Anatomy of a Hit: Lawson – Juliet

It’s time for the fourth instalment of my new feature, analysing the highest charting new entry to the UK singles chart top 10 each week, which this week goes to…

#3 –  Lawson – Juliet

Lawson played it very safe with their first album Chapman Square, releasing a series of inoffensive radio-friendly singles, which couldn’t have been better suited to a band with the backing of one of the U.K.’s most powerful radio networks. When they decided to re-package and re-release the album as Chapman Square – Chapter II, they could have continued in the same vein, so I was surprised and impressed to see they took a risk, albeit one that was carefully calculated.

With their latest two singles, Brokenhearted and Juliet, Lawson have taken on board current chart trends and made the effort to develop their sound accordingly. Juliet jumps on the reggae-pop bandwagon, but more in the vein of Bruno Mars (who in turn was emulating Sting, of course) than Sean Paul. I think adding a rap to their previous single Brokenhearted was a little too far out of their fanbase’s comfort zone, and it passed in and out of the charts without causing much of a fuss, but with Juliet they have found a way to assimilate a trend into their own sound.

I am curious now to see how they act on the success of Juliet. Will they see it as a sign that they should pursue this reggae-inspired sound, or that they should continue to move with the times and absorb other emerging music trends?


Come back next Monday to read my thoughts on the highest new entry in the top 10. Will it be Lorde, James Arthur, Showtek or Lady Gaga?

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