This week on Scoreboard Niall Horan has the new #1 album in America and we spotlight Portugal. The Man
Billboard Artist Top 10
For the magazine dated November 11, 2017
See the full chart at http://www.billboard.com/charts/artist-100
|Billboard Artist Top 10||Name||Billboard 200 Album Rank||Billboard Hot 100 Singles||Highest Charting Single|
|1||Niall Horan||1||2||24: Slow Hands|
|2||Pink||3||1||22: What About Us|
|3||Ed Sheeran||7||2||10: Perfect|
|4||Imagine Dragons||11||2||5: Thunder|
|5||Taylor Swift||72||3||13: Gorgeous|
|6||Post Malone||4||5||1: Rockstar|
|7||Demi Lovato||10||1||6: Sorry Not Sorry|
|8||Bruno Mars||31||1||32: That’s What I Like|
|9||Future||2||6||50: Patek Water|
|10||Cardi B||–||2||2: Bodak Yellow (Money Moves)|
Niall Horan takes over the charts this week, taking #1 on the Billboard 200 with his debut album Flicker and also topping the Artist 100. The One Direction alum becomes the third member of the group taking #1 on both of these charts following Zayn and Harry Styles. On the Hot 100 Post Malone and 21 Savage maintain their hold on #1 for the third week in a row with “Rockstar,” you can read Scoreboard’s feature on @postmalone here. Nonetheless, competition is heating up on the Hot 100 and this week we profile Portugal. The Man, which has the #4 single in the U.S. @portugaltheman is neither from Portugal, nor a single man, but instead it is a five man indie group from Portland, Oregon.
This week @futurehendrix has another new release, Super Slimey, a collaboration with Young Thug a.k.a. @thuggerthugger1
Niall Horan’s Flicker Of Pop
The first One Direction alum to take #1 was Zayn Malik, whose Mind Of Mine delivered a sultry R&B experience in 2016. Then came Harry Styles in all his Mick Jagger wannabe glory with a self-titled debut earlier this year. Now we get @niallhoran taking #1, coming in 65K albums below Styles’s opening week, but beating Zayn’s first week by 8K albums consumed. The Irish-born Horan has been a quieter personality while in 1D, and his music reflects that. “Slow Hands” is the closest he gets to @zayn on the romantic front, bringing a PG-rated imitation of Ed Sheeran‘s former #1 “Shape Of You.” (For a more blatant and R-rated imitation you can look to another 1D alum Liam Payne and “Strip That Down” ft. Quavo). As for the rest of the album, Horan covers a lot of ground established by Sheeran, with his breakout single “This Town” recalling Sheeran’s tearjerkers (and inspiring Kidz Bop Kids to put out one of their best covers in the last few years).
Although @niallhoran crowds the album with more ballads aspiring to be another “This Town,” he does better when he turns up the tempo. Opener “On The Loose” brings strong energy to start the album and “Since We’re Alone” is a successful attempt 1970’s folk-rock, which suggests that he could do well linking up with Haim. Instead of @haimtheband though we get a duet between Horan and country star Maren Morris on “Seeing Blind,” which the two will perform at the Country Music Awards on Wednesday, November 8. The Morris connection links Flicker to Thomas Rhett‘s recent #1 Life Changes, which featured a duet between Rhett and Morris, “Craving You.” Scoreboard that week commended Rhett on his country-pop crossover success and Horan gets the same accolades this week for his appearance on the CMAs. The two singers are uniting country and pop, and @marenmorris appears to be the not-so-secret weapon enabling the genre melding to happen.
Niall Horan is getting used to being a solo star on his North American tour
Portugal. The Band
The origin story behind the name @portugaltheman is a bit murky. The band’s founder John Gourley left his first band Anatomy Of A Ghost in his native Alaska for Portland in the early 2000’s and named his new band after a country “that came to mind” to give it a “bigger than life” feel. Then came 13 different band members and seven albums, but the band did not become a household name until this year with their eighth album Woodstock and the hit single “Feel It Still.” The band’s prior albums had sinister titles such as The Satanic Satanist and Evil Friends, but for the Woodstock the hippie indie brooding is gone and in “Feel It Still” we instead get a rock take on Pharrell‘s “Happy.” The rest of Woodstock delivers weirder psych rock, but it is likely that the band will become solely known for “Feel It Still,” the same way few people today can name a Foster The People song that’s not “Pumped Up Kicks.” And speaking of kicks, Portugal. The Man is a rebel just for that. Check out the video for the band’s big hit below and check Scoreboard every week to see if @portugaltheman can make a move for #1 on the Hot 100.