27 August 2012

Summer Jam Week 16: Green Day, Cher Lloyd, and Brandy - Yep.

Today we bring you the penultimate Summer Jam post. It's a sad thought that our Final Summer is nearly concluded, and perhaps more so that this was clearly the Summer of Call Me Maybe. That's alright though. Every week this Summer we've counted down the hottest jams just for you - After Labour Day we'll start tallying things up and let you know how everyone stacks up. For now, though, we've still got some fresh beats to drop:

Hot Track of the Week: "Madness" by Muse



This is an exceptionally groovy track with a pretty fresh sound, if kind of wacky. The coolness of the song breaks down as it goes on, but those first two minutes are extremely jam-worthy. As with every cool and innovative jam though, there will be haters and this track hasn't gotten the amount of love it should. Still, it's a nice change of pace from all the pop I usually place here...

Coke Nightmares: "Oh Love" by Green Day

I can't picture three bigger douchebags than the dudes who make up Green Day. They all just need showers really badly. This video looks like the biggest strung-out coke party this side of Studio 54, but they don't really have anything critical to say about that. It's full of kind of hot chicks, though, who are clearly just sitting around waiting for the chance to blow a rock star. Green Day has three albums coming out in the next three months, but none will approach the greatness of their work before American Idiot (2004). That was the tipping point where the band passed the barrier from punk-pop with underground credit to mainstream pop-punk that desperately tried to retain an identical credo that just didn't apply any more. They're pathetic. I'm going to stew some more and play "Basket Case" on repeat now.

Bitchin: "She's So Mean" by Matchbox 20

This is a nice contrast to Green Day here. Matchbox 20 has somehow managed to release a song exactly as good as their earlier work as well as preserve their musical persona and perception while doing so. It's a fairly standard alt-pop track that's still a pretty fun way to close out Summer. No sign of Sinbad here, but Rob Thomas is still belting out one of the more classic 90s rock voices here.

Still Finding Work? "Put it Down" by Brandy ft. Chris Brown

I can't believe this song exists for two reasons: 1) Brandy is still alive and 2) Women are still willing to work with abusive douchebag, Chris Brown. Nevertheless, this is your smooth R&B jam of the week. It's not an especially good song, but it's got a bit of cuteness to it. Until of course you realise that as soon as Chris Brown falls in love with you he'll probably start beating you.

Oh Jeez: "Want You Back" by Cher Lloyd

I can't get enough of this shit. To some extent, it's just too easy to make fun of. There's hardly been a more manufactured attempt at a pop hit since One Direction. First of all, the diner in this video is the exact same one as in Cee Lo Green's "Fuck You," which just makes it all the more clear it's a set somewhere in Hollywood. Second, there's this weird fake attempt at giving Lloyd this aggressive punk attitude, but she's still a teenager cooing about her ex-BF, which really results in tremendous cognitive dissonance. To add to this, I'm not sure a Dirty Version actually exists, which I confirmed from checking out the lyrics. This means when she sings things like "I don't give a shh / no one else can have you," a version does not exist where she swears. It's all part of this huge attempt to sound dirty and edgy when she's really not at all. It's so fake and uninspiring. But she is kind of cute and the song is catchy - so obvi a hit here.

Canadian Bacon: "Call Me Maybe" by Carly Rae

Is...Carly Rae Jepsen a shark?
I think this buzz is finally dying down a bit, and it couldn't really be timed more perfectly with the end of Summer. The Rise of Carly Rae Jepsen is unparalleled, which is both innovative and challenging to the entire music industry's standards of traditional promotion. The Summer of Carly Rae should be known not only for this kind of inoffensive flirty song, but how she revolutionized how producers can make a hit. Surely the waters have become much more random in who gets picked up - but with this kind of democratization can we say it's much worse than just what jams tickle a producers' ear? Let's be more specific - what tickles Simon Cowell's ear? Then we'd have a whole Summer full of Cher Lloyd. Suddenly I'm grateful that Justin Bieber made that single tweet that launched Jepsen's career.

Making Clits Glow: "Whistle" by Flo Rida

Flo Rida storms the castle this week with a great showing. Summer is always a better Season for Flo than any other. When else can he strut around the beach showing off those massive pecs and precisely manicured beard? I was thinking this week about how much Tallahassee's flow rips on Nelly's sing-song rap style and how that really bridged the gap between hip-hop and pop music where Flo has found a nice profitable niche. I think he's a poser when he tries to do much more than that, but as long as he stays in his niche, he'll be fine.

Purple Power: "Wide Awake" by Katy Perry

Katy never seems to be out of the spotlight for long. I already wrote a long diatribe on my problems with this song, but once again it claims the top spot for the week. She sucks. I'm not sure what to make of this song, to be honest - it's as if Katy has the power now to make a top single without even trying or really even wanting to. She's got some loyal fans, to be sure, fans who she tricks into thinking are nice and unique for listening to her, when you just can't get more mainstream right now. That's why she's dressed as a magic Druish witch, of course.

Next week...

This is it, folks - another long Summer in the can. Expect more of the same next week, with the possible addition of this new 50 Cent Jam with Alicia Keys. On Monday, things will go as normal, then on Tuesday we'll conclude this series of posts once and for all. Crank up the knobs and stay tuned!

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