18 June 2012

Summer Jam Week 6: Katy Perry, The Wanted, & fun. Return

Here we are in the middle of June now, Six Weeks into the Greatest Season of them all - Summertime, baby. Every Summer there is one song that really stands out as truly encapsulating the musical zeitgeist of its year - that one completely ubiquitous irritating track that creeps itself into the background of every beach party, every amusement park, and every jeep ride through the country. Our job here is to find that Immortal Song and Crown them the Summer Champion.

Hot Track of the Week: "Wide Awake" by Katy Perry

No official video for this yet, just a weird Facebook Timeline Lyric thing above, but this could be another great Katy hit. Her past couple songs haven't really been that distinctive or memorable, but this one has a cool rip to it and post-breakup songs are always more fun creatively. It's a good chance the best thing Russell Brand did was leave those big boobs behind. None of her stuff has caught on like gangbusters going back from her ridiculous stretch from "California Gurls" to "E.T." but hey, this has got a shot.

Back for More: "Glad You Came" by The Wanted

I thought this thing was dead but somehow it really surged up this week. I heard it about six times today alone, what the hell. It's still not a particular good song by any means and there's no reason to ever want to listen to it - but that's the key to a Great Summer Jam - it's there long after you wish it wasn't.

Indy Summer Tunes: "Hold On" by Alabama Shakes

I really like this track, it's got a nice groovy vibe and some really nice vocal work by lead singer Brittany Howard. Yeah, it's a chick singing it and she pours in an incredible amount of passion into it here. It's a very jamworthy song, I'm not sure it catches on to Unequivocal Summer Jam status, but it can enjoy its week of fame here.

Our Second Hot Track of the Week: "Some Nights" by fun.

This is a pretty good sophomore effort from fun., whose "We Are Young" reappears on this list a bit later. While this is another pretty riveting, exciting, sublimely jamable track, it is a hell of a lot like Paul Simon's "Cecilia." We ought to have fun with "Some Nights" before they pull a Vanilla Ice. Though if that leads to a pathetic appearance by them in an Adam Sandler film twenty years from now, that may be okay.

Anachronism at its Best: "Payphone" by Maroon 5

This was another song I thought was dying a bit but then I heard it incessantly on the radio this week. Nothing about this track is good besides Wiz Khalifa's addition. What is with more and more rappers appearing on otherwise pop alternative tracks? Sometimes it works but here it's just really bizarre and out of place. This tune may not be going anywhere though, so we had all better learn to like it.

Good Set of Pipes: "Titanium" by Sia ft. David Guetta

A few weeks ago this was the Hot Track of the Week and it's coming back now as a legit Summer Jam. Which is good. It's a powerful track, although I still don't think the Guetta beat necessarily fits with what Sia is trying to say. Will Sia have a career or flame out like every singer she's emulating right now? She's got a nice voice, but nothing else about her is really distinctive.

Anyone else see a little Guy Pearce in this dude?
Designed Not for Octogenarians: "We Are Young" by fun.

This track also came back this week, perhaps from surging interest in their other song, "Some Nights" that's about to pick up. This is still somehow tough to get sick of, maybe it's the obnoxiousness, the cheekiness, or its status as an anthem for the newest drunkest generation, but just when it seemed dead it rose like the Necronomincon Worshipers of Old.

Celebrating Father's Day: "Call Me Maybe" by Carly Rae Jepson

The week completes and no song title is greater than three words. Fantastic. Carly Rae comes in again at #1 but I would say her hold on the spot is more tenuous than it's been in a while. I think there's better tracks out there and some of the New Jams we heard this week ought to attest to that. This is fine as a Great Summer Jam, but I think some of the heavy hitters are going to come in and start teaching this intrepid Canadien what Jammin is really about.

Next week...

You'll notice no Gotye this week, "Somebody That I Used to Know" was still pretty big this week, but I feel like these eight songs were just much more relevant. We're definitely looking at Katy and fun. but there's a lot of potential everywhere. This time of June is usually when the Summer Jam lands. No hip-hop this week but I've had my ears on Kendrick Lamar & Dre's "The Recipe" among others. Stay tuned!

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