1. So yes, that is Staind frontman Aaron Lewis — who hasn’t strike the Sizzling 100 with or without the need of his most effective-advertising rock outfit since 2011 — debuting at No. 14 on the chart this 7 days, as nicely as No. 1 on Very hot Country Songs. On a scale from 1-10, how shocked are you by this debut for “Am I the Only One particular”?
Katie Atkinson: 10. I feel usually knowledgeable of the tracks that strike No. 1 on our genre charts or rocket into the leading 20 of the Incredibly hot 100, but this one came out of still left subject for me. Am I the only 1 who hasn’t imagined about Aaron Lewis since TRL was continue to on?
Gil Kaufman: I know zero isn’t a amount on this scale, but can I say zero? In conditions of relevance I would say I’m an 8, because Lewis’ solo career has been at a gradual, steady boil for years without having genuinely exploding and the music is reasonably catchy devoid of currently being specifically memorable. But in conditions of content material — offered the rending pink/blue divisiveness in our nation at the instant — I’d say not at all surprised, considering that the lyrics really feel like MAGA Mad Libs.
Jason Lipshutz: A 9! Certainly, “Am I The Only One” is undeniably unforgettable, with its old-guy-yells-at-cloud politics, Springsteen-baiting bridge and strings-laden melodrama built to provoke a conservative foundation into a number of streams. Nonetheless, this is not just a noteworthy country chart debut — this is Staind chief Aaron Lewis bowing in the best 20 of the Hot 100, virtually a 10 years into a place-leaning solo vocation that had still to deliver 1 unaccompanied solo Hot 100 hit. No one had this a single on their Billboard chart bingo card at the begin of 2021.
Melinda Newman: 8. It’s not fully surprising mainly because the track speaks to a block of Us residents who watch ideal-leaning information retailers, strongly believe that Donald Trump ought to nevertheless be in the White Property and that the Jan. 6 insurrection was a superior start out at reclaiming the nation they experience has been stolen from them. Propelled by marketing from Fox News, SiriusXM’s Patriot Radio and social media system Telegram, the song struck a direct chord with that viewers, who right away showed their aid for the message by buying the music.
Andrew Unterberger: I will say a 9.5, held from a 10 by the actuality that Lewis does have authentic Very hot 100 heritage to his credit — Staind’s “It’s Been Awhile” climbed all the way to No. 5, albeit a comprehensive 20 calendar several years back — and the truth that we have witnessed conservative anthems have impactful sales performances in advance of, significantly all-around early July. But aside from that? This is about as stunning as a top rated 20 debut gets.
2. Definitely, the No. 14 debut comes mainly on the back of a blockbuster income 7 days. What do you see as the key driving bring about behind the higher product sales quantity, and what classes do you assume the sector can consider from it?
Katie Atkinson: It’s an unabashedly conservative track that strike a bull’s-eye in quickly acquiring its concentrate on audience. Everyone who relates to the sentiment can (and did) demonstrate their support by getting the tune. Additional than anything, I might say this is a lesson in new music advertising. Lewis’ label took the tune straight to the folks who wanted it — by means of Fox Information and other like-minded outlets — and it plainly worked.
Gil Kaufman: Releasing it on July 2 in the wind-up to the return of Fourth of July festivities was promoting genius, to say the minimum. It also aided that he debuted it in March at Fort Worthy of, Texas’ Billy Bob’s Texas — in the similar thirty day period the condition dropped all pandemic constraints — following environment himself up as a lib-bashing troubadour in 2020 with his solo song “If I Have been a Liberal.” When so numerous artists have been hesitant to sing out their legitimate feelings in this kind of explicit phrases, Lewis and his group are plainly leaning into it, really hard, self-assured that there is a huge viewers out there completely ready shake their heads in unison about fighting for the flag, preserving Confederate monuments and turning tail on Bruce Springsteen.
Jason Lipshutz: As the inventive embodiment of a “Does This Flag Offend You?” T-shirt directed explicitly at strawmen, “Am I The Only One” is unapologetic in its politics, thumping its upper body with 1 hand although clutching at the pearls of the earlier with one more. The music industry will no question take discover of how conservative listeners have instantly rallied all over the song, and we could be in for a different wave of pro-Republican, boot-in-your-ass singles that marked state music through the initial George W. Bush administration.
Melinda Newman: Again, the advertising from suitable-leaning media outlets brought it to the focus of an viewers who craves the emotion that another person is listening to them and hears them and, most importantly, stands in solidarity with them provided that this is a message that most artists are not endorsing. The lesson for the industry is that there is a very motivated viewers for this kind of tunes.
Andrew Unterberger: I think it’s a different version of the similar lesson for the industry demonstrated with the profits-pushed 7-7 days reign of BTS’ “Butter” on the Hot 100 — that if followers care deeply adequate for a induce, they’re going to fundamentally vote with their wallets. In the case of BTS, of system, it’s a a great deal more harmless show of supporter passion for their artist of preference with Lewis’ anthem, it can be a whole ideology remaining supported. But the takeaway is similar: If admirers are actually invested in a song’s chart placement, the path is there for them to make a serious effects, assuming they are structured and fully commited ample.
3. As a lyrically conservative-leaning, musically stripped-down ballad, the music is obviously quite significantly outside of usual top 20 fare in 2021. Do you see its debut as meaningful for present-day preferred music in any way, or is it a a person-off unlikely to be repeated?
Katie Atkinson: I’m pondering a one-off — but a a person-off that truly worked. As a substitute of getting steam about weeks or months and hardly ever effervescent up outside conservative circles, “Am I the Only Just one” produced a massive splash out of the gate, for that reason garnering headlines just like this one about its not likely accomplishment. Whoever tries to copy from this playbook will need a handful of points coming in: A recognizable title or voice (that Lewis growl is ingrained in the minds of anyone who listened to the radio in the early 2000s) and a laser-centered promoting marketing campaign.
Gil Kaufman: Yet again, it is really unquestionably a sign that there is an viewers out there hungry for this form of The us 1st balladry. But the point that there have not been many other notable songs to so explicitly plant this pink, white and blue flag in the sand and chart this large does make it really feel like an outlier. In a enterprise generally averse to having daring political stances that could possibly offending prospective listeners, it can be nearly a novelty observe. Then yet again, probably Lewis is the vanguard of a mounting red chart wave?
Jason Lipshutz: There will be imitators, no doubt: “Am I the Only One” debuting in the major 20 of the Incredibly hot 100 is the sort of eyebrow-elevating feat that will inspire other artists and labels to replicate its components. Still I’d be surprised if any observe-up is as successful as Lewis’ solitary. Politics apart, “Am I the Only One” has a striking vocal efficiency and lyrics that linger with its listener (even even though making that listener shake his or her head). These variables will be hard to duplicate, but copies will certainly be attempted.
Melinda Newman: It is significant in that the song appeals to an viewers who feels overlooked by mainstream media and so this is a signal that they are extra than willing to plunk down dollars to guidance a song and/or artist who speaks for them. Likewise, Waylon Jennings’ grandson, Wrestle Jennings, and Caitlynne Curtis put out “God We Want You Now,” a music that appealed to the same viewers, with a concept that appealed to those who sense perhaps even more robust than Lewis about in which our place is headed, and the need to provide down these who oppose them. And, buoyed by help from appropriate-wing media, it debuted at No. 3 on Rap Digital Revenue Tunes and No. 7 on Country Electronic Track Gross sales prior to quickly dropping off.
Andrew Unterberger: Lewis will never be the only one: Other people will attempt, and a several could realize success to varying levels. But a debut this resounding is a very little bit of a excellent storm — and also involves a lot more fan expenditure than incidental virality ordinarily dictates. There’s a market right here, however, and a single that a lot of people will happily capitalize on.
4. Billboard noted this 7 days that “Am I the Only A single” will be sent to region radio soon — do you see it catching on as an airplay (or even a streaming) hit, or will its recognition typically go as significantly as its sales do?
Katie Atkinson: I could see it finding some really like from a few radio stations. But even if the place audience even now skews conservative, I imagine mainstream state radio is not going to want to rock the boat possibly route, trying to continue to be as apolitical as possible as it inches towards extra inclusivity among the its artists.
Gil Kaufman: If The Chicks have turn into region radio skunk spray, this track may be place radio catnip. Can you imagine someone calling in to complain about a station actively playing a track that talks about preventing for the flag while asking people to be part of Lewis in standing up to bless the U.S.A.? Good luck with that.
Jason Lipshutz: I’m skeptical, centered just on the construction of the music — a four-and-a-50 % minute ballad is not exactly nation radio catnip, until that ballad is an all-timer. “Am I the Only One” will surely obtain pickup from conservative stations completely ready to cosign its messaging, but outside of that, I’m not absolutely sure the tune has the appropriate length or tempo to suit in.
Melinda Newman: Its level of popularity will continue to be driven by gross sales and streaming. State radio tends to shy absent from everything that its listeners would think about polarizing and this song certainly is offered Lewis’ stance on viewing getting rid of Confederate statues as an assault on The us and his connect with to arms when he concerns if he is the only just one inclined to combat and “choose a bullet for bein’ absolutely free.” On the flip aspect, “Undivided,” by Tyler Hubbard and Tim McGraw was about as benign a assertion as an artist could make contacting for unity and it stalled at No. 16 on Region Airplay — most likely because some conservatives saw it as as well progressive a choose.
Andrew Unterberger: It truly is not really a cleanse match for modern place radio for a selection of reasons, so I doubt it will do properly plenty of for its airplay to appear anywhere near to matching its income effects. That said, I could see a modest minority of unbiased stations and DJs rallying powering it — and looking at how Morgan Wallen is previously staying accepted again into the FM fold, this may not be pretty as considerably a bridge for even some a lot more mainstream stations as it to begin with looks.
5. Let’s flash again to um, less difficult times — do you have a peak Staind jam of choice, or are you happier to depart them in the ’00s?
Katie Atkinson: I’m likely to think exterior the box and opt for the acoustic Mainstream Rock Airplay chart-topper “Outside,” which was billed as “Aaron Lewis of Staind with Fred Durst” (if that isn’t going to scream 2001, I do not know what does). It was also produced as a good Staind tune, but it is really that acoustic model — with Lewis’ a little bit off-important guitar and Durst’s superfluous backing vocals and advertisement libs (“I’m feelin’ those lighters!”) — that places you instantly into the Korn-fed group of the 1999 Family Values Tour.
Gil Kaufman: While “It’s Been a While” is the only music most people today don’t forget, the rumbly one “Mudshovel” from the band’s 1999 sophomore album, Dysfunction, is like the final nu metallic join-the-dots. It is big, dumb, indignant and lousy with double kick drums, rumbling, down-tuned bass, swirly guitars and lyrics about anger, torment, pain and betrayal. As if that was not ample, it is all wrapped into a gruntfest in which Lewis seems unintentionally hilarious growling the title as if possessed by a Very hot Topic demon.
Jason Lipshutz: “It’s Been Awhile” remains a legitimately fantastic rock music, the great balance of muscular guitar sludge and fragile confessions it’s also continue to a major-notch sing-together, due to the fact, even if you neglect most of the words, you still know that every line commences with “It’s been a when…” I heard it on rock radio a few months back, and I turned my car or truck stereo all the way up.
Melinda Newman: I never seek it out, but when “It really is Been Awhile” comes on the radio in my car, I sing the chorus at the top rated of my lungs and am instantly transported back to a time when heavy-guitar driven rock, fueled by rigorous male vocals that showed an edge of vulnerability dominated the airwaves.
Andrew Unterberger: I also nevertheless have my lighter elevated for the stay edition of “Outside the house,” a legitimately unnerving electric power ballad that was about as near to a true second of grace as nu metallic gave us in its 1st couple of years of prominence. That said, is it as great as “Born to Run,” “Rosalita (Occur Out Tonight)” or “Dancing in the Dark”? Of class not.