31 May 2010

Summer Jam 2010: May 31 Winners

Back again is our on-going examination of songs contending for the covetous title of King of Summer Jam 2010. That one song that absolutely defines the current Summer Zeitgeist, the most massive popular Irritating Pop Track that forever will be known simply as THAT song from 2010. This week we've got a bit of shake-ups so follow intently-

#8: "California Gurls" - Katy Perry ft. Snoop Dogg

Now this has some potential to climb - a perfectly molded boppy California Summer Track with a good dose of Snoop. Supposedly as an answer to Jay-Z and Alicia's "Empire State of Mind" we'll see if it can replicate the latter's ubiquity and claim a title. Combine this and a Lakers win and L.A.'s looking like a good place for Summer!

#7: "Alejandro" - Lady GaGa

GaGa's finally on the contender list as her song is starting to infiltrate our culture a bit better. I still think this is a great summer track thematically and one of GaGa's best efforts in her career so far. It's staying power somehow is questionable, however and it doesn't feel like a "Poker Face" or "Bad Romance," or even "Telephone," a track that utterly dominates Pop Culture. We'll see. For now it's #7.

#6: "Nothing on You" - B.o.B ft. Bruno Mars

Big drop this week, when you stop hearing this song every 15 minutes on the radio, you know it's taken a tumble. This week was the key week after some heavy overplaying and my guess is after a pretty strong start this track won't be King of Summer.

#5: "Rude Boy" - Rihanna

It seems as though "Rude Boy" and "Nothing on You" are still in competition with each other - for lower spots on the charts. The same fate has befallen this song, which hasn't proved the staying power of some of Rihanna's other hits. In fact, it ended up coming and going about as quick as "Hard" did. Massive popularity followed by a massive sinking. It's shit like this that gives me more confidence in GaGa, at least "Alejandro" has stayed pretty much in one spot so far.

#4: "Airplanes" - B.o.B ft. Hayley Williams

After hearing this song get a little more airtime I'm starting to appreciate it a bit more. It has a bit deeper meaning than I originally thought, but definitely too much longing and brooding for a good Summer Jam song. Actually Part II is even better:

I actually rescind my comments last week that "Nothing on You" featured better rapping on B.o.B's part, this is the best song him, Hayley Williams and Eminem have produced in the past couple years. It's interesting how much better Eminem has been lately contributing to songs rather than filling it on his own. We'll see how this does, right now it looks like B.o.B is starting a fantastic career commercially and critically.

#3: "OMG" - Usher ft. will.i.am

By the way, what is up with random periods in artists' names? B.o.B, will.i.am, just go by Bob and Bill, it's not a big deal guys. Anyway, Usher stays in the same high spot while everyone around him changes. Still pretty popular, not popular enough to get that #1. I don't think it's going anywhere soon though.

#2: "Young Forever" - Jay-Z and Mr. Hudson

Now, this song sucked when it first came out, why Jay-Z felt the need to heavily sample it for a Summer Jam I have no idea. I mean, that's why it was ironically used as a hokey slow song in Napoleon Dynamite (one of the best uses of that song by the way - who gives a shit being young forever when you're Napoleon - or is there some meaning there? We can talk about this later). It's real popular now though, and although its winding beat doesn't deserve it, it's being played enough for #2 this week. Man, Jay-Z sucks.

Also can we talk - what's up with rappers fucking up on their track and then keeping it in the final cut? I can't tell if this is purposeful or serendipitous (The Beatles used to do this all the time, leave in purposeful mistakes and laughter), "OMG" has two moments where will.i.am fucks up, including the intro and then Jay-Z here seems to change his mind in a freeflow saying "just let it ride" and shit like he's bossing around the producer. C'mon, just lay the track down and stop interrupting the flow. Dammit.

#1: "Break your Heart" - Taio Cruz ft. Ludacris

Yeah this song got everywhere this week. Not confident about its power to carry a summer, but it's lyrically dumb enough and upbeat enough to do some damage and make a run at it. Ludacris is one of the most consistently good rappers of our day and I'm sure his influence and skills are starting to go underrated amongst the all-time greats. Really Luda makes the song, but Taio's vocal silk sells it to the people. Here you go:

So no room for Ke$ha this week, but I wouldn't count her down for the count. Same goes for "Lay me Down" which had a strong showing and probably has the Rock Track of Summer Title wrapped up (somehow Rock has more staying power than Pop...who could have ever guessed that), and I'm sure it will make a comeback. Until next time, crank up those ears and let's catch what comes next!

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