Welcome to the first installment of the Road to Summer Jam 2011! Every Monday in Summer we'll list off the Top Eight Jams of the previous week to find out who ends up as that Summer Jam we'll always remember defined 2011. Previous Kings and Queens include "California Gurls," "I Gotta Feeling," "Bleeding in Love" and "Umbrella." Those are some tough shoes to fill. We'll rank the tracks according to radio play, music video popularity, Billboard Hot 100 ranking and general seizure of zeitgeist. I know you've all been waiting patiently for this so without wasting more time here we go:
#8: "Written in the Stars" by Tinie Tempah ft. Eric Turner
This track didn't make much of a splash but seemed like it was everywhere this week still. It's not a very good song and will likely hover around the 8 Spot for a while before dropping off completely. It's a very pop-y song, very manufactured sounding, which is of course why it's popular. Don't look to it make more of an impact than this though.
#7: "Down on Me" by Jeremih ft. 50 Cent
We're caught in "Down on Me's" downslide this week. It peaked on the Billboard at #4 three weeks ago and has been tumbling since. It may hang around a bit more as radios catch up to its failure but other than that it's in its death throes. I'd consider 50's appearance here one of a ridiculous number of comebacks already this year and it's a smooth song if not an especially great one. It won't last much longer here and isn't a true Summer Contender at all. Has the first installment of the Winners been depressing enough yet?
#6: "S&M" by Rihanna
The status of this song is a lot like "Down on Me" - it has already peaked a few weeks ago and probably won't hold on all that well. It really had a handle on the zeitgeist a few weeks ago as well and is more of an afterthought by now. The ridiculous video tends to hurt its chances at getting a good mainstream appeal, and actually considering the subject matter I'm surprised it has enjoyed the popularity that it's had at all. This seems like the kind of song that Rihanna can do after enjoying a few years of popularity and really crank up not simply sexuality but a great fetish sexuality. Needless to say, Rihanna really belts this one and I find myself liking the Britney Remix better.
#5: "Lazy Song" by Bruno Mars
I'm still trying to figure this one out, it seems like a very indulgent song, wallowing in Sloth without a whole lot of shame. It really pretty accurately describes all my Sundays ever. Bruno Mars seems like the one big artist to emerge from a ton of new musicians from Last Summer, including B.o.B and Taio Cruz as a consistent hit-maker. "Lazy Song's" star is still rising and I don't expect it to wait at #5 for that long. The video is really weird and awful, tho I am a flannel fan. It's single-take quality seems to raise it above the rest but in comparison to other single-take pieces like anything Ok Go has done it seems well...lazy.
#4: "On the Floor" by Jennifer Lopez ft. Pitbull
This track has also been on the pulse, I can't believe in 2011 we're talking about Jennifer Lopez, Britney Spears and Hanson. What the hell did we accomplish in the past decade? This has got the Miami Flavour all over it with the help of Pitbull. It's actually not that great of a dancing song, the beat is generally too slow without enough drums to get a good booty shake on. Also why the hell is Jennifer Lopez, 41 years old, wife and mother of two and star of the most popular show on television singing about getting hammered and dancing at the club? Oh, selling records, I got it now. Can this be a new genre of Mom Music somehow? Even better - Cougar Tunes.
#3: "Till the World Ends" by Britney Spears
Let the Cougar Tunes roll on. I actually heard this on the radio a ton this week but it hasn't ranked as well on the Charts. Well, comparatively well. After a string of really terrible songs, Britney seems to be returning to form with this one, tho the remix is far superior. Nicki's addition anywhere somehow improves all quality (see the Heather Locklear/Rob Lowe Phenomenon) and Ke$ha somehow fits Britney's voice better than Britney does. Still, it seems as though Britney has finally evolved into modern pop instead of relying on the styles she employed ten years ago. "Hold it Against Me" was a terribly formulaic song, "Till the World Ends" is much more interesting and varied, and the remix utilises effective collaboration, hip-hop and industrial influences, all key to Modern Success. In fact, out of the Top Eight today, only three are solo efforts.
#2: "E.T." by Katy Perry ft. Kanye West
I don't believe that Katy will be able to hold on to another Summer, but "E.T." has done fantastically. It's bell curve is just about up though and while it was still everywhere this week it has definitely been oversaturated enough to last much longer this Summer. Still, it may certainly be a primer for either Katy or Kanye to jump off with something more significant. No song off Kanye's My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (2010) that he hasn't singled already is mainstream enough to get a jam going though. Yes, there are plenty off Teenage Dream (2010), tho Katy has dominated hit after hit in the past year, you have to believe her luck will run out.
#1: "Rolling in the Deep" by Adele
This is a surprise to me as I feel like this song had premiered a while ago but it seems to be just catching on to a wider pop audience now so it could have some life yet. It's a great song with tons of crossover potential, something that really helped Lady Antebellum with "Need You Know" last year. It's the number one song on the Billboard Hot 100 as well as vH1's Weekly Countdown, which fuck, is good enough for me despite a more limited Radio Play. I bet it will stick around a few weeks but maybe not at #1. Actually it's hard to predict any other #1 song right now unless "E.T" has some resurgence.
That's it for Week 1. There's only...sixteen more. Stick with us to find out who takes the Summer Throne! I've got my eyes on the Black Eyed Peas still ranked pretty high, along with Ke$ha's "Blow." I'd also love to see some Foo Fighters "Rope" get a chance, tho all of these songs may have peaked a few weeks ago. The Summer is pretty wide open right now, which is exciting. The best I can predict is the rising star of Nicki Minaj's "Super Bass" which just had an incredibly hot video premiere. Check it out.