NEW RELEASES – WEEK OF 9/27/10

Gonna try something new here…I’m going to (somewhat) randomly listen to five new single releases this week and rank how I hear them for “Futurehit” ability. Then, later on, we can see how right/wrong I was. Yeah, I’ll stick my neck out. Why not. I fully expect to not be right 100% of the time, but it’ll be a fun exercise and I’d love to see your comments.

I’ll be judging each song very quickly (as most listeners do) so don’t expect great dissertation. I’m likely shooting from the hip. Each of the 10 categories will be ranked on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the best) with a best possible “Futurehit” worthiness of 100. The categories are:

INTRO – If you’ve read my book, you know how crucial impacting in 7 seconds is
CHORD CHANGES – Does the song keep it interesting or is it a loop?
DYNAMICS – Do I get loud/soft/loud or is it compressed and sonically flat?
2 MINUTE CHANGEUP – After the 2nd chorus, does the song shift to maintain interest?
HOOKS – How many times is the chorus repeated for memorability?
ENDING – Does the end make you want to hear the song again?
LENGTH – Is the song a suitable length to be profitable in the new digital ecosystem?
TIME BTWN RELEASES – How long since this artist has released something before?
SEARCHABILITY – If I can’t find it quickly, who can?
VIBE – Yeah, that instinct counts for something and I’ll share my gut

With that intro…let’s see what pops up on the radar:

MY CHEMICAL ROMANCE “Na Na Na (Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na)”
INTRO: 5
11 seconds to get in, but it starts with the chorus
CHORD CHANGES: 9
Lots of interesting shifts, especially in the chorus
DYNAMICS: 7
Doesn’t shift a lot, but enough to keep it engaging
2 MINUTE CHANGEUP: 8
Does a dynamic shift into the bridge well
HOOKS: 10
It’s hard to miss here with all the Na Na’s
ENDING: 3
Long guitar fade will cause early skipping and subtle negative reinforcement
LENGTH: 5
Fast paced song in under 3:30 will suit radio fine
TIME BTWN RELEASES: 4
Nearly a year and a half since the last official releases
SEARCHABILITY: 2
Search suggestion quickly found band name, but there’s a lot of “Na Na Na” songs out there to compete with, not to mention “Sha Na Na”
VIBE: 9
For all the future hit shortcomings, the hook is simple and undeniable. Lyrically, this is also in the pocket for this band’s fanbase. Energetic spirit of the song also proves engaging.
FUTUREHIT POTENTIAL: 62%

DEFAULT “All Over Me”
INTRO: 1
Very standard 17 second rock intro
CHORD CHANGES: 7
Is varied, but not compellingly unexpected
DYNAMICS: 6
Standard for a straight up rock song, but a bonus for the beat changeup in the chorus
2 MINUTE CHANGEUP: 4
The chords change briefly, but not enough and little dynamic shift
HOOKS: 4
Standard structure for chorus repeatability
ENDING: 5
Lack of chord resolution is negated by long guitar fade
TIME BTWN RELEASES: 3
Label bankruptcy hurt release schedule, but this song came out in Canada a year ago as well, so hardcore US fans likely have it hurting potential US metrics
SEARCHABILITY: 1
Josh Turner’s song of the same name is more popular, not to mention the Drowning Pool song or the movie that shares the title
VIBE: 3
Rather standard issue rock song that will be hurt by poor Futurehit engagement
FUTUREHIT POTENTIAL: 34%

LAUREN MASON “James”
INTRO: 9
Bizarro sped-up vocals jumping into the rap verse in 7 seconds flat
CHORD CHANGES: 2
The song is the same loop throughout
DYNAMICS: 2
I’ll count the sped up vocals as a slight change, but really there’s very little
2 MINUTE CHANGEUP: 2
There’s essentially no change, but the lyrics do keep some engagement
HOOKS: 7
Plenty of them breaking up the multiple verses plus a sample of a JoJo song
ENDING: 1
A standard fade that makes the song feel like it ends all too soon
LENGTH: 3
Feels like it could (and should) be longer
TIME BTWN RELEASES: 4
Hard to get accurate info on her, but it looks like about 2 years, which is even more difficult for an unknown
SEARCHABILITY: 1
James is obviously too generic. Even if you search the actual “hook” lyric, you get the song it samples, not this song.
VIBE: 5
A strong engaging intro and very engaging, blunt lyrics plus a unique hook with sped up vocals and brief song sample get wasted by flat dynamics and the song eventually going nowhere.
FUTUREHIT POTENTIAL: 36%

One Response to “NEW RELEASES – WEEK OF 9/27/10”

  1. Olivier Rosset September 29, 2010 at 9:44 am # Reply

    its very interesting on a technical A&R perspective. But i also learnt that sometimes a song that is too formated and sounds like too much other stuff can be expensive to market. When doing A&R , i am also very interested by cultural movements dynamics.
    1/ bet on a niche/emerging/rupture movement that might get bigger. 2 / Identify who might become the leader of this new movement 3/ work with him in order to get a hit song for this niche while having the ingredients to cross over. Harder but way more profitable at the end of the day.

    My favourites cases are either Instant hit (basicaly you know it within less than 45 s in) or the “rupture/anti” hit (doenst sound like anything you know;have seen some of those took 2-3 years to become hits) Both cases are very rares but when it breaks, you talkin real profit and not market share only ;)

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