We held off as long as we could, but it's time once again to visit the Adult regions of the airwaves -- specifically, the Hot Adult Contemporary chart for the week of February 4, 2008. Pop audiences are notoriously fickle, but AC listeners are loyal to a fault. You want to hear a 20-year-old hit by Hall and Oates? Michael Bolton? Phil Collins? Turn to your local Adult Contemporary station, where they'll be sharing space with future AC stalwarts like Daughtry, Elliott Yamin, and Colbie frickin' Caillat. Ready, set, Billboard!
1. Colbie Caillat, “Bubbly” (Universal Republic)
Like a virus, “Bubbly” keeps passing from population to population (or, in this case, chart to chart), and on the AC airwaves, it’s found the perfect host – a fetid place with musty air, poor circulation, and playlists that change slowly, if at all. Long after the rest of the world has been freed from this wispy little ballad’s spell, it’ll still be in heavy rotation here, alongside Phil Collins’ greatest hits.
2. Fergie, “Big
Girls Don’t Cry” (Interscope)
In yet another example of AC playlist calcification, here’s “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” a song that’s long since been passed over in favor of the superior “Clumsy” at every other format, but is still hogging the upper reaches of the charts out here in radio Siberia. Are there really people who aren’t sick of this song yet? Really?
3. Daughtry, “Home”
Ah, the road-weary ballad – no rocker is complete without one. Give Daughtry credit – he’s only on his first album, but with “Home,” he displays a talent for clichés not seen since Bryan Adams’ Reckless. Strings! Emotive vocals! Lyrics about going home! Shots of grain silos in the video! If Bon Jovi rocks a little too hard for you, then “Home” will definitely be your cup of tea. Well, more like lukewarm milk, actually, but you get the idea.
Elliott Yamin, “Wait
for You” (Hickory)
From one “American Idol” contestant to another, eh? Is that how you want it, Hot Adult Contemporary chart? Fine. Have it your way – but don’t expect us to like it. And shame on you, Elliott Yamin – you should have at least waited for Keith Sweat to die before appropriating his sound so shamelessly. We’re going to go listen to “I Want to Love You Down” now.
5. Plain White T’s, “Hey
There Delilah” (Hollywood)
Are we the only ones who think Tom Higgenson is sort of a dick for telling the world who the “Delilah” in this song really is, and thereby totally screwing up her life, not to mention the relationship she wouldn’t ditch for Higgenson in the first place? Seriously, you guys think this is romantic? Apparently you do.
6. Celine Dion, “Taking
Honestly, we didn’t understand Dion’s appeal in the ‘90s, and we don’t understand it now. Yeah, she’s got an incredible voice, but there are actually performers out there who have great vocals and great material. It’s true! And you know what else is true? “My Heart Will Go On” smells like Velveeta. No amount of time or ironic distance will ever change that. As for this song…feh. (Yes, that’s the Eurythmics’ David A. Stewart in the video. He wrote this shit.)
Pink, “Who Knew”
Once upon a time, Pink seemed sort of edgy – a little dangerous, even – but, as is so often the case when a performer lets Clive Davis get within 10 feet of his or her career, she’s slowly moved away from interesting music and into the sweet, mushy middle of the road. Hilary Duff could have performed this song – what the hell is Pink doing in here?
8. Eagles, “How
The song isn’t bad – you have to give the band props for choosing a J.D. Souther oldie as its comeback single – and as much as we dislike Wal-Mart and everything it stands for, it’s still sort of satisfying to think that the Eagles had one of last year’s top-selling albums without ever coming within spitting distance of the major-label machinery. Still, every time we see this video, we catch ourselves hoping this will finally be the time Henley hauls off and kicks Frey in the teeth.
9. Timbaland featuring OneRepublic, “Apologize”
Oh, were we complaining about having to hear Colbie Caillat’s “Bubbly” every damn week? We take it back. Seriously, we’ll listen to “Bubbly” for the rest of the year if it means “Apologize” goes away. Please make it stop, America. (P.S. Fuck this song.)
Kimberley Locke, “Band
of Gold” (Curb)
At every other format, Locke’s career is deader than a doornail, but she’s become something of a fixture at Adult Contemporary, largely due to her willingness to record overly familiar songs like “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and – ugh – “Band of Gold.” Before hearing Locke’s version of the Edith Wayne and Ron Dunbar chestnut popularized by Freda Payne, we never would have believed anyone could bring something new to the song, or that it should ever be covered again. Come to think of it, we still don’t.