The Hit Songs Deconstructed Wire

Then & Now



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A lot can happen in the course of a year, especially when it comes to hit songwriting. However, sometimes things don’t change all that much.

Compared to this time last year, only two of the thirteen HSD Music Charts saw a shift in their most popular characteristics – Song Title Word Count and Song Length – both of which are shorter than they were in 2014. The top characteristics of the other charts remained the same. They include the most popular Lead Vocal category (Solo Male), Intro Length category (Short 0:01 – 0:09), and Record Label category (Republic represents the greatest number of hits), among others.

Meghan Trainor and Taylor Swift, who were two of the three Solo Female Lead Vocal category representatives back in 2014, are also two of the three representatives one year later thanks to Like I’m Gonna Lose You and Wildest Dreams, respectively. The same can’t be said of their 2014 Solo Male counterparts, including Maroon 5, Hozier, Bobby Shmurda, Sam Smith, and Nick Jonas.

Additionally, moody, fuzz guitar based Rock, which is a mainstream rarity, has a representative song in both 2014 and 2015 thanks to Hozier’s Take Me To Church and Elle King’s Ex’s & Oh’s, respectively.

[Header1 header=”Songs In The Hot 100 Top 10″]

Then (Week of 11/29/14)

Now (Week of 11/28/15)

*Note: Taylor Swift’s Blank Space, Shake It Off, and Wildest Dreams are not included in the 2014 and 2015 Spotify playlists. [Header1 header=”Remained The Same From 2014 to 2015″]

Categories Then Now
Top Lyrical Theme Love/Relationships
Top Electric Vs. Acoustic Instrumentation Category Electric/Acoustic Combo
Top Primary Genre Pop
Top Record Label Republic
Top Lead Vocal Category Solo Male
Top Instrumentation Category Prominent Drums/Beats/Percussion
Top First Chorus Occurrence Category Moderately Late (0:40 – 0:59)
Top Intro Length Category Short (0:01 – 0:09)
Top Songwriter Count Three-Writer Teams

[Header1 header=”Changed From 2014 to 2015″]

Categories Then Now
Top Song Title Word Count Category Two Words One Word
Top Song Length Category 3:30 – 3:59 3:00 – 3:29