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Thursday, December 13, 2012

Countdown Preview: The Stats

On Monday, the official Alienhits countdowns will begin! I've gotta say, as a whole 2012 just didn't seem like a very strong year in pop music, which caused me to search out older stuff to get obsessed with. That led to my dual infatuations this year: Dutch 70's/80's pop-disco and K-Pop. Both provided me with much joy, but that doesn't mean that there wasn't some current stuff that appealed to me, too. In addition to some great EPs on the list, I've got quite an eclectic top five. Here are all the stats before we get the countdown started next week.

A couple observations first:
* I guess I really preferred male singers over female ones this year. The stats became very lopsided.
* The fourth quarter of the year still seems to be the time to release the best albums
* This marks the most international list I've ever had, with nine different countries represented
* Sweden continues its downward slide on my countdown, with only 5%. I need a Swedish resurgence! Meanwhile, the UK seems to be the winner this year, but not by much.

This year's albums:

Groups - 60% (up from last year)
Solo Artists - 40% (down from last year)

Debut Albums - 15% (way down)
Second Albums - 30% (up)
Fourth Album (or higher!) - 25% (down)

Male Singers - 80% (way up)
Female Singers - 10% (way down)
Male & Female Singers - 10% (even)

American Acts - 15% (down)
UK Acts - 25% (way down)
Swedish Acts - 5% (way down)
Australian Acts - 10% (even)
Danish Acts - 5% (even)
Norwegian Acts - 5% (n/a)
Korean Acts - 20% (n/a)
Canadian Acts - 10% (n/a)
Irish Acts - 5% (n/a)

Albums that saw a full U.S. release - 40% (up)
Albums with any substantial success in the U.S. - 25% (up)

Released in the 1st Quarter (including Dec. '10) - 20% (up)
Released in the 2nd Quarter - 10% (down)
Released in the 3rd Quarter - 20% (even)
Released in the 4th Quarter - 50% (up)


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Countdowns are Coming!

Starting Monday, I'll have the kickoff to my annual countdowns of the Top 20 Albums of the year and Top 50 Singles. It's always an exciting, fun time for me. I hopelessly behind in getting my thoughts down but I have compiled my lists. For this year, I have one big rule change in the Albums category. For the first time, I'm allowing EPs to be eligible, as long as they include six or more original songs. In an age where the pop album is rapidly changing in format, I thought it was important to feature these excellent "extended plays." However, I'm well aware that it's easier to craft a strong 6-track release than a 11 or 12-track one, so I definitely took that into account.

Tomorrow, I'll have the album category's statistics to whet your appetite, but for today I have the 25 singles that just barely missed out on the Top 50. Enjoy!

51. Calvin Harris - Sweet Nothing (ft. Florence Welch)
52. Bigbang - Bad Boy
53. Kylie Minogue - Timebomb
54. Cher Lloyd - Oath (ft. Becky G)
55. Justin Bieber - Boyfriend
56. Katy Perry - Part Of Me
57. Alexander Rybak - Leave Me Alone
58. Florence + The Machine - Spectrum (Calvin Harris Remix)
59. Sound Of Arrows - Conquest
60. Scissor Sisters - Only The Horses
61. One Direction - Live While We’re Young
62. Private - Everywhere
63. Taio Cruz - Fast Car
64. Lady Gaga & Zedd - High Princess - Stache
65. Niki & The Dove - DJ, Ease My Mind
66. Azealia Banks - 212
67. Little Mix - Wings
68. Infinite - The Chaser
69. Dragonette - Let It Go
70. RAC - Hollywood (ft. Penguin Prison)
71. Robbie Williams - Different
72. Alphabeat - Love Sea
73. Le Kid - Human Behaviour
74. Helena Gutarra - Tongues Of Fire
75. Dragonette - Live In This City


Monday, December 10, 2012

Nicole Scherzinger - Beautiful People

"It's the beautiful people they want"

I haven't written much about UK X-Factor this year. It's not because I haven't enjoyed it. It's actually been pretty strong as a series. The problem is that there just weren't that many acts that I can see me being interested in past the finale. Lots of nice personalities, but not much in the way of original talent. And really, James Arthur is one of the most boring winners the show's had. Anyways, the true winner of the series is judge Nicole Scherzinger, who was terrible on the US version but an absolute revelation this year. As a tribute to the endless entertainment she gave us this series (as well as her success in bringing both her acts to the final two), I wanted to post one of my favorite unreleased Nicole tracks. Beautiful People was eventually recorded by Christina Aguilera and released as part of the dire musical Burlesque, but Nicole's is by far the better version. The Marilyn Manson sample is genius.

Beautiful People [] by Nicole Scherzinger on Grooveshark

(Music posted for evaluation purposes only. If you like what you hear, support the artists. Buy her last album here. Follow me on twitter and facebook.

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