There are plenty of successes in pop music for 2010, but also some very notable disappointments. This is a guide to 10 of the most memorable.
You will be excused if you don't even remember a Good Charlotte album release from this fall. Before this year the last three studio releases from the band were top 10 hits. Cardiology hit stores and struggled to a #31 chart placement. The single "Like It's Her Birthday" may still catch some fire at top 40 radio that could help the album, but the prognosis is not good.
What a difference a year makes. Keri Hilson was truly one of the breakout artists of the year in 2009. The single "Knock You Down" was a #3 pop smash and placed among the top 20 singles of the year. Her debut album In a Perfect World... reached the top 5 on the album chart and was certified gold. Fast forward to this fall and the efforts to drum up enthusiasm for Keri Hilson's second album. Two singles have been released and they have both failed to reach the R&B top 40 or even land anywhere on the Billboard Hot 100. The album No Boys Allowed hits stores December 21, 2010.
Diddy introduced his new duo of backing singers Dirty Money late last year, and it seems he has spent all of this year attempting to drum up interest in their upcoming album Last Train To Paris. The result has been the sound of pop fans massively turning away in unison. The splashy single "Hello Good Morning" with a guest appearance from T.I. was introduced with a live performance on American Idol. It opened inside the pop top 40, but failed to rise any higher than #27. It also failed in an attempt to reach the top 10 on the R&B singles chart. This fall's single "Loving You No More" with Drake has been even less successful. The album Last Train To Paris hits stores December 14, 2010.
Linkin Park's first three albums were multi-platinum success stories around the world. Thus far A Thousand Suns has reached platinum status only in Germany. It opened with first week sales of 241,000 compared with the 625,000 copies of their last album Minutes To Midnight in its first week. The lead single "The Catalyst" failed to make it inside the top 25 on the pop singles chart and it looks like "Waiting For the End" will fail to reach the top 40. Critical reviews have been reasonably positive. It simply seems that Linkin Park have met public indifference.
Despite the unique circumstances of the Rage Against the Machine campaign, it now seems that the failure of X Factor winner Joe McElderry to top the UK pop singles chart in his first week out with his debut single should have been seen as an omen. It was not long ago that X Factor winner Leona Lewis was smashing sales records with her debut album Spirit. The unfortunate fate of Joe McElderry thus far has been to miss the top 5 this fall with the single "Ambitions" and struggle to a #3 chart placing with the full-length album Wide Awake.
The first two albums from Maroon 5 were multi-platinum success stories. With legendary producer Robert John "Mutt" Lange working with the band it looked like Hands All Over would follow the same path. Then the single "Misery" failed to reach the pop top 10. Upon release Hands All Over sold less than a third of the copies in its first week that the previous Maroon 5 collection It Won't Be Soon Before Long sold. When the dust settled, what once seemed the big album for the fall of 2010 was nearly forgotten.
2010 began with multi-platinum rapper T.I. recently released from prison. It was time to get back to work and the seventh studio album King Uncaged was well on its way. That was the story line until September when he was arrested with his wife Tiny on drug charges. Ultimately, T.I. was sentenced to 11 additional months in prison for violating his probation. He entered a federal facility in November, and the album, now retitled No Mercy is due to hit stores in December. Thus far the official single "Get Back Up" and promotional singles have failed to catch fire.
Ultimately it seems the adult Miley Cyrus is simply not going to be nearly as much fun as the teen Miley Cyrus. Following a wide range of interview comments about no longer wanting to record pop music and reassurances the new album was going to be good anyway, Can't Be Tamed hit stores this past June. With comments from critics that mostly amounted to the album simply not being much fun compared to earlier Miley Cyrus music, Can't Be Tamed sold just over 100,000 copies and opened at #3 on the chart. That was a far cry from the 371,000 copies sold of Breakout when it debuted at #1. The fallout of the adult-oriented videos filmed by Miley seemed clear when the final Hannah Montana soundtrack hit stores and failed to reach the top 10.
To anyone it would have seemed like a massive Jonas Brothers concert tour in North America made sense to close out the summer of 2010. The trio were riding on the wake of two #1 studio albums. Then they ran into one of the most dismal summer concert seasons in recent memory. Word appeared that approximately twenty shows would be cancelled from the North American leg of the tour. The result was a tour beginning in August instead of July and wrapping up North American dates in September instead of October. Fans whose cities were axed let their disappointment be known. Two late summer Jonas related soundtracks struggled on the charts. Finally, tour mate Demi Lovato left the tour in South America this fall for a stint in rehab.
The first signs that there would be problems with Christina Aguilera's sixth studio album Bionic were the interminable delays. Finally, the first single "Not Myself Tonight" appeared in uptempo club mode with an intensely sexual video. The result was the song debuted at #23 and rose no higher. The album hit stores and opened at #3 on the chart selling 110,000 copies in its first week, less than a third of first week sales of the most recent studio album Back To Basics. A concert tour was cancelled because Christina Aguilera was "too busy" with the upcoming film Burlesque. By any analysis Bionic is a career and commercial disaster. So far it is Christina Aguilera's only studio album to not be certified platinum, and it is only halfway to gold.