Although both album and singles sales have hit an all-time low, 2014 has had its fair share of monster pop hits. Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy” dominated the pop charts for weeks, Pharrell Williams’ “Happy” was inescapable and Sam Smith’s “Stay With Me” propelled the singer to magnificent heights. But I am not interested in any of that today. I thought it would be fun to look back at five songs that had everything necessary to become monster pop hits, but they just sputtered out all too quickly.
Lenny Kravitz – “The Chamber” (YouTube)
Produced and written by Lenny Kravitz himself, “The Chamber” was the lead single from his tenth studio album, Strut. The song was as catchy and expertly crafted as anything he had previously released, but it just didn’t resonate with the general public. After one listen, the melody and chorus will be forever embedded in your brain.
Kimberly Caldwell – “On the Weekend” (YouTube)
Former American Idol contestant Kimberly Caldwell released one hell of a catchy track earlier in the year, but the release went by largely unnoticed by the general public. In the same vein as Cyndi Lauper’s iconic hit “Girls Just Want To Have Fun,” “On the Weekend” is a simple, but undeniably catchy ode to the fun that a weekend can bring. The arrangement is fun, uncluttered, and best of all, it assists the song in invoking a real sense of release.
Alexa Goddard – “So There” (YouTube)
A guilty pleasure in every single sense of the word, Alexa Goddard’s “So There” had undeniable radio appeal, an earworm of a chorus, and the accompanying music video was nothing short of charming. The song, which was penned by Livvi Franc and produced by Norwegian record producing and songwriting team Stargate, failed to find a firm footing in the pop music world. “So There” should have been a chart-topping single, but it never even managed to get a proper start. I guess there is still some time for the song to pick up steam, though. Maybe in 2015?
Adore Delano – “I Adore U” (YouTube)
Adore Delano, aka Danny Noriega of American Idol season 7, released her debut album Till Death Do Us Party in June of this year. The album was met with some chart success; it peaked at number three on the Dance/Electronic Albums chart and at number fifty-nine on the Billboard 200. The second single from the album, “I Adore You,” could have found a nice comfy spot on Top 40 radio, but most pop stations had little interest in picking it up. It really is a shame that the track didn’t go anywhere outside of the dance charts because the production was interesting and Adore poured her heart into the vocal performance.
Rita Ora – “I Will Never Let You Down” (YouTube)
Already a massive hit in the United Kingdom, Rita Orta seemed poised to conquer America with her infectious Calvin Harris produced and written single “I Will Never Let You Down.” She not only set out on a series of intimate promotional performances in the United States to support the single, the song was also picked up by several major radio stations. Sadly, the track never gained any traction and was quickly forgotten. I can’t think of a single reason why the song never caught on.