30 July 2012

Summer Jam Week 12: A Pair of Ellies and Cher (not that one)

Well folks, we have a new layout around here and it's my pleasure to welcome many new visitors who may seriously have no idea what they're in for. Today, as we do every Summer Monday, it's time to list off the Hottest Summer Jams of the previous week. These tracks are so hot that it we can cool off and chill out by listening. It's just that effective. It's an exciting week, here with around a month to go - without wasting more precious Jam time, here we go:

Hot Track of the Week: "Want U Back" by Cher Lloyd



This jam has already done a number on English audiences and it's just now starting to bubble over in the States. For those of you uninformed, Cher Lloyd was the winner of one of the British Seasons of The X Factor (there's been like 8 of them so far) and turned 19 two days ago. The track has swagger, is egregiously bubbly, and is probably the most inconsequential teen pop anthem since Rebecca Black. Except of course for the fact that Cher Lloyd has a coalition of actual fans, not just detractors and ironic ones. I have also embedded here the U.K. version of the song, which features a rap interlude by this little man-boy named Astro. It's absolutely ridiculous and unsurprisingly completely absent from her U.S. release. I want to just wake up every day and thank Simon Cowell for giving Cher Lloyd to the world.

The Fro Knows: "Refill" by Elle Varner

Elle Varner has a unique voice in pop today, and she certainly hasn't yet crossed over into mainstream (a nice word for "White") audiences. She coos her way through this one, but doesn't lend herself to a very high degree of marketability, without which she'll never be a Beyoncé or Nicki Minaj. Still, she's exploring her niche well right now and this is a nice jam to groove to, especially when boning.

Let it roll: "Good Time" by Owl City ft. Carly Rae

Owl City is kind of a cool concept to think about if you take the band's name literally. A city full of owls - Futurama predicted this. Or maybe the Owls are running the city? Mice fear for their lives as the put-upon rival Eagles mount a bold comeback. Anyway, apparently a conceptually weird but coolly executed collabo with Carly Rae Jepsen is all that's needed to blast an otherwise mediocre band to major Summer Jam Status.

When Boy Bands Roamed the Earth: "What Makes You Beautiful" by One Direction

I like the idea that One Direction, whose oldest member is currently 20, goes out and woos tons of girls who are really hot but also really insecure. Think about who this song is targeted to - exactly the kind of girls with low self-esteem and fractured body images that will fall in love with and then buy albums from dudes who look like this and tell them they're beautiful. Wow, thinking of this, I suddenly have a problem with One Direction where I had none before.

Give that Butt a Break: "Give Your Heart a Break" by Demi Lovato

The pedigree of this one is heating up, especially after she is apparently on the same level as Britney Spears in terms of being able to judge and market poor talent. This is the second reference to The X Factor in the same post, what the hell is going on here? Oh right, despite the haters Simon Cowell is actually that good about creating buzz. If only anything he did contributed to society at large.

The First of Two Oral Sex References Today: "Whistle" by Flo Rida

The only rap entry for this week is Flo Rida, which is a shame because this is just about as pop-y as you can get while still pretending you're a hard rapper. Well, maybe we can stretch that a bit more. The State of Florida, as the beefcake is known to his most intimate fans, is a pop rap juggernaut, without any real interesting beats or anything intelligent to say, but damn, he's shit-hard catchy.

Flashing High: "Lights" by Ellie Goulding

This track has been around for a while and has certainy poked its head here and there this Summer, but all of a sudden this chick is everywhere and "Lights" is one of the hottest jams in the country. It's kind of a wild, wondrous, wacky song that in the end isn't actually that memorable or significant. Everyone's lives will move on next week if no one else hears it ever again. Still, here we go.

What a Dream: "Call Me Maybe" by Carly Rae Jepsen



For your special Olympic pleasure, here is the American Olympic Swimming Team mouthing the words to "Call Me Maybe." Maybe that's why anyone whose name is Dana Vollmer or Matt Grevers has been shitting the bed these games. Either way, this jam has hit it, man, we might as well be all-Carly all the time from here on out. Is it just the joke at this point? Is it how insane and stupid this song is? Or do people genuinely like this girl? It's gone way above a Rebecca Black thing at this point, there is some credibility here and there is a good genuine fan base at work. For everyone else the track walks that line between excessively stupid and enjoyable. It's close to the perfect summer jam.

Next week...

There have been two fairly profile new releases lately, the first is Pink's eloquently titled "Blow Me," the other is the return of No Doubt, apparently, with their new uninspiring single, "Settle Down." Does anyone care about either? We'll tally it up and tell you next week. I'm also looking for the Chris Brown / Big Sean / Wiz Khalifa collabo to pop back up here. That's shit's legit. Finally, what more can Rita Ora do with Biggie's good name? A little less party and a little more bullshit, methinks.

What do you want to hear this summer?

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