Hit Songs Deconstructed - Powerful Analytical Tools for the Music Industry

Hit Songs Deconstructed Music Charts – Week of 3/7/15

Two songs influenced the compositional characteristics of the Hot 100 top 10 this week – the arrival of The Weeknd’s Earned It and the departure of Sam Smith’s I’m Not The Only One.

Some of the week’s notable gainers thanks to the arrival of Earned It include the Retro category (an underlying 1960’s vibe via the strings) and the hooking up lyrical theme category (50 Shades Of Grey).

The 4:00+ song length category takes over at the top for the first time in 40 weeks, and the acoustic instrumentation category enters the chart for the first time in 17 weeks, last represented by Sam Smith’s Stay With Me.  Additionally, Earned It features an underlying Waltz type nature, which is a top 10 rarity.

On the flip side, some of the categories that took a hit this week due to the departure of I’m Not The Only One include the Gospel sub-genre – which drops down to nil for the first time in almost a year, the moderately long (0:20 – 0:29) intro length category, and the electric guitar, claps/snaps and electric piano instrumentation categories.

Some of the top characteristics defining this week’s top 10 include:

  • 60% of songs possess a retro nature
  • Solo male lead vocals account for 50% of songs
  • 90% of songs feature a love/relationship lyrical theme – either as a standalone or in conjunction with another theme
  • 40% of songs forego an intro and immediately begin with the chorus or verse
  • The electric guitar plays a role within 60% of songs
  • 40% of songs were written by teams of five or more writers
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