14 June 2010
Summer Jam 2010: June 14 Winners
by Roderick Allmanson at precisely 12:06
Deep into the heart of June we travel on Norwegian Morning Wood's ongoing quest to seek the Throne of Summer Jam 2010. We have a new Queen this week and with any luck she should be primed to stay there for the foreseeable future. Usher's reign might be over and GaGa's play for the top was subverted. Not too many new faces here, but check it out:
#8: "Bulletproof" - La Roux
Proving to have a bit more staying power than I attributed to her, La Roux is hanging in there as her techno-fused vocals are catching on with a year that's been aching hard of 80s Nostalgia (Hot Tub Time Machine, MacGruber, Karate Kid and The A-Team  are all but examples of our recollective trend). I'm picturing this track hovering around this low position for a while, possibly giving her more endurance than #1 Flashes.
#7: "Break Your Heart" - Taio Cruz ft. Ludacris
Swapping positions with "Bulletproof" this week, this song's incessant hook isn't going anywhere either.
#6: "Billionaire" - Travie McCoy ft. Bruno Mars
A swarthy fusion of smooth R&B vocals and cut-up rapping, this is our only new track for the week. It's fantasy-fulfilling popularity is sure to grow and is certainly helped by it altruistic rather than covetous lyrics. It's definitely got a chillness to it, but isn't really exceptional enough for a good Summer Jam. It'll go high for a few weeks then no one will listen to this again.
#5: "Alejandro" - Lady GaGa
Still creeping, GaGa's new insane video may have hurt her rather than helped. It's tough to devote both TV airtime as well as Non-Masturbating Internet Time to all these mini-movie videos, especially ones as thematically dense and indecipherable as "Alejandro" is. Remember "Just Dance?" What happened to Fun GaGa? I guess that's the difference between The Fame and The Fame Monster, which if it ends up she's actually following some sort of metanarrative-focused career continuity, might be pretty sweet as far as Pop Princesses go. Yeah, GaGa's a Pop Queen. Apparently an evil one...with goggles.
#4: "OMG" - Usher ft. Will.i.am
Pretty strong yet, although I went almost the first half of last week without hearing it once, which doesn't bode well for its run at the top. It's still got a chance to crawl back, I'm picturing this more as a bad week than a serious blow to its chances. #2 on the Hot 100 this week for the first time in a month, I wouldn't worry about it falling off the Contender List any time soon.
#3: "Your Love is My Drug" - Ke$ha
This song gets more irritating every week it's on this list. That probably means it's doing well. By and large Ke$ha's least interesting and least edgy song, although as I mentioned last week I have doubts over her genuine edginess, or at least her confidence in herself. Anyway, this has been close to the top but it's inherent banality should keep it from the top spot.
#2: "Airplanes" - B.o.B ft. Hayley Williams
We're still choking on Part I while the Eminem addition and slightly modified lyrics in Part II is the superior version. More hip-hop stations have been playing the second version, which adds a wrinkle bonus to the popularity of this track. It's a heavy song and almost too maudlin for Summer but its hopeful streak gives it a positive, if not gleefully cheery streak.
#1: "California Gurls" - Katy Perry ft. Snoop Dogg
Here's your gleeful cheer. This is a perfect Summer song, every part of it hints towards the sunny carefree paradise encapsulated by the Summer Months. An emotional 180 from "Airplanes," this track should hold this for a while. Far from getting old, there's enough pastel pep in this song to keep the ladies and fellas bouncing. Snoop kills it and Katy pours out vocal sex like molasses on strawberries, it's beautiful. My only gripe so far is the possibility of more parody songs, we've got one meh entry so far that lacks a lot of lyrical originality.
The brunette's pretty cute but the singing is shit. Actually that white dude is pretty funny. Well, that's it for this week, folks. Jay-Z very narrowly failed to make an appearance among the Contenders this time but I wouldn't necessarily count him out. I don't know what happened to Sean Kingston and Justin Bieber, I expected their stock to rise this week, we'll see if they hold out one more and sneak in. And by the way - where the hell is Flo Rida? That dude's career was made for Summer Hooks.
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