The Phoenix Network:
About  |  Advertise
Adult  |  Moonsigns  |  Band Guide  |  Blogs  |  In Pictures

The Big Hurt: Checking the Billboard Hot 100

Who charted?
By DAVID THORPE  |  August 25, 2009

I can't pussyfoot around it forever: the Hot 100. The cream of the crop. The big show, baby — these are the songs objectively measured by science to be better than all other songs. As usual, I won't be able to make it through the full 100, but seven is just as good, right? Exactly.

1. BLACK EYED PEAS | "I GOTTA FEELING" | If there's any genius in the Black Eyed Peas — and that's a pretty generous "if," folks — it's that they have one of the most impressive effort-to-money ratios in the history of pop music. If any element of this song — the music, the lyrics, the performances, the production — took more than a few hours, I'd be amazed. It's among the most meatless morsels ever to top the charts, and that's saying something — it's not as if the charts had a history of favoring symphonies. You could reasonably object that this is more sophisticated than "My Humps," but I still refuse to believe that was real, and I'll thank you not to trifle with the delusions that keep me sane.

2. TAYLOR SWIFT | "YOU BELONG WITH ME" | You can't really fault any songwriter — especially one as young as Taylor Swift — for falling back on the classic "your significant other sucks and I'm way better for you" concept. It's such a basic element of human existence that it'll probably keep popping up in the charts at least once a year, forever. Still, it's like painting a bowl of fruit: you'd better be bringing something pretty effin' crazy to the table if you expect anyone to call it art.

3. DRAKE | "BEST I EVER HAD" | Despite dropping the f-bomb five or six times in the chorus and promising to make the female anatomy whistle like the Andy Griffith theme song, Drake is able to match Taylor Swift for tepid inoffensiveness. The amazing thing is that this has been downloaded more than a million times on iTunes, though the proceeds must have been appreciably impacted by all the nickels Drake had to put in the swear jar.

4. KERI HILSON FEAT. KANYE WEST AND NE-YO | "KNOCK YOU DOWN" | This one would be dull enough for its drooping, mid-tempo club beat, tedious Kanye verses, and meandering tune, but it's also five and a half minutes long. What is this, "Stairway to Goddamn Heaven"? I don't care who your friends are — you haven't earned that kind of run time, Hilson.

5. KINGS OF LEON | "USE SOMEBODY" | Huh? Guitars? Did I land on the wrong chart, or are Kings of Leon really lukewarm enough to land on the — Oh. This is some real "Walking in Memphis" shit, ladies and gentlemen.

6. JAY SEAN FEAT. LIL WAYNE | "DOWN" | Fun fact: this is the first charting single to be created entirely without human involvement. They just left a computer running a few dozen Pro Tools plug-ins overnight (including one that dynamically generates Lil Wayne guest verses) and published the result. You can't exactly call it lifelike or convincing, but it's sort of impressive in a soulless, uncanny way.

1  |  2  |   next >
Related: The Bigmouth strikes again, Review: Kanye West | 808s and Heartbreak, The Big Hurt: Billboard's Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks, More more >
  Topics: Music Features , Celebrity News, Entertainment, Taylor Swift,  More more >
  • Share:
  • Share this entry with Facebook
  • Share this entry with Digg
  • Share this entry with Delicious
  • RSS feed
  • Email this article to a friend
  • Print this article

Share this entry with Delicious
  •   THE BIG HURT: ''LOSING'' NEWS IN BRIEF  |  October 27, 2009
    AEROSMITH ’s disastrous summer of canceled tours and geriatric folly has taken its toll on guitarist Joe Perry, who recently told MTV that the band were on “indefinite hiatus” — which is music-industry slang for “I hate Steven Tyler.”
  •   THE BIG HURT: RELEASE YO’ DELF  |  October 22, 2009
    Every slow pop week has a silver lining: it’s a great chance to catch up on the thrilling world of useless press releases.
  •   THE BIG HURT: A HEALTHY DEATH  |  October 13, 2009
    A member of the recently reunited BACKSTREET BOYS — the really Christian one who looks like the Beast from that 1980s Beauty and the Beast TV show — has swine flu. That doesn't even come close to being sufficient punishment for his many aesthetic atrocities (which include his face), but it'll do for the moment.
  •   THE BIG HURT: THINK OF ENGLAND  |  October 06, 2009
    Although we like to think of ourselves as having an ironclad hegemony over the pop of the Western world, those plucky Brits like to rise from their misty bog and tweak our nipples with a pond-crossing chart smash once in a while.
  •   THE BIG HURT: SEASON'S BLEATINGS  |  September 28, 2009
    One of the great things about being in the music industry is that you get to change your name. So why are we hearing records from a guy named Landon Pigg?

 See all articles by: DAVID THORPE

RSS Feed of for the most popular articles
 Most Viewed   Most Emailed 

  |  Sign In  |  Register
Phoenix Media/Communications Group:
Copyright © 2009 The Phoenix Media/Communications Group