Welcome again to the Summer-Wide Search for the Equivocal Summer Jam 2010! Last week we had some newcomers try to threaten the establishment, indeed this week is a big shakedown. We're finally over a big crest from the last couple months and the losers have dropped out to make room for some great new tracks. Of course, the big guns have hardly changed which makes things interesting. Without further ado let's dive in:
#8: "Dynamite" - Taio Cruz
Building on some success from "Break Your Heart," Taio Cruz goes solo on this one, arguably better than his freshman effort. It's got a lot of potential combining his competent vocals with a good party theme. Perfect for the Summer King? It combined an addictive beat with pretty catchy lyrics that are easy to get stuck in your head. That's really all we ask of a good Summer Jam, I'll be watching this closely.
#7: "Your Love" - Nicky Minaj
Finally Nicky gets to showcase her talents on a single of her own which is getting some good airplay. It's a pretty chill song that demonstrates both her singing and rapping ability which is admittedly impressive. It actually lacks Nicky's classic vocal upraise which was quickly become stale (because she used it on every single track she was featured on ever). This works to the song's advantage. There is also a touch of Auto-Tune but it's actually used pretty well. In fact, this is how Auto-Tune should be used, sparingly to enhance the vocals during the chorus rather than to make up for shoddy singing through the entire song. This is a good one although I of course have doubts over its ability to last more than a few weeks this summer because Nicky for some reason just isn't a bankable name yet.
#6: "Your Love is My Drug" - Ke$ha
This trainwreck just won't go away. After a few weeks off this list Ke$ha is back with a vengeance, proving somehow that this very irritating song is somehow here to stay. It's so trashy yet slightly better than her collaboration with 3OH!3 which is just an exercise in rampant douchebaggery. And by the way, why the hell is Ke$ha on that track? She has like one line. Ugh, let's move on quickly.
#5: "Ridin' Solo" - Jason Derulo
Derulo's career is quickly becoming interesting. His major tracks so far are based almost entirely on the strength of their hooks and in both cases this is due to their sampling of much more talented artists (Imogen Heap in "Whatcha Say," The Verve in "Ridin' Solo"). His actual singing and rapping ability is terribly sub-par. This song goes nuts, hitting unnecessary high notes about 3/4 in, then moaning some more. As of now though, before much overplay this is my second favourite Solo. Can you imagine Han jamming to this? I can't.
#4: "Airplanes" - B.o.B ft. Hayley Williams
This was a close call, "Airplanes" was saved by a lot of last minute plays this week but has certainly tumbled a bit. Its maudlin atmosphere is catching up to it and I'm getting the feeling more and more that we won't hear much from this in a few months. It simply has not been able to really break into that #1 spot to secure its immortality. I still legitimately enjoy this song however, although by now it's for sure overplayed. It'll keep tumbling.
#3: "Break Your Heart" - Taio Cruz ft. Ludacris
Maybe this is just a Rochester thing again, but after lying on the ground miles away from this list for a few weeks, "Break Your Heart" is everywhere again. Almost every time I turned on a radio I've got some kind of Taio blaring on my ear. Not that that's a negative at all, I'm sure it's a spike due to "Dynamite's" growth in popularity but both songs are peppy enough to be great Summer Jams.
#2: "OMG" - Usher ft. Will.i.am
Yeah, what is Usher still doing this high? Katy Perry and him might as well be the King and Queen of Summer, although people are getting sick of Usher far before Katy. It may not chug that much more, victim of its own hubris. Hot damn. Both songs have been able to stay up due to their very Summer-Friendly natures, indeed when you think of a good track to jam to this Summer, only these two come to mind.
#1: "California Gurls" - Katy Perry ft. Snoop-A-Loop
What more can I say? It's the perfect Summer Jam and it's getting its due credit. Very soon however, its position atop the Billboards could be upset, most likely by the Eminem/Rihanna Juggernaut that is all set to break out pretty hard, likely next week. Will Katy's run be enough to get her the crown? Stay tuned dear readers to find out. I mean c'mon - you see that video?!
Whats on the docket for next week? There's a slew of new competitors that edged out some favourites like GaGa and La Roux this week but that's not surprising. "Alejandro" may very well become GaGa's first song in a while not to hit #1, if she hasn't yet she won't this summer. Like I mentioned though, "Love The Way You Lie" is set to break out much better than "Not Afraid" was, of course due to the singing/rapping meld as well as the presence of Rihanna. It's got the kind of appeal that can go far with many different kinds of people. Stay right here to find out what this track can do!