If it’s close to fall, then the heavyweights of the industry must be jockeying for position on the shelves of CDs for Christmas purchases. From a country standpoint, two of the more high profile releases in the next few months are Tim McGraw and Carrie Underwood. Carrie’s release Play On (due November 3rd) just got a nice PR bump due to a leak on the Internet, originally from a radio recording, but followed shortly after by a clean version. “Cowboy Casanova” has some similarities to “Before He Cheats”, but this recipe is 1/3 “Cheats”, spiced up with 1/3 “Boot Scootin’ Boogie” remixed, and blended in a 1/3 Shania Twain sassiness. At first listen, I was taken aback, but damn, if that’s not a catchy tune, I don’t know what is. Watch for this one on the Pop charts in the near future, as there’s got to be a non-country mix of this. (h/t Bill’s Top 40/Pop Blog)
Tim, on the other hand, is doing what he does best, with a clever set of lyrics talking about how much “pain” his relationship inflicts on him. The full-length disc out on October 20th is called Southern Voice, and it’s already up to preview on iTunes. You might recall the drama a year ago surrounding the release of this CD getting pushed back by Curb to make way for a miserably-selling Greatest Hits 3. We’ll have to wait and see what Tim’s next move is, now that his contract is fulfilled with Curb, but I can’t imagine he’s going to hang around. Originally I thought there might be a Live Nation deal in Tim’s future. Wouldn’t it be interesting if they set up a deal with Tim AND his wife, Faith Hill? Just food for thought.
Here’s the first single from Southern Voice entitled “It’s a Business Doing Pleasure With You”.
Remember the 80s, when European acts stood just as much of a chance at charting in the US as native-born acts? That’s not quite where things are at right now, with 8 out of 10 acts in the Top 10 fronted by Americans, and a ninth (Drake) hailing from Canada. The sole European at the top of the Hot 100 this week is Jay Sean, who had to get signed to an American label to chart, features American rapper Lil Wayne, and hasn’t even hit the UK charts yet with his hit “Down”. In fact, you have to go all the way down to #57 to find an all-European act (Cascada). That’s pretty pitiful, but these things go in waves if you look back at the history of the American charts. So do the Europeans have any shots at making it big in the US any time soon? Well, maybe…
– Cascada is the obvious choice, because “Evacuate the Dancefloor” is quickly flying up the pop charts. While Lady GaGa moves on to single #4 with the darker “Paparazzi”, Cascada takes the RedOne formula and throws in enough of a twist (along with a killer chorus) to stand up on their own. Even H1N1 can’t stop this jam from reaching the Top 40, and I predict that it will follow “Everytime We Touch” into the Top 10. Here’s the Wideboys remix of the track.
– Sweden has a history of exporting pop stars for U.S. consumption, and Agnes Carlsson seems to have as good a chance as any others. “Release Me” is already getting some club play here, and the single was officially released in mid-August on Geffen Records. It’s not hard to see this single taking a similar climb to the top of the charts like Leona Lewis did close to two years ago.
– A month or so ago, I would have predicted that David Guetta would be on that list with “When Love Takes Over”, but after barely scratching the surface of pop airplay lists, the life of that single is all but over. In it’s place is “Sexy Bitch”, featuring Akon. “Bitch”, or “Chick” in a radio-friendly form, is starting to make a move, but is it the novelty of the song or the track itself that is pushing the popularity? The single has re-entered the Hot 100 at #92 this week, and the full-length is looking at a Top 50 debut, so we can only sit and wait to see what happens.
– Isn’t it about time for the Sugababes to attempt another run at the American music scene? On paper, they seem to have a formula for success, but “Get Sexy” will not be the single to do the job. Now, if the lead single is “About A Girl”, then there’s a chance that they might out-do the barely-Top 40 performance of “Hole In the Head”, which remains one of the great injustices of the past 10 years on the Hot 100. I posted “Girl” a couple of weeks ago, so I’m gonna post “Hole” instead. Ah, memories.