lady Antebellum and Miranda Lambert. Lambert’s “Heart Like Mine” enters the chart at no. 58 while Lady A’s Christmas song, “On This Winter’s Night,” enters at no. 59. 

With the holiday season now ending, it’s inevitable that the sales increases country albums saw this week will turn into decreases when the numbers come out on Wednesday, but it’s unlikely a new album will take the top spot away from Taylor Swift. On the singles chart, it’ll be interesting to see if Jason Aldean can take over the top spot or if Tim McGraw will spend a second week atop the chart. Find out what happens in next week’s Chart Flash!

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