Friday, October 31, 2008

Chart Notes With Gordon Murray

In which we parse the numbers
By Gordon Murray
Dave Koz rides "Life In The Fast Lane" (Capitol) to No. 1 for a third week. Eric Darius follows his lead once again, as "Goin’ All Out" (Blue Note/Capitol) stays perched at No. 2, making this the fourth consecutive week that he & Koz have held the top two spots.

Euge Groove registers this week's Most Increased Plays, zooming into the Top 10 with "Religify" (Narada Jazz/Capitol) (11-7, +45). This marks the fifth consecutive Top 10 smash for 'Mr.' Groove on the Nielsen BDS chart, breaking him out of a tie with Richard Elliot, who has four, for most Top 10 hits. All of Groove's hits have reached No. 3 or higher, and "Religify" is likely to follow suit given such forward momentum. A brief recap of Groove's previous four Top 10s and their peaks: "Get Em Goin'" (1, 5 weeks), "Chillaxin'" (3), "Born 2 Groove" (1, 1 week), "Mr. Groove" (2).

British keyboardist Oli Silk coolly introduces us to his new album "The Limit’s The Sky," which hit retail this week, with first single "Chill Or Be Chilled" (Trippin 'N' Rhythm). The song not only ranks second on the chart’s Most Increased Plays list (+26), but is the top debut of the week, at No. 25.

Also new this week is Chris Standring "Have Your Cake & Eat It" (Ultimate Vibe), at No. 30. "Cake" serves as the follow-up to Standring's "Love & Paragraphs," which climbed all the way up to No. 2 in the spring. Both songs hail from his "Love & Paragraphs" album, which debuted at No. 7 on Billboard's Top Contemporary Jazz Albums chart on May 10.

Last week's Most Added song, "Ordinary" (Peak/CMG), is this week's Airpower honoree. Wayne Brady's song is up 17-16 (+5) on the Detections chart and 22-20 (+10%) on the Audience side, allowing for the Airpower designation. This week's Most Added title is flamenco guitar star Jesse Cook's latest, "Havana" (Coach House/Koch), with adds reported at WNWV/Cleveland and XM Watercolors. "Havana" is the follow-up to current hit, "Café Mocha," (Coach House/Koch) which hit No. 5 in early September. Cook's album "Frontiers" has spent 12 non-consecutive weeks atop Billboard's Top New Age Albums chart between the April 5 and Sept. 20 issue dates.

Recommended Listening: Hasidic Jewish reggae star (really!) Matisyahu graces us with a new release for the first time since January 2007 with his brand new "Shattered" (JDub/Or/Epic/Sony Music). This time out, Matisyahu expands beyond the vocal and musical stylings of prior efforts, incorporating elements of rock and hip-hop. It's terrific to hear Matisyahu's musical ingenuity on this less distinctly reggae yet still deliciously enjoyable EP. His experimentation is fun and sure to rouse even more conversation about such an already non-traditional artist. The digital-only four-track EP (available at iTunes, Amazon, Rhapsody, Napster, Zune, and serves as the pre-follow-up to his 2006 Grammy-nominated effort, "Youth," and is once again mainly produced with David Kahne. Fans will get a full-length album, "Light," early next year. Priced to sell at $3.96, (93-cents more than my venti iced Americano at Starbucks) this bridge to "Light" becomes the artist's fourth No. 1 album on Billboard's Top Reggae Albums chart in the November 8 issue, and his second to debut at the top. Only Bob Marley, Beenie Man, and UB40 have more No. 1s on that chart.

By Gordon Murray

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