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Friday, December 12, 2014

2014 Countdowns Preview + Top 50 Singles Audio Countdown!

On Monday, the countdowns will begin! Due to the changing nature of the way music is released, there will be three separate countdowns this year: singles, albums, and EPs.

For the singles, I have something a little special this year. I'll be counting down the top fifty over the next couple of weeks, as normal, but if you'd rather listen to them all in an audio countdown, I've made a special end-of-the-year Alienhits podcast, complete with narration. I like to call the guy "Robot Dick Clark." In all honesty, he's a computer voice I found on the internet, so phrasing and pronunciation can sometimes be a bit iffy (and funny). But it gets the point across, and the music is, of course, fantastic.

Download the countdown below, and don't spoil any of the songs before they're posted on the blog!

#1 Hits From Another Planet - Top 50 Singles of 2014 Audio Countdown

A couple observations from this year's stats:
* K-Pop had a great year, or maybe it's just the year where it saturated my ipod to the max. I can't remember being as excited about a new musical genre in ages.
* Because of the much more even (and constant) release schedule for Korean music, the albums in the countdown are spread much more evenly throughout the year. Plus, it was a horrible fourth quarter for Western music. What's going on America? Europe? It's depressing.
* All the countdowns this year are incredibly international. The top singles countdown alone features artists from ten different countries, and songs in six different languages.
* Unlike 2013, this was also the year for groups. They completely dominated.

This year's albums:

Groups - 75% (way up from last year)
Solo Artists - 25% (way down from last year)

Debut Albums - 30% (up)

Male Singers - 70% (way up)
Female Singers - 25% (way down)
Mixed Duo - 5% (n/a)

American Acts - 10% (way down)
UK Acts - 5% (way down)
Swedish Acts - 10% (even)
Finnish Acts - 10% (up)
Korean Acts - 60% (way up)
Australian Acts - 5% (n/a)

Released in the 1st Quarter (including Dec. '13) - 20% (up)
Released in the 2nd Quarter - 15% (up)
Released in the 3rd Quarter - 35% (up)
Released in the 4th Quarter - 30% (way down)


Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Robbie Williams - Raver

"I go dancing"

I've been working a lot at prepping this year's single and album countdowns, which will start next week, so this week might end up being pretty slow when it comes to new posts. And not that much new music is released in December anyway. For today, I want to spotlight a song from Robbie William's new b-side collection. I've been a fan of Robbie practically since he released his very first album over a decade ago. He's one of the few UK artists of his age that still manages to interest me, especially when he works with longtime collaborator Guy Chambers. Despite being an album full of "not good enough to be studio album tracks," the new collection is actually pretty strong. I particularly love the one-two punch that opens the album. Raver is the second track, and has a great hands-in-the-air chorus that sounds ballsier than Williams has in quite some time. Now if only it didn't have that dire album cover. Some things you can't un-see.

Robbie Williams - Raver / Under The Radar Volume I by BLiSs4RW

(Music posted for evaluation purposes only. Buy the album here. Follow me on twitter and facebook.