Okay, so maybe people aren't buying as many albums as they used to. But they're still listening to music -- and Billboard, king of the charts since 1936, is still keeping tabs on just what it is they're listening to. Here, we run down one of the magazine's Top 10s every other week, giving you an ear (and eye)ful of the songs that are getting the most spins from sea to shining sea. We call it Billboarding, and each installment of the series is helpfully laid out below. What are you waiting for?
Hot 100: MC=18 #1's (04/14/2008)
We circle back around to the Hot 100 just in time to catch Mariah Carey earning her record-breaking 18th Number One single, "Touch My Body" -- and if the rest of the Top 10 isn't quite as noteworthy, it still benefits from the annual spring migration of platinum acts (Madonna and Usher among them) back to the record shop racks.
Hot Adult R&B:
Keith Sweat Lives (03/31/08)
And so the time has come for us to make our way over to the Hot Adult R&B chart, where the grooves are midtempo, the lovin' good (unless it's bad), and Mariah Carey's breasts are happily on display. Oh yes, and Keith Sweat? Still rackin' up the hits, ladies and gents. You can't keep a New Jack down.
Hot Country Songs:
Daddy's Girls (03/17/08)
Taylor Swift's "Our Song" may have finally dropped out of the Hot Country Top 10, but never fear -- we've got another cute blonde sitting on top of the chart in the form of Carrie Underwood, whose "All-American Girl" heads up a countdown that's eight-tenths different from the crew we surveyed back in January.
Modern Rock: Foo
What's the difference between "modern" and "mainstream" rock these days, anyway? Judging from this week's Top 10, not a whole hell of a lot, other than a pair of stragglers from Radiohead and the Bravery. And by the way, what is it with you people and the latest songs from Seether and Puddle of Mudd?
Hot 100: Who Let
Buckcherry in Here? (02/18/08)
Apologies to those of you who were hoping for a third installment of "House of T-Pain," but the vocoder-rocking cameo artist is mostly absent from this week's chart -- after weeks of dominance, he only shows up here once. It's in the Number One spot, of course -- on that horrible Flo Rida song -- but the rest of the Top 10 is (mostly) pleasant.
Hot Adult Contemporary:
Waiter, This "Bubbly" Is Flat (02/04/08)
Sit back and pretend you're strolling the aisles of your local Walgreens -- or reclining in your favorite dentist's chair -- while Jeff takes one for the team and runs down the "Hot" AC Top 10, including our umpteenth look at Colbie Caillait's "Bubbly" and OneRepublic's "Apologize." Hate rock & roll? Welcome home.
Hot Country Songs: What Do Ya Think About Taylor?
Some things haven't changed since our last trip to the country section of the FM dial -- hello again, Montgomery Gentry! -- but there are plenty of new songs to keep things interesting, and try as Jeff might, he still can't think of anything bad to say about Taylor Swift's "Our Song."
Mainstream Rock: Some Things Never Change
We've looked at Modern Rock, now we'll look at Mainstream Rock. What's the difference? Eh, a few bands, a few more minor keys, and a lot more screaming. If you like Seether and Foo Fighters, though, one format should be just as good as the other. And if you haven't listened to rock radio since 1986, don't worry -- Nikki Sixx is still here.
Hot 100: House of T-Pain II (12/24/07)
Two months later, and not a whole lot has changed atop the Hot 100; a full 60 percent of the songs in the Top 10 were here back in October. But you can never have enough T-Pain, right? Clearly, a lot of people can't -- but Jeff can, and he's also starting to dream of rolling Colbie Caillat up in some "Bubbly" wrap and sending her to Tibet.
Hot Adult Top 40: Neither Hot Nor Adult
Enjoy slick production, tasteful grooves, and songs that suggest great meaning without actually having the guts to attempt meaning anything? This week's installment of Billboarding, which finds Jeff frantically skipping around the upper reaches of the Hot Adult Top 40, will be music to your ears.
Hot Country Songs: This
Is Carrie's Country (11/26/2007)
"American Idol" alum Carrie Underwood takes a lot of crap from country fans for not being "country" enough, but Jeff says her song "So Small" is about as country as country gets. In his latest Billboarding installment, Jeff takes a look at the Hot Country Songs Top 10 chart.
Modern Rock: Can't Fight
the Seether (11/12/2007)
It isn't just rock, it's modern rock -- a genre that still has room for Linkin Park, much to Jeff's chagrin. The Foo Fighters' "The Pretender" enjoys its 11th week in the top spot on this chart during our second installment of Billboarding.
The Hot 100: House of T.
Like your a-hole officemate, Soulja Boy is as deeply annoying as he is inescapable, but that didn't prevent the teenage rapper from claiming the top spot in Billboard's Hot 100. In his first Billboarding installment, Jeff analyzes the rest of the chart's top 10.