What the kids are listenin’ to.

Once “Just To Feel That Way” was selected as Taylor Hicks’ first single, there was much rejoicing in the Kingdom of Soul. After all, they’d been running polls and holding discussions, and JTFTW frequently came out on top as the Soul Patrol’s hand-pick for a first-release single. But it was interesting. Here you had a group of people, most of whom freely admit to having stopped listening to radio ages ago, weighing in on which of Taylor’s songs was the most radio-friendly. Were they basing it on actual knowledge? Intuition? Or did they merely have an idea of what was being played on the radio, but without an actual clue?

So what is being played on the radio these days? I don’t pay much attention to it, so I took a stroll over to the Billboard Hot 100 charts and the MediaBase airplay charts. And here’s what’s the kids are listening to these days. (Note: the MediaBase charts change frequently, so they may not exactly reflect what I’m claiming in this blog post, but it’s accurate as of the time I posted.)

MediaBase Hit Pop Charts:

1. Beyonce, “Irreplaceable”
2. Justin Timberlake, “My Love”
3. Fergie, “Fergalicious”
4. The Fray, “How To Save a Life”
5. Akon, “Smack That”
6. Akon, “I Wanna Love You”
7. Hinder, “Lips of an Angel”
8. Nelly Furtado, “Say It Right”
9. Paula Deanda, “Walk Away”
10. Nickelback, “Far Away”

John Mayer has a hit at #17 with “Waiting on the World to Change.” JoJo, Daughtry, Ludacris, Christina Aguilera and Rihanna help round out the top 20.

The Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart is essentially a reproduction of the MediaBase chart, although Jim Jones’ “We Fly High” and The All-American Rejects “It Ends Tonight” are in the Top 10.

The Mediabase Hot AC chart contains much of the same, though Snow Patrol’s “Chasing Cars,” KT Tunstall’s omnipresent “Suddenly I See,” and tunes by Rob Thomas and Matt Kearney also pop up in the top 10.

The Mainstream AC chart is where things get a little shaken up, although there’s nothing shocking. Natasha Bedingfield’s “Unwritten” is still clinging for dear life to the number-one spot, trailed by “Bad [Friggin’] Day.” Rascal Flatts, Five for Fighting, Rob Thomas, and Nick Lachey are there, as is Mayer’s tune and KT’s “Black Horse.” Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy” makes a noticeable appearance. (Traditionally–I do know this much–songs have a much longer lifespan on AC, even if they start out on the pop charts).

But far and away, the most interesting chart is MediaBase Urban AC. While the Fergies and the Timberlakes cloud up the Hot Urban chart, Urban AC is comprised of almost an entirely different set of artists. There, the number-one spot is claimed by Ruben Studdard (!!) with “Change Me,” followed by Mary J. Blige, Brian McKnight, and Robin Thicke. Beyonce makes her obligatory appearance, but she’s tailed by Lionel Richie, Anthony Hamilton, India.Arie and John Legend.

Hmm. It’ll be interesting to see where Taylor Hicks and Katharine McPhee wind up. I don’t see the likes of “Over It” and “Each Other” being embraced by Urban A/C, though she’ll probably get decent pop airplay, if not at least one major hit. Taylor, on the other hand, will probably have to settle for middling rotation of his “Just To Feel That Way” on the pop charts, but like other pop castoffs, it may find a semi-permanent home on Mainstream A/C.

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5 Responses to “What the kids are listenin’ to.”


  1. 1 DaniCalifornia January 5, 2007 at 11:41 pm

    Actually, there were mixed feelings on the single. Some like it, some don’t. I don’t personally care for it, and honestly think that it’ll tank. I love Taylor, but he’s definitely not what “the kids are listening to these days”, although I am only 20, I guess I’m a huge exception. I feel bad because I feel as though they tried to make Taylor into a top 40 artist, and failed miserably, or will fail miserably, and make a fool out him. They should have just left him and let his fans be his fans instead of trying to gain more.

  2. 2 Jewels Richardson January 6, 2007 at 11:07 am

    I think that JTFTW, stands a chance on the top 40 playlists. Regarding the other tracks on the CD, it possesses some of the highest marks in the ‘tenants of Pop tune-dom”.

    The deal with Taylor Hicks, his sound was never made for top 40 play, not historically anyway. His new theme, “Modern Whomp” a play at starting a new music venue, as he doesn’t completely mesh into the current venue definitions.

    Some of what Dani says is very sensible, they should have let him do his thing, the remaking and redefining ‘crap’ isn’t good. The suits need leave him alone. As a reference to the distant past, look what The Colonel did to Elvis, for God’s sake – can’t we learn? What I disagree with Dani is ‘them’ letting his fans be his fans and not go for more. One thing ‘they’ should do is leave the man to his own music devices, he’ll garner more fans on his own. Nothing wrong with increasing your fanbase.

    My main criicism of the CD, on some tracks, it sounds almost too smooth. Like his vocals were ‘tamed’; too much emphasis was placed on, “Taylor sing pretty, now”, or something.

    The mixing on “Give Me Tonight” sounds the equivalent of driving down a road with construction – one side has been nicely re-asphalted and is 3 inches taller than the other, you’ve got to change lanes, and there’s this noticable drop. Like two separate tracks put together by someone with a hangover in the sound booth.

    All in all Taylor Hicks is nobody’s fool and this will not be the result of further exposure. Live performances will enhance the tracks, and I’m betting that the CD rises from the single released as well as the jump of the tour.

  3. 3 idolicious January 6, 2007 at 1:21 pm

    I agree with both of you in that I wish Taylor had been completely left to his own devices on this CD, but this being a post-Idol debut, it was just never going to happen. I expected it to be mediocre; it’s not, so I guess I can say that by that relative standard, I was pleasantly surprised.

    But the CD does merit some criticism. It IS overproduced. That works on some tracks (the throwbacks “The Runaround” and “Heaven Knows”), but it doesn’t work on some of the ballads. I know this is the first time Taylor’s had access to a full range of instrumental accompaniement, but I do think that the ham’s a little overcooked here.

    That being said, as much as I love Taylor’s acoustic roots and would love to see him put out an album much like In Your Time again someday, I don’t want to be one of those fans who insists on constricting Taylor in that way. He should be allowed to grow as an artist, and if he was going to make any musica mistakes, his post-Idol debut was a fine time to make him, because critics are relatively forgiving in understanding that he probably didn’t have a lot of creative control. Whether he chooses to run with “modern whomp” or whether he wants to get back to stripped-down soul should be his decision–not Clive’s, not Matt Serletic’s, and not his fans’. Personally, I prefer acoustic Taylor, and I can’t even guarantee that I’ll buy his next album if it’s more “modern whomp” (I’ll probably just download the songs I like off iTunes), but I will continue to support him in whatever other ways I can.

  4. 4 PayTheDevil January 7, 2007 at 2:58 am

    I was polling the nieces today, (ages 5, 8, & 10) their preference is for “The Maze” as the single. Go figure? That song was one of my least favorite cuts from the CD. I was so confounded by the song, that I made a little video to promote the it on GoFish.

    http://www.gofish.com/player.gfp?gfid=30-1065190

    My effort at a little guerrilla marketing.

    Well, my little amateur video is a hit and folks have been praising the song and saying that it is their favorite. I don’t get it. “Soul Thing” is such a rich and multi-texture offering and “The Maze” is just, well, it is just okay.

    The kidlings prefer “The Maze”, go figure.

  5. 5 idolicious January 7, 2007 at 12:24 pm

    I’m not crazy about “The Maze,” either. And “Soul Thing” was my least favorite song on Under the Radar, and while I like the treatment it got this time around, I’m not sure about it being radio-friendly, because it might just be a little too “I’m Taylor Hicks and I’ve got SOUL!” Eh. Who knows? A lot of people have been pushing for “The Maze” but I just can’t get into it.


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What the kids are sayin’



"I hate them all. The judges, TPTB, the blatant manipulation, the songs, the contestants, everything. I'm a die-hard Cook fan, but for the love of god, at least try to look like you're enjoying yourself up there! Please? Syesha was awesome but she ruined it by being completely shameless and disgusting. Yes, being on American Idol is exactly like the civil rights movement, except for the part where you're fighting to make the world a better place."



"All I can say after the disgusting display tonight of favoritism towards the mediocrity that is David A. - good luck trying to market and make money off of that kid, American Idol. (Not to mention good luck dealing with his father.) All the teeny boppers may buy up his American Idol coronation single, but they will quickly forget about him before the album comes out. And I shudder to think of a David A. album - song after song of unrelenting sameness and heavy breathing. Why they are pimping him for the win is beyond me."



"This show was simply a hot buttered mess tonight. And Jason "needs to be arrested for what he did to I Shot the Sheriff. But I hope he stays. He amuses me. "

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