Parsing The Pop: Hot 100′s Top Tracks Get The Cold Shoulder

Honestly, we weren’t expecting Daniel Powter’s “Bad Day” to do well in Jackin’ Pop–chalk it up to music writers’ bias against musicians who are pathological knit-cap wearers. But we were surprised that it didn’t get a single vote from our critics, given that it was the No. 1 song on the Billboard Hot 100 this year. Sure, the Hot 100 does tend to skew on the adult-contemporary side of things, and the end-of-year charts do favor singles that came out in the year’s first half–the seemingly everywhere “Crazy” only came in at No. 7 on the year-end list, while the Jackin’ Pop No. 3 “My Love,” which was released as a single in the fall, ended the year at No. 61. (And forget anything as comparatively outré as the poll’s No. 5, “Wolf Like Me.”) But we glanced at the Hot 100′s top ten and found that three of the year’s top 10 songs—including one that was a near-miss on one of your Idolators’ ballots–received no votes at all, a stat that we found a little odd. (Isn’t there someone out there who will admit to liking that James Blunt song?)

After the jump, we compare the Billboard Hot 100′s top ten with their Jackin’ Pop results.

1 “Bad Day,” Daniel Powter (0 votes)
2 “Temperature,” Sean Paul (No. 240 (tie), 2 votes)
3 “Promiscuous,” Nelly Furtado/Timbaland (No. 6, 45 votes)
4 “You’re Beautiful,” James Blunt (0 votes)
5 “Hips Don’t Lie,” Shakira featuring Wyclef Jean (No. 42 (tie), 12 votes)
6 “Unwritten,” Natasha Bedingfield (0 votes)
7 “Crazy,” Gnarls Barkley (No. 1, 169 votes)
8 “Ridin’,” Chamillionaire Featuring Krayzie Bone (No. 19 (tie), 21 votes)
9 “Sexyback,” Justin Timberlake (No. 7 (tie), 35 votes)
10 “Check On It,” Beyonce featuring Slim Thug (No. 165 (tie), 3 votes)

Jackin’ Pop Critics Poll 2006 Results
Year-end Singles – Hot 100 Songs []

  • maxreax

    I would have voted for “Unwritten” but I thought it came out last year.

  • brianp

    The pop charts are underrated. I see dancehall, latin/reggaeton, hip-hop/r&b, alt-soul, and electrohouse in those songs. I don’t think that would have been the case five or ten year ago.

  • Chris Molanphy

    A few notes:

    “Unwritten”: maxreax is sort of right – that song did come out in ’05, as did Bedingfield’s whole album (the first single, “These Words,” came and went in ’05), but “Unwritten” caught on so slowly on pop radio that it dominated the spring. (At A/C, it was even slower – they’re still playing the fuck out of it on “lite hits” stations.) Anyway, maxreax should’ve just voted for it – if “Unwritten” wasn’t eligible for ’06 on a technicality, “Crazy” (first leaked in ’05) shouldn’t have been either.

    “My Love”: The chart year for Billboard runs from 1 December to the following 30 November. Singles that peak late in the year always have a hard time, and the fact that a whole month gets lopped off the statistics makes it even harder for them. “My Love” hit #1 sometime around Halloween, which gives it a major handicap. (By contrast, that #2-ranked Sean Paul song, which was huge but not that huge, benefits from peaking late last winter and just sitting around on the charts all year, collecting points.)

    “Crazy”: The story of this song at radio has always been mixed – everyone talks about what a crossover smash “Crazy” was, but for all its success, it never got Top Three airplay at any format. (There was one week, I think, where “Crazy” ranked #4 on the airplay-only list.) This is important on the Hot 100, which is a combination of sales and airplay. Just thank your deity of choice for iTunes: “Crazy” sold like gangbusters there, and in the world before Billboard added digital song sales to the Hot 100 (Feb. ’05), “Crazy” would’ve struggled to reach the Top 10 at all.

    “You’re Beautiful”: It’s not as god-awful as some would have you believe (there’s a case to be made that its lyric, which some find reprehensible [guy wishes he could steal taken woman], is fairly original for a dewy love ballad). But c’mon, I don’t care how big a pop fan you are: if you call yourself a critic and you’ve got only 10 voting slots, there’s no way it’s worthy of making the cut. Hell, not even with 50 slots.

  • Nicolars

    “Bad Day” was on the radio when I got my $350 ticket, so I will always hate it.

  • Mordy

    Drats. I thought Temperature came out last year. Damnit. That totally would’ve been on my list.