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Hit Songs Deconstructed
Music Charts

Month In Review: October 2015

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Primary Genres

Pop has remained the most popular Primary Genre category in the Top 10, ever since taking top honors away from Hip Hop/Rap during the last week of August. The genre took a hit during the week of 10/3, however, due to the departure of Photograph. It jumped right back up to 50% of songs the following week thanks to the arrival of Wildest Dreams.

R&B/Soul held tight at the #2 spot throughout the month, increasing to 30% of songs during the week of 10/3 thanks to the arrival of Hotline Bling. This was the genre’s highest level since way back in June.

Hip Hop/Rap’s prominence has remained constant at 20% of songs thanks to Fetty Wap’s 679 and Silento’s Watch Me. These songs have been in the Top 10 since the weeks of 9/5 and 7/11, respectively.

As for Dance/Club/Electronic, its representation dropped down to nil during the week of 10/10 due to the departure of Lean On. This was the first time in 19 weeks that the genre has been absent from the Top 10.

Sub-Genres & Influencers

Electropop, R&B/Soul and Hip Hop/Rap were tied as the most popular Sub-Genres/Influencers throughout October, each playing a role in 50% of songs. R&B/Soul and Hip Hop/Rap both increased in prominence at the beginning of the month thanks to the arrival of Hotline Bling.

The month’s other gainers were the Ballad and Folk categories thanks to the arrival of Wildest Dreams and Stitches, respectively. The latter rebounded following a drop down to nil during the week of 10/3 due to the departure of Photograph.

On the flip side, Trap, Reggae, and Prominent Dance/Club all decreased in prominence due to the departure of Lean On and Cheerleader (Felix Jaehn Remix). Trap, despite the drop, has remained in the top three since way back in May, playing a role in 30% of songs. As for Reggae and Dance/Club, they were represented by just one song each following the departure of Cheerleader (Felix Jaehn Remix) – Locked Away and What Do You Mean, respectively. Note that this was Dance/Club’s lowest level in 26 weeks.

Lead Vocal

Lead Vocal standings remained constant throughout the month of October. For each song that dropped out of the Top 10 during a particular week, another with the same vocal type replaced it:

  • 10/3: Hotline Bling replaced Photograph (Solo Male)
  • 10/10: Wildest Dreams replaced Lean on (Solo Female)
  • 10/17: Stitches replaced Cheerleader (Felix Jaehn Remix) (Solo Male)

Solo Male remained the most popular lead vocal category for the 46th  straight week, accounting for 60% of songs throughout the month.  Duet/Group was the second most popular, accounting for 30%, and Solo Female was the least popular, accounting for only 10% of songs.  This is quite a shift from when Solo Female was the most popular vocal category back in early December 2014, where it accounted for 50% of all songs!

Lyrical Themes

Love/Relationships was once again the most popular Lyrical Theme category in the Top 10. It played a role in 90% of songs throughout the month, either as a standalone or in conjunction with other themes.

Hooking Up has held steady at the #2 spot since mid-September. Its prominence increased to 40% of songs during the week of 10/10 thanks to the arrival of Wildest Dreams, which was the category’s highest level in 14 weeks.

Novelty remained constant as well, and has been represented by just one song since back in July – Watch Me. 

First Chorus

The Moderately Late (0:40 – 0:59) First Chorus Occurrence category remained the most popular in the Top 10 ever since rising to the top during the last week of August. Its prominence increased to 50% of songs during the week of 10/10 thanks to the arrival of Wildest Dreams, where it remained for the balance of the month.

The Early (0:01-0:19) First Chorus Occurrence category held steady at the #2 spot after increasing in prominence during the week of 10/3 thanks to the arrival of Hotline Bling.  Accounting for 30% of songs, its representatives also included What Do You Mean and Watch Me.

The losers of the month were the Moderately Early (0:20-0:39) and Late (1:00+) categories. The former dropped to its lowest level in 11 weeks due to the departure of Lean On, and was solely represented by 679 at the end of the month. The latter dropped down to nil during the week of 10/3 due to the departure of Photograph.

As for the Chorus Kick Off category, it held steady at just 10% of songs throughout the month, represented by Locked Away.

Intros

The Moderately Short (0:10 – 0:19) Intro Length category has remained the most popular in the Top 10 ever since pulling ahead of the Short (0:01 – 0:09) category during the week of 9/12. Its prominence dropped down to 50% of songs during the week of 10/17, however, due to the departure of Cheerleader (Felix Jaehn Remix).

The Short (0:01 – 0:09) Intro Length category increased in prominence during the week of 10/17 thanks to the arrival of Stiches. Accounting for 40% of songs, it remained a close second right behind the Moderately Short category.

The No Intro category remained constant at 10% of songs throughout the month. It was represented by Locked Away, which immediately kicks off with the chorus. As for the Moderately Long (0:20 – 0:29) category, it’s been a no-show for the past 22 weeks.

Song Title Word Count

All of the Song Title Word Count categories remained constant throughout October. The Two-Word category was the most popular for the fifth month in a row, accounting for 50% of songs. Among its representatives were two of the three new arrivals of the month - Hotline Bling and Wildest Dreams.

The One-Word category dropped to 20% of songs during the first week of October due to the departure of Cheerleader (Felix Jaehn Remix). There it remained tied with the Four-Word category for the balance of the month. As for the Three-Word category, it was represented by just one song, Good For You.

Additionally, there hasn’t been a song that contains Five Or More Words in its title since way back in May.

Song Title Appearances

The 6 – 10 Song Title Appearance category took over at the top in October thanks to the arrival of Hotline Bling and Wildest Dreams. By month’s end the category accounted for 30% of songs.

On the flip side, the 1 – 5 Song Title Appearance category dropped to second place with 20% of songs during the week of 10/3 due to the departure of Photograph. The 11 – 15 category also decreased in prominence, dropping down to nil for the first time in 47 weeks due to the departure of Lean On.

Additionally, Watch Me featured the most song title appearances of the month at 77, and 679 was the only song that didn’t contain any title appearances.

Instrumentation

October began with the Synth as the most popular instrument in the Top 10, playing a role in 90% of songs in varying degrees of prominence. However, Prominent Drums/Beats/Percussion joined it at the top during the week of 10/10 thanks to the arrival of Wildest Dreams and it’s unique “heartbeat” driven rhythm.

Prominent Bass remained the second most popular throughout the month, initially accounting for 70% of songs thanks to the arrival of Hotline Bling during the week of 10/3. However, it dropped to 60% of songs during the week of 10/17 due to the departure of Cheerleader (Felix Jaehn Remix).

Acoustic Piano and Claps/Snaps rounded out the top 5, each accounting for 40% of songs during the last three weeks of the month. The former initially took a hit at the beginning of the month due to the departure of Photograph, but rebounded the following week thanks to the arrival of Wildest Dreams.

Additionally, Acoustic Guitar and Strings both dropped down to nil at the beginning of the month due to the departure of Photograph. Strings then reentered the chart during the week of 10/10 thanks to the arrival of Wildest Dreams, as did Acoustic Guitar the following week thanks to the arrival of Stitches.

Acoustic Vs. Electric Natured Songs

The Primarily Electric Instrumentation category has been the most popular in the Top 10 for 28 consecutive weeks. It increased in prominence from 50% to 60% of songs during the week of 10/3 thanks to the arrival of Hotline Bling, but then dropped back down to 50% the following week due to the departure of Lean On.

The Electric/Acoustic Combo category tied the Primarily Electric category at the top for the first time in six months during the week of 10/10 thanks to the arrival of Wildest Dreams. However, it dropped back down to second place at 40% of songs the following week due to the departure of Cheerleader (Felix Jaehn Remix).

As for the Primarily Acoustic Instrumentation category, it dropped down to nil during the week of 10/3 due to the departure of Photograph. However, it sprung back to life two weeks later thanks to the arrival of Stitches.

New Arrivals
  • October 3: Hotline Bling (Drake)
  • October 10: Wildest Dreams (Taylor Swift)
  • October 17: Stitches (Shawn Mendes)
Decharted
  • October 3: Photograph (Ed Sheeran)
  • October 10: Lean On (Major Lazer, DJ Snake, M0)
  • October 17: Cheerleader-Felix Jaehn Remix (OMI)
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