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1 TRENDING TOPIC: COLUMBIA X 3
Da do Ron Ron (4/14a)
iHEART STOCK SOARS
It's burning, man. (4/14a)
NOISEMAKERS: THE SPRING SYNDICATE
Eight next-gen movers and shakers (4/14a)
RIAA'S MARCH AWARDS
You want fries with that plaque? (4/14a)
LIVE NATION BETS ON SOSA AS VENUE CHIEF
No relation to Sammy. (4/14a)
RHYTHM, BLUES AND THE FUTURE
The musical tapestry we know as R&B.
WHO'S NEXT?
Predicting the next big catalog deal.
JUST THE VAX, MA'AM
Once we all get vaccinated, how long before we can party?
WORLDWIDE GROOVE
How is globalization bringing far-flung territories into the musical mainstream?
Critics' Choice
LISTEN BEFORE CASTING YOUR BALLOT: BRANTLEY, SIA, SAM AND NICK
10/27/15

SONGS

Brantley Gilbert
, “One Hell of an Amen” (Valory/BMLG): Gilbert goes big on this rocking elegy, a lighter-lifting salute to a life well lived that embodies everything contemporary Country does best—heartland sentiment, sturdy-as-a-mountain melody and wailing guitars—in a way that listeners anywhere can feel down deep. The powerhouse track, co-penned by Mike Dekle and Brian Davis, hit #1 at Country radio just after Gilbert’s honeymoon and the death of his grandfather; nothing could better summarize the song’s bittersweetness.

 Sia, “Elastic Heart” (RCA): Though it took a bit longer to ignite than anthem “Chandelier,” this Diplo-produced gem, co-written by Sia, Thomas Wesley Pentz, Andrew Swanson and Abel “The Weeknd” Tesfaye, provided further confirmation of the singer/songwriter’s eccentric brilliance—for emotional punch and melodic payoff, she’s tough to beat. The lyric’s motifs of resilience are matched by soaring hooks and endlessly inventive sonic touches.

Sam Hunt, “Take Your Time” (Capitol Nashville): How much has mainstream Nashville music evolved in the last few years? Apart from the slight drawl in the vocal, you’d be forgiven for mistaking this simmering track (co-written by Hunt with Josh Osborne and Shane McAnally) for an R&B-inflected pop song. Hunt skillfully weaves his vocal between singing and recitative, invoking vintage soul, and the incandescent chorus lodges in your skull.

RECORD

Nick Jonas, “Chains” (Island): On the heels of falsetto-fueled smash “Jealous,” Jonas explores darker pop territory with this ode to erotic captivity, produced by Jason Evigan, who co-wrote the tune with Ammar Malik and Danny Parker. The ravishing track completed the singer’s transition from bubblegum idol to mature pop artist, and his powerhouse vocal showcases new depth in his range.