21 May 2012

Summer Jam Week 2: Demi Lovato, Neon Trees, & Gotye still reigns

Well folks it's Week Two of Summer already and that means that we've had plenty of recycled jams already. This week's Hot List includes a little bit of just about everything, from the Bieber to the Black Keys, this is it, baby. We're getting to the end of May - a time for College Graduations, Weddings, and embarrassing Memorial Day party shenanigans. Since when did Memorial Day transform from a day honouring the memory of fallen service men to an excuse to open the pool?

Hot Track of the Week: "Give Your Heart a Break" by Demi Lovato

Demi Lovato is a cute little thing with a decent set of pipes, but she exists in this weird Pop slit between deep indie chicks and superfluous bubblegum. She's Sara Bareilles light. This track is bouncy enough to entertain for a few minutes but it doesn't have the catch of a true summer jam. Still, it's hot this week.

Puberty's a Btich: "Boyfriend" by Justin Bieber

This is some hardcore shit dropped by the Biebs. I get excited when I first hear this track, mostly because I mistakenly think it's the Whisper Song. Biebs brings his shit though, and this song is surely a set above some of the other crap he put out that was more innocuous. I don't think Bieber has really made it to mainstream pop yet, although his willingness to get in on his own joke is reassuring.

Weird, Indistinguishable Lyrics: "Mercy" by Kanye ft. Big Sean, Pusha T & 2 Chainz

This is an up and coming Rap Track with two classic Kanye tropes: 1) vocalizations integrated into the beat and 2) way more collaborators than necessary. It sounds like his mom is yelling at him or something, and the whining is fairly ridiculous. I don't really think this track could dominate summer, it's too much of an investment.

Crappy, Peppy, Flighty: "Love U Betta" by Neon Hitch

This song has been cropping up here and there more often recently. It's a heavily synthesized track that would seem forgettable if not for the fact that once you hear this before 9 am it's guaranteed to be stuck in your head for the rest of the day. I don't think Neon Hitch is the next big thing, but this song will do for the moment.

Rock's Rightful Throne: "Gold on the Ceiling" by The Black Keys

The Black Keys may be the greatest thing in Rock right now, and every track dropped off El Camino (2011) seems better than the one before it. This is absolutely jam-worthy and is a great choice to rev up a party with some brews and headbanging fun. Rock is always more transitory for Summer Jams, though, Pop tends to dominate. With the rest of this list featuring Rock or arguably Rock Artists though, that may be shifting.

Jamming to a Guilty Pleasure: "Everybody Talks" by Neon Trees

"Animal" was far more addicting than it should have been and the Neon Trees seem to be at it again with "Everybody Talks." It's a fairly awful song and its Pop/Rock cocktail really shouldn't be as popular as it is. Still, this song is incredibly fun and more important for Summer, you can turn your brain off to listen to it. It probably won't go very far.

Gotye.se: Somebody That I Used to Know" by Gotye

It doesn't appear like this guy's going anywhere. I've got to think that he's worn out his welcome by know but that doesn't look like the case. It's bizarre that some of the biggest recent artists have all been unknown crossover hit-makers, but maybe that shouldn't be all that surprising. Gotye's a weird dude though, and proudly doesn't really give a shit. I do actually think that this song is merely adequate until Kimbra comes in and elevates both the vocal and lyrical content.

Oh to be Young and Stupid: "We Are Young" by fun.

Will there be a prom this weekend that doesn't play this song? I think not. Still, although this is a pretty good song, it's tough to dance to and isn't really the dumb head throbbing track it should or could be. It has this regality and honesty to it that ironically makes it tough to play on nights that resemble the lyrical content. It's more of a before or after party song, an idea of generational pride that isn't all that practical in the moment.

Next week...

The Summer Cocktail is still mixing and swirling but I can't foresee the Top Two shifting all that much for the next few weeks. There are fresher jams out there though that only need a little traction to become the next really big thing. Stay tuned, true believers!

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