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Hit Songs Deconstructed
Music Charts

Month In Review: November 2015

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Primary Genres

Pop remained the most popular primary genre category in the Top 10 throughout the month of November. It accounted for 50% of songs during the first three weeks, but dropped to 40% during the week of 11/28 due to the departure of Ariana Grande’s Focus.

R&B/Soul held tight at the #2 spot, accounting for 30% of songs. Among the genre’s representatives were the mega-popular Hotline Bling and The Hills. Hip Hop/Rap’s prominence in the Top 10 sunk to a 33 week low due to the departure of Silento’s Watch Me during the week of 11/14. By the end of the month the genre was represented by just one song, Fetty Wap’s 679.

Dance/Club/Electronic reentered the chart for the first time in six weeks thanks to the arrival of Justin Bieber’s Sorry, and Rock reentered for the first time in 15 weeks thanks to the arrival of Elle King’s Ex’s & Oh’s.

Sub-Genres & Influencers

November began with R&B/Soul, Electropop, and Hip Hop/Rap tied as the most popular sub-genres/influencers in the Top 10, each accounting for 50% of songs. By month’s end, Electropop and Hip Hop/Rap dropped to the #2 spot along with Trap, Ballad/Power Ballad, and Retro, each accounting for 30% of songs. This was due to the departure of songs including Can’t Feel My Face, Good For You, Locked Away, and Watch Me, among others.

R&B/Soul stood alone at the top as a result, holding tight at 50% of songs. Among the sub-genre’s representatives were the new arrivals Focus, Hello, and Like I’m Gonna Lose You.

World as an influence hit its highest level of prominence in over a year, reaching 30% of songs during the week of 11/21, but dropping down to 20% during the following week. By month’s end, the two songs that feature a distinct World influence were Justin Bieber’s What Do You Mean and Sorry.

Garage and Rockabilly both made their Top 10 debut this year thanks to the arrival of Ex’s & Oh’s during the week of 11/28. On the flip side, Funk dropped down to nil for the first time in a year due to the departure of Can’t Feel My Face.

Lead Vocal

The big gainer of the month was the solo female lead vocal category. It began the month represented by just one song – Taylor Swift’s Wildest Dreams. By month’s end it accounted for 30% of songs, thanks to the arrival of Adele’s Hello and Elle King’s Ex’s & Oh’s. This was the vocal category’s highest level of prominence in 36 weeks.

The solo male lead vocal category has been the most popular in the Top 10 for 50 consecutive weeks. During the first two weeks of November, it accounted for 60% of songs, with representative hits including Hotline Bling, Stitches, The Hills, and What Do You Mean, among others. It dropped down to 50% of songs during the week of 11/21, however, due to the departure of the mega-successful Can’t Feel My Face.

As for the duet category, its prominence fluctuated between 20% and 30% of songs throughout the month due to the arrival of Focus, Perfect, and Like I’m Gonna Lose You, and the departure of Good For You, Locked Away, and Perfect (its stay lasted just one week).

Lyrical Themes

The love/relationships lyrical theme category reached its highest level of prominence in the Top 10 in over a year, playing a role in 100% of songs either as a standalone theme or in conjunction with other themes (i.e. lyrical fusion songs). This was thanks to the arrival of Adele’s Hello during the week of 11/14.

Hooking up followed at 30% of songs, represented by hits including 679, The Hills, and Wildest Dreams. The inspiration/empowerment lyrical theme category briefly sprung back to life following a six-week absence during the week of 11/21 thanks to the arrival of Ariana Grande’s Focus. However, it dropped back down to nil the following week due to the song’s departure. The novelty theme category also dropped off the map following a 19 week run due to the departure of Silento’s Watch Me.

First Chorus

The moderately late (0:40 – 0:59) first chorus occurrence category has been the most popular in the Top 10 ever since rising to the top during the last week of August. With the exception of just two weeks, it has accounted for 50% of songs for two-straight months.

The big gainer of the month was the late (1:00+) first chorus occurrence category. It increased from nil to 20% of songs thanks to the arrival of Hello and Sorry during the week of 11/14. This was the category’s highest level of prominence in 24 weeks.

The loser of the month was the chorus kick off (0:01) category. It dropped down to nil for the first time in 11 weeks due to the departure of Locked Away during the week of 11/21.

Intros

The big gainer of the month was the short (0:01 – 0:09) intro length category. This was due to each of the month’s new arrivals having their intro land in this range. From October through the end of November, its prominence more than doubled from 30% to 70% of songs, reaching its highest level in over a year.

On the flipside, the moderately short (0:10 – 0:19) intro length category fell to its lowest level of prominence in 34 weeks, accounting for 30% of songs by month’s end. This was due to the departure of Good For You and Watch Me during the weeks of 11/7 and 11/14, respectively. Additionally, the no intro category dropped off the map for only the second time in well over a year due to the departure of Locked Away during the week of 11/21. As for the moderately long (0:20 – 0:29) category, it’s been a no-show since the first week of June.

Song Title Word Count

The two-word song title category’s five-month reign at the top came to an end in November. This was due to the departure of Watch Me and Locked Away, which caused the category to drop to 30% of songs, its lowest level in 26 weeks. In its place the one-word song title category took over at the top for the first time in over a year, accounting for 40% of songs by month’s end. This was thanks to four of the six new arrivals of the month containing a single word in their title – Perfect, Hello, Sorry, and Focus.

Additionally, the five-word song title category returned after a 25-week absence thanks to the arrival of Like I’m Gonna Lose You during the week of 11/21.

Song Title Appearances

The 6 – 10 song title appearance category’s prominence in the Top 10 doubled during the month of November, increasing from 30% to 50% of songs. This was thanks to the arrival of Ex’s & Oh’s, Hello, and Like I’m Gonna Lose You.

On the flip side, the 1 – 5, 16 – 20, and 21+ song title appearance categories all decreased in prominence, each being represented by just one song by the end of the month. Additionally, 679 continued to be the only song that doesn’t feature a single title appearance.

Instrumentation

The big gainer of the month was the guitar category. The prominence of both electric and acoustic guitars increased from 10% to 30% of songs by the end of the month, which was their highest level in 20 and 30+ weeks, respectively. This was thanks to the arrival of songs including Ex’s & Oh’s, Like I’m Gonna Lose You, and Perfect, among others. Other gainers of the month include acoustic piano and wind (brass), which increased in prominence thanks to the arrival of Hello and Focus, respectively.

On the flipside, prominent bass dropped to its lowest level since way back in May, accounting for 50% of songs. This was due to the departure of bass-heavy songs such as Can’t Feel My Face and Watch Me, among others. It remained the third most popular, however, tied with acoustic piano behind prominent drums/beats/percussion and the synth.

Acoustic Vs. Electric Natured Songs

The primarily electric instrumentation category’s 30 week run as the most popular came to an end in November due to the departure of Can’t Feel My Face, Good For You, Perfect, and Watch Me. Accounting for 30% of songs, this was the category’s lowest level of prominence since way back in March.

On the flip side, the acoustic/electric instrumentation combo category rose to its highest level of prominence in 30+ weeks, taking over at the top spot with 60% of songs. This was thanks to the arrival of songs including Ex’s & Oh’s, Focus, Hello, and Like I’m Gonna Lose You, all of which feature a combination of acoustic and electric based instrumentation in the mix.

As for the primarily acoustic instrumentation category, its sole representative was Stitches.

New Arrivals
  • 11/7: Perfect (One Direction)
  • 11/14: Hello (Adele)
  • 11/14: Sorry (Justin Bieber)
  • 11/21: Focus (Ariana Grande)
  • 11/21: Like I’m Gonna Lose You (Meghan Trainor featuring John Legend)
  • 11/28: Ex’s & Oh’s (Elle King)
Decharted
  • 11/7: Good For You (Selena Gomez featuring A$AP Rocky)
  • 11/14: Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae) (Silento)
  • 11/14: Perfect (One Direction)
  • 11/21: Can’t Feel My Face (The Weeknd)
  • 11/21: Locked Away (R. City featuring Adam Levine)
  • 11/28: Focus (Ariana Grande)
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