Billboard Hosts Hit Songs Deconstructed on Their New Chart Beat Podcast

Hit Songs Deconstructed’s founders Yael and David Penn recently sat down with Billboard’s Co-Director of Charts, Gary Trust, for their new podcast, Chart Beat. In this 52-minute podcast. they reveal the Hit Songs Deconstructed backstory, discuss why it’s such a valuable tool to songwriters, producers…


Stressed Out’s Hooks & Infectious Grooves

Tyler Joseph of Twenty One Pilots wrote their 2013 album "Vessels" without “knowing whether or not people were going to hear it.” That album proceeded to go gold in the U.S. Their newest album, "Blurryface", went platinum. The 3rd single from "Blurryface", “Stressed Out”, peaked…


Ex’s & Oh’s, Same Old Love, Sorry, & Stitches: Hooks, Clever Elements & WOW Factors

During the fourth quarter of 2015, 21 songs charted in the Top 10 of Billboard’s Hot 100, each possessing a unique sound and vibe traversing 5 primary genres and 20 sub-genres. Despite the differences between them, the key characteristic that they all have in common…


Prince: Master Craftsman

On April 21st, the world was shocked when it was forced to say a sad and far too early farewell to Prince, one of the most prolific, enigmatic, and influential artists of our time. He sold over 100 million records in his lifetime and Rolling…


Hello’s Vocal WOW Factors & Soaring Power

Adele spent over three years in silence. Not literally, of course. However, prior to the release of "Hello", Adele hadn’t released a song since 2012. Since its release, the song topped over 40 charts throughout the world, and its accompanying music video scored over a…


Hotline Bling’s “Mute Button” Technique & False Lyrical Beginning & Ending

While "Hotline Bling's" video and Drake’s unique, widely parodied dance moves certainly helped expose the song to the masses, it's the strength of the song itself that keeps people listening. When you dig down deep, you’ll find that it contains a host of clever compositional…


Hello, Hotline Bling, & Same Old Love: Genre Fusion Techniques

It all sounds the same. Homogenized. Unadventurous. That’s what many people think about today’s mainstream music. However, when you look more closely at the songs that top the charts, it becomes apparent that nothing could be further from the truth. In this article, excerpted from…


Penn’s Picks: Bowie Gems 1969 – 1979

Rarely has an artist’s death impacted so many people so deeply. Bowie defied genre. He defied gender. He goes down in the record books as one of the most innovative artists to ever live with a career spanning almost 50 years. In his honor, we…


Highlights From Our Q4 Trend Report

Did female vocals finally make a comeback? Which retro influences were the most popular - the 60s, 70s or 80s? Did the prominence of Hip Hop/Rap increase or decrease? Our latest Hit Songs Deconstructed Trend Report takes a look at the compositional characteristics that define…


To Bridge Or Not To Bridge?

Hit songwriter and educator Jason Blume interviewed David Penn, Hit Songs Deconstructed co-founder and editor-in-chief, for this article on the latest structural trends defining today’s chart-topping hits. This article was published by BMI's MusicWorld on January 7th.


Penn’s Picks: Black History Month – 2016

In honor of Black History Month, we’re featuring 10 of the most influential Black artists and producers who have shaped the sound of popular music over the last hundred years. Limiting the list to just 10 was not an easy task, but we think you’ll…


The 2016 Grammys Deconstructed

Hit Songs Deconstructed congratulates all of the winners from the 58th annual Grammy Awards! Here we've compiled some of our recent Hit Songs Deconstructed reports showing the what, how, and why behind some of the night's biggest wins.


What Makes the ‘Star Wars’ Theme So Epic? John Williams’ Legendary Theme, Deconstructed

In honor of the return of Star Wars, Hit Songs Deconstructed teamed up with Billboard to look into why John Williams’ main title for the movie is one of the most successful (a disco version actually topped the Hot 100 for two weeks in 1977),…


HSD at Berklee College of Music – Top 10 Deconstructed

In this video excerpt from a lecture at Berklee College of Music, David Penn, Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Hit Songs Deconstructed shares hit songwriting tips, techniques and trends culled from today's chart-topping hits.


Hit Songs Deconstructed Music Charts – Month In Review: November 2015

During the month of November there were a host of key compositional trend shifts that took place in the Hot 100 Top 10. Among the most notable are the solo female lead vocal category rising to its highest level of prominence in 36 weeks thanks…


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