Album Of The Week: “A Charlie Brown Christmas”

charliebrownFirst and foremost — Happy Holiday’s — from our Slacker family to yours. This week we’ve decided to take a cue from Charlie Brown, and focus on what Christmas is all about. We are talking, of course, about the 1965 soundtrack to A Charlie Brown Christmas. Vince Guaraldi’s masterpiece features compositions that will both make you nostalgic for Christmas’ past and ensure that you never lose sight of the true meaning of Christmas. It’s a small gift from Slacker to you—A Charlie Brown Christmas is the Album Of The Week.

Album Of The Week: Kelly Clarkson “Wrapped In Red”

png-6Kelly Clarkson has sold 20 million albums and won three Grammys since winning the first season of “American Idol” eleven years ago. Her sixth album “Wrapped In Red” came out in November, it’s her first foray into Christmas music, featuring both covers of holiday classics and originals. Listen as much as you want to “Wrapped in Red,” Slacker’s Album of the Week.

Will 2014 Be The Year Of Garth?

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Garth Brooks really knows how to stir things up, doesn’t he? He’s made the rounds of TV and radio all week to talk about his upcoming world tour — three years of it! He hasn’t revealed the cities or dates but we’re hearing it will start some time next Fall, allowing him to keep his promise not to go back on tour until his youngest daughter graduates. She’ll do that in the Spring.

He also dropped a new live duet with Trisha Yearwood, called “The Call”. Garth hinted at some other big news, saying it will be bigger than anything he’s ever done. All of this comes after he released his 8-disc box set, Blame It All On My Roots, at Walmart on Black Friday. And by the way, he’s been hiding under bulky sweatshirts, but it looks like Trisha isn’t the only one who’s lost some weight. Garth is looking good!

Listen to Garth and Trisha’s biggest hits here on Slacker’s ’90s Country and check back for more updates on Garth as we get all the juicy details!

[By Jess Wright – Slacker, Nashville Correspondent]

This Week’s EQ Charts Are Here!

EQ PlayAs the end of the year approaches, we are looking at the EQ data for all of 2013, and some interesting insights appear. For example, even though it’s only been out for two weeks, Eminem’s  “The Monster” is already the 12th most “Hearted” song of 2013 on Slacker. And did you know that Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ “Thrift Shop” is both the 3rd most “Hearted” and the 2nd most “Banned” song of 2013? In the coming weeks we will be sharing more of this data, and more importantly—using it to create more great radio experiences. After all, Slacker’s EQ charts are a reflection of the songs that you, the music fan, care about most. In the meantime, here are some key insights from this week’s EQ charts, which you can see here. 
Amongst Slacker’s hip hop fans, Eminem still reigns supreme; 4 tracks from his new album “The Marshall Mathers Album II” made the Hip Hop/R&B chart this week, including his collab with Rihanna, “The Monster,” which is at number 2 and rising. Eminem’s invasion of the chart is likely due to his new album being featured as Slacker’s “Album Of The Week” last week; when given the opportunity to listen to the record in its entirety, Slacker listeners clearly singled out “Berzerk,“ “Rap God,” “Survival,” and “The Monster” as their favorite tracks—which directly led to their ranks on the chart this week. We also see that Sage The Gemini has another hit on his hands with “Red Nose,” as it moves up 21 spots to debut at 24.

On Slacker’s Rock chart, Chester Bennington appears to be the man of the hour. Linkin Park’s remix collaboration with Steve Aoki makes a huge debut; the EDM-meets-rock “A Light That Never Comes” is at number 16 this week. Meanwhile, his side work as Stone Temple Pilots’ new vocalist is clearly engaging Slacker’s rock fans—STP’s “Black Heart” makes a huge debut, moving up 60 spots to land at number 24.

At Country, we see the established superstars continuing to enjoy a post-CMA awards bounce alongside huge jumps from the next generation of young country artists. Tim McGrawKeith UrbanBlake Shelton, and Florida Georgia Line all moved up the charts after their wins at the CMAs, while Danielle Bradbury’s “The Heart Of Dixie” moves up 20 spots to debut at number 38 and Cassadee Pope’s “Wasting All These Tears” continues its ascent, landing at number 16 on Slacker’s Country chart this week.

When we look at the Alt/Indie chart as a whole, it’s remarkable how much the composition has changed, even compared to one year ago. The rock textures of long-time alternative staples like Stone Temple Pilots, Linkin Park, and even 30 Seconds To Mars are notably absent, replaced by the electro-pop sound of acts like SmallpoolsNoNoNoBastille, and of course, Lorde. No format that we track has so much variation in sound and style from year to year as our Alt/Indie chart. Notable movers this week include The Neighbourhood’s “Afraid,” which jumps 20 spots to land at number 12, and Arcade Fire’s “Reflektor,” which jumps 8 spots to settle at number 29. Arcade Fire has seen a sustained spike on this chart since their feature as Slacker’s Album Of The Week, which exposed the entire album to millions of Slacker listeners that might not have otherwise discovered it via Slacker’s Alt and Indie station lineup.

Slacker’s Pop chart continues to be dominated by the usual suspects like Lorde, OneRepublic, and Katy Perry. But the alt-rock of AWOLNATION and the EDM of Avicii are poised to potentially upset the homogeny of the top 5 in the coming weeks. Zendaya makes her first appearance on the Pop chart as “Replay” jumps 15 spots to debut at number 35, and fueled by Rihanna’s assist, Eminem’s “The Monster” debuts this week at number 8—the first time he’s cracked the Pop chart in recent memory.

Finally, While the EDM chart continues to be dominated by international stars like Avicii, Zedd and Calvin Harris, this week we see some new names. These artists are bringing a diverse range of styles, with trap from Diplo, hard electro from Martin Garrix, and indie dance from RAC. And while neither artist is exactly “new,” the combination of Linkin Park and Steve Aoki on the remix of “ A Light That Never Comes” is clearly engaging Slacker music fans, as it makes a huge debut at number 12 this week. We see that EDM continues to be an umbrella term for a whole spectrum of subgenres, and Slacker’s human curation is key in taking all of these disparate sounds and making great radio!

Listen to the  Slacker Top 40 station here–a countdown featuring the 40 most engaging tracks of the week, hosted by Slacker DJ Parker. And check back next week to see how millions of Slacker music fans just like you push songs up and down the charts—just by listening, skipping, Hearting, and banning the songs that you hear!

Want to learn more about what the EQ score is? Read more here or check out our nifty infographic here.

Carrie Underwood & Brad Paisley Top 33 on Slacker for a Limited Time

CARRIE KENNY TOP 33Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley will co-host the 47th annual CMA awards on Wednesday; It’s their 6th year in a row! To celebrate, we’ve created a station counting down their biggest hits, as determined by you, Slacker users.
It’s something we call E.Q., the Engagement Quotient. It just means these are your most hearted, least-banned and most-shared songs by Carrie and Brad. By the way, single-artist stations like these are usually reserved for our premium users, but thanks to a special agreement, everyone can listen for a limited time.
The Carrie and Brad E.Q. Top 33, something that could only happen on Slacker. Check it out here.

 

Kenny Rogers Hosts Country Duets Station on Slacker

Screen Shot 2013-11-01 at 2.36.49 PMThere is no artist more fitting to host Slacker’s brand-new 77 Greatest Country Duets station than The Gambler himself, Kenny Rogers. The music legend has recorded some of the most beloved collaborations in both country and pop history, and has made entire albums of duets. Just a few of the many we all know by heart are “Islands in the Stream” with Dolly Parton, “Everytime Two Fools Collide” with Dottie West, “We’ve Got Tonight” with Sheena Easton and “Lady” with his old buddy, Lionel Richie.

In hosting our new 77 Greatest Country Duets station, Rogers tells the stories behind some of his own duets and gives commentary on a wide range of other country collaborations, from Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard’s “Mamas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys” to Tim McGraw and Taylor Swift’s “Highway Don’t Care.” We also hear personal stories about some of his friends on the countdown, including Reba McEntire, Naomi Judd and, of course, Miss Dolly.

Screen Shot 2013-11-01 at 2.32.05 PMRogers and Parton have a new duet, “You Can’t Make Old Friends,” on his new album of the same name. The song comes three decades after “Islands in the Stream” and reunites the platonic friends who have weathered 30 years of romantic rumors.

“People always thought we were having an affair and we didn’t want to ruin it because if we’d had an affair, we’d lose that spark. We just flirted a lot,” Rogers tells the Associated Press. “I can’t explain it but flirting is more electric than passion, it’s the anticipation … She does it better than anybody I’ve ever seen, and it’s just fun.”

Tune in to our 77 Greatest Country Duets station, hosted by Kenny Rogers, here.

Top Songs on the Slacker EQ!

EQ PlayAs 2013 comes to a close, the artists that made the biggest impact with Slacker listeners become clear–Lorde, Imagine Dragons, Florida Georgia Line, Avicii and more. However, there are major new releases still on the way–from established stars Eminem, Britney Spears, Beyonce, Lady Gaga, and Eric Church, and more. You can track all of these artists and their engagement with millions of Slacker music fans here; key insights from this week’s EQ charts, which you can check out here. 

Country fans made the biggest impact on Slacker’s Overall top 40 chart this week, as they push David Nail’s “Whatever She’s Got up 11 spots to number 23, and Eli Young Band’s “Drunk Last Night” moves up 10 spots to number 27. At the top of the chart, Lorde, Katy Perry, and Avicii continue hold down the top 3 spots, but it is nearly a statistical dead heat, which leads us to believe that there may be a new number 1 next week. EDM fans joined forces with Slacker’s Pop constituency this week to propel Ellie Goulding’s new track on to the chart; “Burn” is up 6 spots to debut at number 36.

Speaking of EDM fans—as those producers and performers continue to become part of the mainstream consciousness, we see this reflected on Slacker’s EQ charts. For example, Zedd, Calvin Harris, Avicii, and Krewella each have 3 songs on the EDM chart, giving those 4 artists a 30% total share of the most engaging EDM songs among Slacker listeners. That’s not to say that Slacker listeners aren’t engaging with lesser-known artists; new tracks from RAC, Xilent, and Keys N Krates all move up the chart this week.

Predictably, Eminem is the big story on the Hip Hop/R&B chart. 3 tracks from his upcoming “The Marshall Mathers LP 2” make the chart this week; “Berzerk” is number 14, “Survival” is number 35, and “Rap God” moves up 115 spots to debut at number 40. And the great thing about Slacker’s engagement data is that it allows your curators to immediately respond to listener demand. To that end, we are featuring a special “Eminem 33” station this week, which counts down his 33 most popular songs, as determined by millions of Slacker listeners. And next week, we are featuring “The Marshall Mathers LP 2” as our Album of the Week, which will allow all Slacker listeners to listen to the entire thing, as much as they like!

Being that it’s Halloween week, it’s only appropriate that we feature a song that has risen from the dead. Nearly 2 years after it topped the Alt/Indie chart, AWOLNATION’s “Sail” makes like a zombie and breaks in to the top 10 on the Pop chart. Big Sean’s “Beware” makes the biggest debut of the week, moving up 14 spots to land at number 31.

On the Rock chart, we have a new number one for the first time in 2 months, as Pop Evil’s “Trenches” finally unseats Black Veil Brides’ “In The End.” And supergroup Eye Empire debut on the chart at number 34 with “More Than Fate.”

At Country, Thomas Rhett takes over the number 1 spot with his “It Goes Like This,” Dustin Lynch’s “Wild In Your Smile” and Randy Houser’s“Goodnight Kiss” see the biggest spike in listener engagement this week, and after being featured as a Slacker “Song Stuck In My Head” last week, Eric Church’s “The Outsiders” makes a big debut at number 33.

And finally, we know that Lorde is perhaps the most engaging artist of the year amongst Slacker music fans. She tops 4 of our 7 charts this week. But amongst Alt/Indie fans, she is truly dominating. For the first time in Slacker EQ history, one artist has 3 different songs in the top 15–and it’s Lorde. Her “Royals” is number 1, “Tennis Court” is number 7, and new single “Team” is number 11 on the Alt/Indie chart. In a remarkably short period of time, Lorde has proven that she is no one-hit-wonder–at least amongst the millions of Slacker listeners that determine the EQ scores that these charts are based from.

Listen to the  Slacker Top 40 station here–a countdown featuring the 40 most engaging tracks of the week, hosted by Slacker DJ Parker. And check back next week to see how millions of Slacker music fans just like you push songs up and down the charts—just by listening, skipping, Hearting, and banning the songs that you hear!

Want to learn more about what the EQ score is? Read more here or check out our nifty infographic here.

 

 

 

CMA Awards Preview: Country Music’s Biggest Night!

1378839266_stretchCountry music’s biggest night is right around the corner! The CMA Awards (basically the Oscars of country music) will air live from Nashville on Nov. 6. The star-studded show will be co-hosted for the sixth straight year by Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley, and will feature performances by Lady Antebellum, Taylor Swift, Miranda Lambert, Blake Shelton, Keith Urban, Luke Bryan, Little Big Town, Kacey Musgraves, Tim McGraw and many more. Listed below are some of our early thoughts about the show. And be sure to listen to New Country on Slacker to hear all of the nominees!

lukebryan2Most Predictable Category: Male Vocalist of the Year. We will be shocked if Luke Bryan doesn’t walk away with this honor for the first time in his career. The Georgia native has dominated the charts in the past year, shattered sales records with his “Crash My Party” album and has sold out show after show on the road. Blake Shelton has had Male Vocalist bragging rights for the past three years in a row and is Luke’s biggest competition, but don’t expect a Shelton fourpeat. Other nominees are all dark horses in the category: Jason Aldean, Eric Church and Keith Urban.

carrie-underwood-2013-cma-music-festival-04Most Unpredictable Category: Album of the Year. All five nominees in this category are equally strong contenders. Sure, some projects sold triple the amount of copies than others, but keep in mind that the CMA Awards are voted on by people who work in the industry, and they always love a critic darling as much as a sales titan. The nominees are Blake Shelton’s “Based on a True Story,” Carrie Underwood’s “Blown Away,” Taylor Swift’s “Red,” Kacey Musgraves’ “Same Trailer Different Park” and Little Big Town’s “Tornado.”

Most Unique Performance to Watch: Taylor Swift’s collaboration with Vince Gill and Alison Krauss. Sure, they’re all lumped into the country genre together, but let’s face it, Swift’s signature sound is about as similar to Gill and Krauss’ style of music as Lil Wayne is to Little Jimmy Dickens. Still, that’s all the more reason to expect this performance to be spectacular, and most likely more country-friendly than anything Swift has had on the radio this year. Other noteworthy collaborations will include Zac Brown Band with Dave Grohl, and Hunter Hayes with Jason Mraz.

Most Fabulous Fashionista to Watch: Carrie Underwood.  At last year’s CMA Awards, the blond beauty changed clothes 12 times! Expect no less this year, as the night’s hostess is sure to dazzle us with fantastic frocks, flowing locks and a whole lotta leg.

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