MUSIC CHEAT SHEET: Kesha, Halsey chart tag team
Kesha's latest effort, Praying, is destined for to the top of Billboard, Sarah Hanlon predicts. GETTY
SARAH HANLON/ 24 HOURS
There's a lot to listen to, let our earphones do the work
Music history is being made - or I should say music is going back in history. Men are dominating the charts in ways they haven't in decades.
The Billboard Hot 100's Top Ten Chart (which uses physical and digital sales, radio play and online streaming to rank the top singles in the United States) didn't see a female-led song for weeks in a row. Worse yet, there hasn't been a single female-fronted #1 since Sia's Cheap Thrills - a year ago! We haven't seen stats like this in decades. Thank the goddess for rapper Cardi B who, this week, is the first female to break into the top ten in the summer with Bodak Yellow (Money Moves) - a cocky, powerful, rap anthem that was made to dominate the clubs. It's a killer song but there is no reason Cardi B should be in such sparse female company on the charts.
After all, there is certainly no lack of award-winning and popular lead female artists and superstars. I'm not saying that Bruno Mars and Justin Bieber don't deserve their months-long stretches in the #1 spot - but do we seriously live in a time where people would rather listen to Despacito for the millionth time than let a woman enter their ear space? Listen, I'm guilty of listening to Despacito - but I've also discovered a lot of sapphic tunes too! In order for female artists to hit the Billboard charts we have to listen to them. And there are plenty of choices! Here are some ladies to look out for:
Top 10 Bound
Now or Never - Halsey
Halsey's second album, Hopeless Fountain Kingdom, is a big step away from her previous more pop and electronic-fuelled Badlands, which featured the thematic New Americana that is instantly recognizable by its lyrics "We are the new Americana/High on legal marijuana/raised on biggie and Nirvana" but it only made it to 60 on the charts. Now or Never has an R&B feel with gorgeous vocals and an unexpected syncopation from the young artist. It is one of those great songs that builds and builds so despite hearing the chorus multiple times, it is fresh until the end. It's such a versatile song that will play well in the club or anywhere.
Figures - Jessie Reyez
Toronto-born artist Jessie Reyez is creating quite a buzz, being called the cream of the crop in Canadian talent right now. Her debut EP Kiddo is an emotional ride that packs a punch. The passion oozes from the voice of Reyez - whether it is in the form of a slow ballad or a hip-hop electro beat jammer. Figures is a captivating antilove song that delivers a laid-back melancholy accompanied by simple strings and a stunning set of pipes.
Praying - Kesha
Kesha is back and stronger than ever. Critics are praising the defiant and unbridled sound that is Rainbow, which is bound for #1. After losing in court to her producer Dr. Luke whom she accused of sexual assault and battery in 2014, Kesha has been a public voice for standing up for self-liberation and Rainbow perfectly echoes that mantra. With tracks called Bastards, Let 'Em Talk and Learn To Let Go, its clear Kesha is bringing us through her journey. Praying shows us an airy, softer side of Kesha who hits the notes with conviction in this piano-heavy power ballad that's quickly moving up the charts.
Future No. 1 Songs
New Rules - Dua Lipa
This song is a catchy step-by-step guide on avoiding insensitive men useless and unhealthy: "Don't pick up that you didn't know were the phone; you know he's only calling 'cause he's drunk and alone!" Lis-ten to this song twice and try not to be obsessed. The English singer, who Gaga, premiered the Solange-esque has been compared to P!nk and Lady choreographed music video for New Rules on July 7 and it has already logged over 13 million views on YouTube. I get a Cher vibe from Duo Lipa and her entire self-titled album share-able fun. Check out is sing-able, dance-able and Hotter Than Hell after New Rules.
The Weekend - SZA
It actually makes me mad this song has only hit 89 on the charts because it doesn't make any sense. I hear it everywhere I go, and not just because it is always in my head, radio stations play it on what seems like a ten-minute loop! Everyone loves this song - including crooner Miguel who made waves online with a video of him belting out a few bars from it. ent take on the clas-SZA presents a differ-sic love triangle on this track singing, "You take Wednesday, Thursday/Then just send him my way/Think I got it covered for the weekend."
The song isn't just unique lyrically, the whole album melding R&B, pop, neo-soul and even it comes from, CTRL, defies genre, a little country in a way that's poetic and catchy at the same time; and The is the highest-ranked female album Weekend is its essential track. CTRL on this week's Billboard 200 chart at number 9. Hey, that's something, right?
Songs snubbed for a reason
Crying in the Club - Camila Cabello
I think Cabello's single could have made the top ten - if not for one simple thing. A terrible title will surely kill the success of a song. Who is asking the DJ: "Excuse me, could you please play Crying in the Club for me?" The most frustrating part of this poorly thought out name is that the lyrics of the song portray the opposite message: "You think, that you'll die without him/You know, that's a lie that you tell yourself ... It ain't true ... Ain't no crying in the club." Why not 'Aint No Crying' instead? Now that's a number #1 song!
Leave the charts already!
Body Like a Back Road - Sam Hunt
This song is just as awful as you might expect from the title. It is a clichéd "country" single that sounds more like one of those Kids Sing the Hits infomercials than anything the late country great Glen Campbell would listen too. The Willie, Johnny and Waylon types would never! Let me paint you a picture with words: "Body like a back road/Driving with my eyes closed/I know every curve-like the back of my hand." Body Like a Back Road topped out at number 6 and just got bumped off the top ten. Hope the door hit the back of your ass when you left Sam!
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