Where is Chart Music Going Today?

Cheryl Chow takes a look back at the last ten years of music and has compiled a timeline of the top hits of the previous ten years (2003-2013). We hope that this commentary provides some more “throwback” memories, continuing on from Mufti Day last week. What do you think about the music of today? Do you think that we’ll be dancing to these tunes in our old age?

2003

Where Is The Love………..The Black Eyed Peas

I’m With You…………………Avril Lavigne

Bring Me To Life……………Evanescence

In Da Club……………………50 Cent

Crazy In Love……………….Beyoncé

Perfect…………………………Simple Plan

 

2004

The Reason…………………..Hoobastank

This Love………………………Maroon 5

Yeah…………………………….Usher feat. Ludacris

She Will Be Loved………….Maroon 5

My Happy Ending…………..Avril Lavigne

Toxic…………………………….Britney Spears

Breakaway……………………Kelly Clarkson

 

2005

We Belong Together………Mariah Carey

Since U Been Gone………Kelly Clarkson

Because  of You…………….Kelly Clarkson

You and Me………………….Lifehouse

 

2006

Bad Day………………………Daniel Powter

You’re Beautiful……………James Blunt

Unwritten…………………….Natasha Bedingfield

Sexyback…………………….Justin Timberlake 

London Bridge……………..Fergie

 

2007

Bleeding Love………………Leona Lewis

Irreplaceable………………..Beyoncé

Umbrella……………………..Rihanna

Big Girls Don’t Cry………..Fergie

Girlfriend……………………..Avril Lavigne

Crank That (Soulja Boy)..Soulja Boy Tell’em

How to Save a Life……….The Fray

 

2008

I’m Yours…………………….Jason Mraz

Love Story…………………..Taylor Swift

Love Song………………….Sara Bareilles

Take a Bow…………………Rihanna

Don’t Stop the Music……Rihanna

I Kissed a Girl……………..Katy Perry

Taylor Swift and Jason Mraz brought the guitar back into the center of the world. Note: The guitar riff of I’m Yours – although not technically Mraz’s own – then went on to take over the world. Ever had a “that totally sounds like I’m Yours!” moment? It’s the strumming pattern and the chords. Note #2: Enter electronic rock and dance-pop.

 

2009

I Gotta Feeling……………The Black Eyed Peas

Boom Boom Pow………..The Black Eyed Peas

Just Dance………………..Lady Gaga

Poker Face………………..Lady Gaga

You Belong With Me……Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift has made her mark, so we can expect her to stay. Lady Gaga threw in a couple of catchy tunes in 2009-10 and made her mark; she nails the spot for electronic/dance/pop and became the future reference for many. The Black Eyed Peas also have made a comeback.

 

2010

Baby ………………………….Justin Bieber

Just The Way You Are…..Bruno Mars

Telephone…………………..Lady Gaga

Airplanes…………………….B.o.B ft. Hayley Williams

Firework……………………..Katy Perry

California Gurls……………Katy Perry

Need You Now…………….Lady Antebellum

Tik Tok………………………..Kesha

Bieber gets the extremes of hate and love. I guess it comes with fame…  Baby is catchy, whether you like Bieber or not and whether he sounds like a girl or not. Katy Perry has taken the stage with her power-pop/electropop hits, alongside Bruno, whose pop mentality is influenced by R&B, reggae and soul. Also, more electropop from Ke$ha.

 

2011

Someone Like You………..Adele

Price Tag……………………..Jessie J

Party Rock Anthem……….LMFAO

Moves Likes Jagger………Maroon 5

Grenade……………………..Bruno Mars

Just The Way You Are…..Bruno Mars

We’ve had some soul tracks from Adele which were massive hits, and some R&B influenced tracks (with HUGE choruses) from the great Bruno Mars.

 

2012

Somebody That I Used To Know……..Gotye

Call Me Maybe…………………Carly Rae Jepson

We Are Young………………….Fun.

Titanium………………………….David Guetta ft. Sia

Impossible………………………Shontelle/James Arthur

Gotye and Fun?! What happened there… Indie gone mainstream? Powerful pop/house is also back in the house (because I am titaaaaanium! and because of James Arthur’s cover of Shontelle’s incredibly catchy ballad).

 

2013

Blurred Lines………………Robin Thicke

Get Lucky…………………..Daft Punk

Roar………………………….Katy Perry

Brave………………………..Sara Bareilles

Wake Me Up………………Avicii

Let Her Go…………………Passenger

Radioactive………………..Imagine Dragons

Daft PunkPassengerSara and Bruno and many others seem to be bringing real, live instruments back; did they realise our ears were probably getting tired of ‘over-produced’ music? Alternative rock seems to be coming back – are we flipping the mainstream vs indie coin again like they did in the ’80s?

 

 

Conclusions: “So, where is music actually going?” 

I can’t answer that question, but I know good music will always be around. Firstly, because good is a subjective term, and secondly because not all music is on the radio – if Miley’s We Can’t Stop isn’t your kind of thing, maybe you’ll have a little more faith in the future of music if you go indie (Frightened Rabbit, Lucy Rose, Bon Iver, Regina Spektor). Or, if you’re all classy and vintage, go back to Bob Dylan, The Police… I am not writing an accurate analysis of the evolution of music over the last decade, but instead just showing you a snapshot of the charted top hits – in other words, what’s making waves in the music industry currently.

Either way, it’s unfair. It’s easier for artists who have made hits before to get up on the charts, possibly because of the popularity of the artist; it might not be about the ‘quality’ (whatever that means) of the song. That being said, songs with large, amplified choruses are designed around their catchiness, and will probably get into your brain (a creepy way of saying it will get stuck in your head), if it is not up in the Top 40 of the charts.

Hunting tunes on the radio is a bit of a hit-and-miss. Spotify, on the other hand, is more… human – it tries to understand your musical tastes and guides you in your search for similar artists.

Just keep listening, and you’ll find what you like.

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