Jump to content
MadonnaNation.com Forums

Kurt420

Supreme Elitists
  • Content count

    4,211
  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by Kurt420

  1. As Veteran Pop Acts Like Justin Timberlake and Katy Perry Struggle on the Radio Charts, Some Thoughts In recent weeks, there's been a lot of scrutiny of recent projects by established pop superstars. Justin Timberlake's kick-off single from Man of the Woods, "Filthy," stalled at No. 16 on Billboard's top 40-based Pop Songs airplay chart and the follow-up, "Say Something" (featuring Chris Stapleton) is still waiting to reach the top 10. Taylor Swift's "Look What You Made Me Do" went to No. 1, but didn't linger there, and subsequent singles have stopped short of being consensus hits. Somewhat similarly, P!nk's "What About Us" hit No. 10 after a three-month climb. Given the nature of pop radio, career trajectories are under constant scrutiny. Swift's Reputation is still a 2-million-selling album, according to Nielsen Music, and one of the few that is. But producing fewer hits than her previous 1989 is the subject of this week's Billboard Chart Beat Podcast with Gary Trust and Trevor Anderson. And Timberlake's stumble prompted an e-mail from a reader asking if there was a turnover in pop's core artists. There's a lot to consider. There Are Few "Automatics," If Any: Top 40 radio is tighter than at any time in recent memory. In part, that's because the mother/daughter coalition that powered the format for a decade is fracturing. There's not much consensus on anything. Has mainstream pop been upstaged by hip-hop and R&B? Most of those hits are struggling for top 40 airplay commensurate with their stories elsewhere. At this moment, there are few "automatics" -- acts guaranteed to go top five each time out. You can write a story about radio not bringing Timberlake's recent hits home, but you can also write it about the resistance to the last few Chainsmokers singles. Longtime Hitmakers Are in a Trick Bag: Why the era of fun, uptempo pop beloved by both mothers and daughters is waning is a column unto itself, but there are clearly challenges for the artists who defined the "turbo-pop" era of 2005-12 (or thereabouts). Were listeners unwilling to accept social commentary from Katy Perry or P!nk? Would they have been any kinder to more "Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)"-type frivolity, when that's in short supply anywhere at top 40? Timberlake's retro-disco experiments ("Suit & Tie," "Take Back the Night") yielded only one undeniable smash hit in "Can't Stop the Feeling!" Those songs all lived in the shadow of "SexyBack" and how that song widened the definition of pop music more than a decade ago. But the reaction to "Filthy" shows that not everybody was ready for Timberlake to bring edgy back, either. Swift, in particular, is facing the difficulty of pleasing everybody. After Reputation, it was possible to hear from people both that she had too thoroughly repudiated "the old Taylor" and that the new album wasn't different enough from 1989 and previous projects. It's worth considering that the moody, downtempo EDM sound that Swift helped bring into the pop mainstream is still paying off for other artists; Halsey's "Bad at Love" is both a sonic and conceptual successor. Multiple Tracks Send Mixed Signals: For years, it was a common strategy to release a second radio single just as an album reached street date. It sent the word that this was an album with depth, and one worth purchasing. Swift took that further by releasing multiple tracks in advance of her albums. In doing so, she was protected by radio's general lack of enterprise on anything not promoted to it. Radio in New Zealand played 1989's "Out of the Woods" as a pre-release track; American radio waited until it became a single 15 months later and then showed middling interest. The difference this time was radio's lack of long-term love for "Look What You Made Me Do." That allowed quick follow-up "…Ready for It?" to live a chart life of its own, and emboldened some PDs to back off the first single. "Gorgeous" muddled things further. Then as the focus switched to "End Game" (featuring Ed Sheeran and Future), word spread among programmers that "…Ready for It?" was starting to show research stories. Even "Look What You Made Me Do" now has some research stories, possibly because listeners didn't get to hear it very long in the first place. It was similar for Timberlake. As radio grappled with "Filthy," suddenly there was "Supplies" at rhythmic radio. Then "Say Something," which gave pop programmers the further confidence to cut bait on "Filthy." Katy Perry had gone through three Pop Songs entries by the time Witness was released. Last time around, the pre-release tracks had included "Dark Horse," which later took hold as the real hit from PRISM (other than "Roar"; both topped the Billboard Hot 100 and Pop Songs). This time, it created a sense that an act was scrambling. In the early '00s, it occasionally happened that an artist, after a disappointing kickoff single, would put a project on hold for six months. (It happened more than once that "internet leaks" were blamed.) That gave Usher a chance to put the largely unsuccessful "Pop Ya Collar" behind him and start fresh with "U Remind Me." It's also worth noting that despite the middling reaction to Justin Bieber's fall 2017 team-up with BloodPop "Friends," his hitmaker status isn't part of this discussion, in part because there were no other singles on its heels. Are First-Day Premieres Hurting? They were radio's way of trying to hold on to the music discovery mantle as well as publicize its "artist initiatives" in conjunction with record labels. But does hearing a new single hourly on the first day of release diminish, rather than amp up its excitement? Does it allow listeners to decide they don't like a song before they've had a chance to live with it? It might sound odd to think of any song as high-concept as "Look What You Made Me Do" as a song that needed a chance to grow on listeners. But it did, in fact, develop at least a few research stories after running its course. By comparison, consider Maroon 5's "Wait." It's been over six years since "Moves Like Jagger" (featuring Christina Aguilera) propelled the band back to pop image artist status. A new Maroon 5 song could be either a consensus hit like "Don't Wanna Know" or a near-miss like "Cold" (top 10 on Pop Songs, but not a true power). "Wait" is up to No. 12 so far on Pop Songs; however far it goes at this point, it seems like a perfect example of an unassuming song that needed to grow on listeners; it did not get a first-day premiere at radio, and it might be better off for it. Radio Still Wants to Play These Acts: Of the acts under discussion, there's seemingly nobody that radio doesn't want to play. That's why they get first-day premieres. Top 40 resisted Lady Gaga's sonic stretches with "Perfect Illusion" and "Million Reasons." But major-market top 40 jumped eagerly at "The Cure," more clearly an attempt to give radio the type of song it favors now. And even though that didn't ultimately become a consensus hit either, some stations like WHTZ (Z100) New York held on to "The Cure" long enough for it to become a hit well after its chart peak. For many artists, the moment of truth is the first single from the next project. The right song can regain momentum from a middling project quickly, as demonstrated by recent rebounds by Imagine Dragons and now, arguably, Meghan Trainor. Top 40 can certainly reach the point where it is unwilling to fairly consider even the best, freshest-sounding single from certain established acts. It seems unlikely that any of the acts in question is anywhere near that point yet. But the answer is different depending exactly where an act is on a chart trajectory -- are they following up one disappointing project? Or several? And a veteran with a mixed chart record might get consideration on the first single from a project, but not follow-ups. Swift, in particular, has shown a talent for reinventing her sound. The moment when "Mine" sounded like a less exciting iteration of "Love Story" and "Today Was a Fairytale" bordered on self-parody was long forgotten after "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together." What she should do next is more of a question mark than her ability to do it. (Almost) Nobody Retires Undefeated: Assuming they live a long and happy life, there is almost no hit-making artist that will be an automatic add at top 40 radio (or any other format) through the end of their career. It's an unfair burden on any contemporary act to expect them to do what Madonna, Elton John, Prince, Michael Jackson, the Rolling Stones and Elvis Presley did not. A few acts -- the Beatles, the Eagles -- have broken up at a time when they were still having hits each time out. In those cases, we got to see solo members -- Paul McCartney or Don Henley -- have a typical radio arc. That said, to speculate now on how long an act currently at the top of the charts has isn't fair either -- each new song is another chance to extend the hit streak. https://www.billboard.com/articles/columns/chart-beat/8307587/veteran-pop-acts-struggle-airplay-radio-charts-column
  2. Just thought this was interesting as we not only discuss this in relation to Madonna but all acts.....especially in the Pop Princesses forum. Personally, I feel like part of the problem is due to everyone's non-existent attention span in this day and age, songs don't have time to naturally "build" as they used to. If they don't smash after a week, it's a "flop" and tossed aside. It's hard to come back from that with any subsequent singles because the whole era is tarnished by this perceived "flop". When I first saw part of the headline to this article, I anticipated it would be about acts like Madonna, Mariah etc........but no, Justin, Katy and Gaga are apparently now the "veteran artists".
  3. So strange at this stage in their careers. There was talk that this upcoming tour was to be their "farewell tour". I just can't imagine a Fleetwood Mac "farewell tour" that doesn't have the five "Fireflies" together. Looking at the FM boards, the fans are absolutely outraged.....naturally, everyone is quick to blame Stevie but nobody REALLY seems to know what went down. This band has been straight drama from day one....lol.....even pre-Stevie/Lindsey it was drama filled. I like both Neil and Mike within Split Enz, Crowded House and The Heartbreakers, so much talent....but they just aren't Fleetwood Mac! It's quite telling that they need not one, but two musicians to fill Lindsey's shoes....it was the same when they toured in '87 without him too. That pretty much says it all. Unlike '87 though, taking 10 yrs to "cool off" kinda isn't an option this time.
  4. Another day. Another mass shooting in America.

    This right here. It's sickening but oh so true.
  5. Grammys

    Thank u!
  6. Grammys

    Hillary was the highlight....lol Really, I didn't watch any of it so I have no idea. I never tune in anymore unless Madonna is on.....even then, I just watch her performance online and screw the rest of it. I'm sure they've ALWAYS been political, fake, bought and no reflection of talent but more a reflection of what record company is willing to pay the most for their artists award BUT it seems like it has gotten worse in recent years. To think that Milli Vanilli (who I did like at the time) won a Grammy the same year Madonna didn't even get a sympathy nom for arguably the most critically acclaimed album of her career.
  7. songs with a KILLER beat

    Yes!!! I totally forgot about that Simply Red song! They did a great job with that sample! I've always loved Hall & Oates too.....takes me straight back to childhood for sure. They always have such great beats in their songs. They came with the hits!! Honestly, I've never dug deep into their album tracks but their singles from Sara Smile to Rich Girl to She's Gone to You Make My Dreams to Maneater etc etc.....really all the way up to Method Of Modern Love, I love almost all the singles.....they kinda lost me after that though. Got a little too AC (although I may not turn Everything Your Heart Desires when it comes on). I feel like they lost some of that funky edge though once the late 80's rolled around. Oh and I've always loved this extended mix of Maneater...... I'm so old....I miss these basic ass, extended mixes.....I don't need all the extra shit....just a slightly altered extended mix of the original and I'm good.
  8. songs with a KILLER beat

  9. songs with a KILLER beat

    Not sure if this is too slow but I've always loved the beat on this song.....kinda ahead of it's time for 1981....
  10. North Korea is mad again

    And when these boys finally pull their "buttons" out and determine which one is bigger, they'll be in safe havens.....meanwhile we'll all be j But hey.....at least someone will know who has the bigger "button" then right? Then all will be right in the world I'm guessing? What IS the point of all this anyways?? This is precisely why we needed a female in office. She's not worried about the size of her "button" AND she has the ability to string two sentences together too so that could've helped instead of having a fame hungry D-list reality star, Twitter troll at the helm.
  11. Trump / US politics thread 🚽

    So some of his supporters consider him the new Jesus? Amazing. I wonder if they're also ok with grown men fucking little girls? Questions that need answers...
  12. Stevie Nicks!!

    Season of the Witch: The Enduring Power of Stevie Nicks Underestimated and overwhelming, Nicks remains the bewitching woman of our time. Here’s how the Fleetwood Mac songstress became an intergenerational icon. https://www.theringer.com/music/2017/11/21/16683772/stevie-nicks-book-career-fleetwood-mac
  13. Stevie Nicks!!

    Some more recent Stevie: And an old, forgotten Stevie hit.......yeah, definitely cheese but idc, I like it and I LOVE her voice on this song....
  14. I gotta go with Stevie Nicks.....there's just nobody like her. That woman LIVES her music. She chose to forego marriage and family so she could devote herself to only her work. The passion and intensity she exudes when she performs, her ability to create such atmosphere with her performances, her poetic lyrics that tug at your heart and that instantly recognizable, unique voice are just a few things I adore about her. Love both her solo and her work with FM.
  15. Trump / US politics thread 🚽

    But Mr. Reality TV Star In Chief, we'd MUCH rather see you go to hell instead!! NFL aren't the ones that need to change here.
  16. 2017 Hurricanes

    This whole situation absolutely breaks my heart. Seems like SOME relief is coming to them but it took that fucker THIS LONG to put anything into action. Those poor people.....I hold PR close to my heart and this is just unreal. Will they EVER be able to bounce back from this?? I hope we're able to hear from our Puerto Rican MNation members very soon. Pray everyone is ok!
  17. North Korea is mad again

    I agree with everything you say! Sadly, as serious as the situation is and as serious as the threat of potential escalation is, this is one of those things that nobody (general public) is going to do anything about or take seriously until it happens......THEN (if anyone is left) there will be outrage, disbelief, confusion, chaos amidst the "but I never thought....." exclamations. As frustrating as this past year has been politically to witness, it's also been very eye opening. People really are THAT fucking stupid and clueless. Like someone else said, Trump has probably been jizzing all week with all this mess and we all know he's just itching to hit the button. That would be the ULTIMATE power move in this little game of playing Mr. President. The most fucked up part of all, he'd probably become some sort of national hero for at least 5 minutes or so. The US always gets super patriotic and defensive (Freedom Fries anyone?) in times of conflict. His already fanatical fanbase would most likely worship him as a Christ like figure after something like this.....lol......that'd be just enough momentum to breeze through re-election in 2020. The US also doesn't like to switch presidents during war.
  18. Trump / US politics thread 🚽

    These fucking morons. That's like a domestic abuse victim saying "he hits me sometimes but most of the time it's my fault. He does it because he loves me." Dumb fucks. These people are absolutely as much of a disgrace to the LGBT community as Trump is to the US.
  19. Trump / US politics thread 🚽

    I don't doubt their propaganda influenced voters but sadly, I truly think there are even today, enough people in this country that support him to legitimately elect him. I don't know what to believe anymore but apparently there was some poll recently that concluded if the election were held today Hillary would still lose. In fact, she's even more disliked now apparently than she was last fall. Why the fuck Hillary Clinton is even still a big topic of discussion 8-9 months after the election that HE WON is anyone's guess. They can't keep her name out of their mouth though. Clearly, her winning the popular vote by A LOT is a major thorn in their side and something the big orange baby just can't get over.
  20. Trump / US politics thread 🚽

    I guess the "black Muslim from Kenya" trying to take all of their guns away and attacking their religious freedoms really spooked them.......that and the most evil bitch in the history of humanity, Hillary Clinton coming dangerously close to being the most powerful WOMAN (OH NO!) on earth......maybe it was all too much....too much for a paranoid/alt-right loon to take......everything's bound to break though....sooner or later, sooner or later..... After all, "white people" (whatever that is anyways) are now the minorities on earth according to them.
  21. Trump / US politics thread 🚽

    We're at a place now where he could literally shoot someone in the face right in front of one of his supporters, then to turn to them and say he didn't actually do that, that Hillary Clinton set him up and they'd believe it. It's beyond alarming at this point. They're a little loony and a lot paranoid and that's very dangerous!
  22. Trump / US politics thread 🚽

    Well, at least this "scandal" is keeping Hillary and Obama's name out of his mouth for a couple of days......I'm sure this time next week SOMETHING will be all their fault though....he's so pathetic.
  23. Trump / US politics thread 🚽

    Yes, they should! Even the ones that supposedly don't like "that side" of him knew full well that by voting for him you're getting the WHOLE PACKAGE. That includes the chaos and confrontations that come with it. This is what his voters chose and this is what they're getting. Are his detractors supposed to respect him just because of his title? I don't think so. He has done NOTHING to earn the respect of anyone....not even the ones that support him.....of course that doesn't matter to them. Sheep that they are. Even the stupidest of his supporters should fully understand how polarizing this man is and that there's a HUGE amount of people that are never going to respect, support nor quit calling him out on his shit. At this point, I hope the detractors will continue to make his life hell until he leaves office. If what Howard Stern has said about him is true, then that man is going to be so mentally worn down by the time he leaves office he'll be close(r) to crazy. Hopefully, we'll get some good post-White House tabloid pics of a "blank" eyed, fat, bloated Trump plodding along,barely hanging by a thread.
  24. Trump / US politics thread 🚽

    Another day, another disgrace. I wonder how this country would be if everyone mirrored the "example" he sets? The man (and I use that term loosely) was elected essentially because he was "against the grain" with his approach. In some ways, it's accurate to say he was elected BECAUSE he's an unfiltered, loud mouthed, "bully". Now, when someone uses the same approach on him, it's "crossing the line" and "bullying" that he's going to fight back against?? Give me a fucking break. The dumb, delusional and desperate made this bed. LIE IN IT bitches!
  25. Stevie Nicks!!

    I love how blunt she is when she speaks....no beating around the bush with her. Not trying to glamorize her cocaine years in any way, BUT she did have some FIRE performances that were OBVIOUSLY cocaine fueled (like the SOTM one above for example) during those years. That performance was in 1982, it wasn't long after that where the coke started to have obvious negative impacts to her shows. It starts to become somewhat noticeable the next year in 1983 during The Wild Heart Tour and by the time of Rock A Little Tour in '86, you can tell it's overtaken her at that point. My aunt went to one of those shows and she said Stevie was definitely not in top form. She sounded bad, was erratic and left the stage frequently for extended periods. Interestingly, the Rock A Little Tour was the one that was commemorated with the Live At Red Rocks release, which was very much "cleaned up" apparently. As bad as that was though, she's said that the Klonopin prescription she was prescribed after rehab ended up being far worse for her than even the cocaine as it completely zapped her energy, motivation and creativity.....she says the withdrawals from this were far worse as well.
×