Billboarding: Dec. 10, 2007, Neither Hot Nor Adult

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This week in Billboarding, we take a look at the Hot Adult Top 40 for the week of December 10, 2007. Never heard a Hot Adult station? Never knew they even existed? Join the club, and prepare to be disappointed – we don’t know about you, but when we think “hot adult,” we picture Connie Britton of NBC’s “Friday Night Lights,” and this chart, in contrast, is full of faceless minivan pop and past-their-prime Top 40 artists. But hey, look at the bright side – one look at this chart, and you’ll know which CDs will make great holiday gifts for the secretary and/or mother-in-law in your life. Prepare to gently rock!

1. Colbie Caillat, “Bubbly (Universal Republic)
Nine out of any ten people on the street will stare at you blankly if you say the name “Colbie Caillat,” yet she’s the closest thing to a bona fide breakout pop star we have this year – which is even more depressing than it sounds when you stop to consider how painfully generic this sleepy ballad is. Caillat is like Jack Johnson with breasts, which will either make you want to rush out and buy her CD, or pelt her with a hacky sack. (For the record, we’re squarely in the latter camp.)

2. Pink, “Who Knew” (Zomba)
Who knew anyone at radio was still playing tracks from this almost two-year-old album? Hell, who knew Pink’s career would see her on the Hot Adult Top 40? Still, “Who Knew” is charming enough, in a sugarcoated, not-the-Pink-we-knew sort of way, and if this is what she’s gotta do to keep her record deal, more power to her. As long as we don’t have to hear this song ever again.

3. Daughtry, “Over You” (19 Recordings)
We don’t care what kind of proof you give us – birth certificate, childhood snapshots, hair samples from his parents – we refuse to believe Chris Daughtry was birthed from a human womb. No, people, this man was made in a test tube, using the most obvious bits of every popular AOR band from the ‘70s and ‘80s, plus some of Chad Kroeger’s beard hair. “Over You” is so blandly inoffensive that it circles all the way back around to totally offensive, and comes scarily close to ruining rock and roll for us in general. All of which is weirdly impressive, when you think about it. Good for you, Daughtry.

4. Matchbox Twenty, “How Far We’ve Come” (Atlantic)
Long after the human race has gone extinct and all of our monuments have crumbled to dust – after even the cockroaches have skittered off this mortal coil – Rob Thomas and matchbox twenty will still be crafting immaculately sad and/or inspiring alt-pop. They will never die, and they will never stop writing songs. Thinking about this may terrify you, but here’s something even scarier: On the B-side to this single, the band covers the Black Crowes’ “Remedy” and Bowie’s “Modern Love.” Sleep tight, kids!

5. Maroon 5, “Wake Up Call” (A&M/Octone)
We never would have believed it, but the video for this song – in which Maroon 5 singer Adam Levine gets to play action hero while dribbling more of the watered-down Jamiroquai hooks that inexplicably made him a star – is every bit as unintentionally hilarious now as it was when it debuted a little over four months ago. Lorne Michaels needs to add Levine to the cast of “Saturday Night Live,” pronto.

6. Timbaland feat. OneRepublic, “Apologize” (Mosley/Blackground)
There may not be much Timbaland audible in this track, which is why you’ve still got to credit him for one of the most audacious marketing gambits of 2007. Timbaland featuring OneRepublic? More like the other way around, but we somehow doubt the guys in the band are complaining; they’ve gone from performing in college rec rooms and state fairs to radio playlists all over the country. Watch out, matchbox twenty – OneRepublic is poised to swipe your mellow golden crown.

7. Santana feat. Chad Kroeger, “Into the Night” (Arista)
In terms of that’s-just-wrong musical pairings, Carlos Santana and Chad Kroeger ranks right up there with Bob Dylan and Fergie, or Springsteen and William Hung – the difference being that, unlike those other unholy unions, Santana and Kroeger has actually happened. Is Carlos even aware of what’s going on around him anymore, or is Metatron keeping him too blissed out to care? The Carlos Santana we knew and loved would not have stood for dreck-by-numbers like “Into the Night” – he would have taken one look at Chad Kroeger and his new soccer-mom haircut and made him eat his guitar. Curse you, Clive Davis.

8. Finger Eleven, “Paralyzer” (Wind-Up)
The groove is derivative as all hell and the singer has zero personality, but “Paralyzer” has bigger balls than the rest of the songs on this week’s chart put together; after Maroon 5 and matchbox twenty, it actually comes as something of a relief. Really, though – cool video notwithstanding – all this does is make us want to hear “Trampled Underfoot.”

9. The Last Goodnight, “Pictures of You” (Virgin)
This is not, fortunately, a cover of the Cure’s classic hit – even if lead singer Kurtis John’s hair looks as though it was preserved in Aqua Net in 1987. No, this is a different “Pictures of You” – the one voted “Worst Song of All Time” by GQ, from Poison Kiss, the album that our own David Medsker decried as having the worst artwork he’s seen in years. Soft-rock grooves, critical revulsion…you know what happens next, right? Yes, you guessed it, the Last Goodnight is destined to sell millions upon millions of records. They’ll probably still be around ten years from now, covering “Remedy” and “Modern Love.” Pardon us while we weep.

10. Lifehouse, “First Time” (Geffen)
There’s a moment early in this video when it looks almost as if Lifehouse is about to morph into the White Stripes – a transformation that would break so many hipsters’ hearts, it’s hard not to giggle when contemplating it. The reality is more mundane, as is the song, but that’s par for the course with Lifehouse, the band that has been elevating mundane to a platinum-selling art form for – gasp! – damn near a decade now. Surely you heard “Hanging by a Moment” in 2000 and thought “one-hit wonder,” but here they are, still eagerly gobbling up the Goo Goo Dolls’ leftovers. Congratulations, Lifehouse. You are the American dream.

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