The weekly Hit Songs Deconstructed Music Charts provide unique insight into today’s hit songwriting trends by spotlighting the characteristics driving the Billboard Hot 100 top 10.
This report shows the trends for the month of July.
PRIMARY GENRES Back to Top
Pop held steady as the top genre for the entire month of July, accounting for 50% of all songs by month’s end. R&B/Soul lost ground as a result of the departure of “Happy,” tying with Dance at the #2 spot with 20% of songs. Hip Hop/Rap rounded out the top three, remaining constant at just 10% of songs.
For a second month in a row, both the Country and Rock genres were no shows.
SUB-GENRES & INFLUENCERS Back to Top
17 distinct sub-genres and influencers were involved in shaping the sound of the top 10 charting songs of the month. R&B and Pop entered the month tied for the top spot, each appearing as an element within 60% of all songs. Pop pulled ahead during the week of 7/19, however, thanks to the arrival of “Maps” into the top 10 and the departure of “Happy.”
The other gainers of the month were Dance, Soul, Electropop and Pop/Rock. The losers were Funk and Retro.
LEAD VOCAL Back to Top
The solo male lead vocal category remained constant in the top spot for the entire month of July, consistently accounting for 70% of songs. Duet/group vocals followed at 30%, and for the ninth week in a row none of the top 10 charting songs featured a solo female lead vocal.
LYRICAL THEMES Back to Top
Love/relationships was once again the top lyrical theme found within the top 10. It spent the first three weeks of the month at 60% of songs, and increased during the final week thanks to “Latch” smashing into the top 10.
On the flip side, inspiration/empowerment and partying/clubbing both lost ground as a result of “Happy” and “Turn Down For What” dropping out. All of the other themes remained constant throughout the entire month.
SONG TITLE WORD COUNT Back to Top
One word titles remained the most popular during the entire month of July, increasing from 60% to 70% of songs by month’s end. Three word titles remained constant at the #2 spot at 30%, and four word titles dropped down to nil as a result of “Turn Down For What” departing during the week of 7/26.
SONG TITLE APPEARANCES Back to Top
The 6 – 10 time title appearance category held onto the top spot for the entire month, increasing from 50% to 60% of songs by month’s end. The 11 – 15 and 21+ appearance categories both reached 30% of songs during the month, but took a hit near the end and concluded at just 20% each.
PRIMARY INSTRUMENTATION Back to Top
Prominent bass remained the most popular instrument found within top 10 charting hits during the entire month of June, finishing up at 50% of songs. This was despite taking a hit as a result of “Happy” (Funk bass) and “Turn Down For What” (808 sub bass) both dropping out of the top 10.
The gainers of the month also included electric guitar and synth, while the losers were primarily drums/beat/percussion, claps/snaps, and electric piano, each of which dropped down to nil.
ELECTRIC VS. ACOUSTIC SONGS Back to Top
The primarily electric category held tight at #1 for the entire month, consistently accounting for 60% of all songs. The acoustic and electric/acoustic combo categories remained tied in the #2 spot, each accounting for just 20% of songs.
SONG LENGTH Back to Top
The month began with the 3:30 – 3:59 range at #1, accounting for 40% of songs. By month’s end, however, it dropped to #3, accounting for just 20%. In its place, the 3:00 – 3:29 range took over the top spot with 40% of songs.
Additionally, the 4:00+ range gained a bit of ground during the final week thanks to “Latch.” Under 3:00 range remained constant at just 10% of songs, with the sole representative song being “Stay With Me.”
INTRO LENGTH Back to Top
Moderately short (0:10 – 0:19) intros remained constant at the top for the entire month of July, consistently accounting for 40% of songs. Short intros lost ground during week three, finishing up the month in the #2 spot with 30% of songs. The no intro category was the only gainer. Thanks to “Maps” jumping into the top 10, the category finished with 20% of songs.
FIRST CHORUS OCCURRENCE Back to Top
The moderately early (0:20 – 0:39) first chorus occurrence category’s sole lead at the top came to an end during the week of 7/19. It wound up tying with the moderately late (0:40 – 0:59) category, each accounting for 40% of songs during the last two weeks of the month.
The early (0:02 – 0:19) category dropped down to nil as a result of “Turn Down For What” departing, and the late (1:00+) category gained ground thanks to “Latch” arriving during the last week of the month.
RECORD LABELS Back to Top
July kicked off with Columbia at the top and Interscope at the bottom, each accounting for 40% and 0% of songs, respectively. By month’s end, they were both tied for 20% at the top spot. This was due to “Maps” and “Latch” rolling into the top 10 and “Happy” and “Turn Down For What” heading for the exit. All of the other labels remained constant in their relative positions for the entire month.
SONGWRITERS Back to Top
The month began with the three writer category in the top spot with 30% of all songs. That was followed by a three way tie for the #2 spot between the one, two and eight writer categories, each of which accounted for 20%. By month’s end, the two, three and eight categories were all tied at 20% of songs, while the one writer category dropped down to #3 to join the four writer category at 10% each.
NEW TOP 10 ARRIVALS Back to Top
The following songs entered into the Hot 100 top 10 for the first time during the month of July:
Week of 7/5
Week of 7/12
Week of 7/19
- “Maps” (Maroon 5): A fusion of Pop/Rock, Dance & Gospel with a Police vibe.
Week of 7/26
- “Latch” (Disclosure): A fusion of Dance (Future Garage and Deep House), Electropop and Soul.
TOP 10 DEPARTURES Back to Top
The following songs dropped out of the Hot 100 top 10 during the month of July:
Week of 7/5
Week of 7/12
Week of 7/19
- “Happy” (Pharrell Williams): A fusion of Retro R&B/Soul Funk and Gospel.
Week of 7/26
- “Turn Down For What” (DJ Snake & Lil Jon): Crunk/Trap.
JULY 2014 TOP 10 PLAYLIST Back to Top