06 September 2012

Summer Jam 2012: THE THRONE IS YOURS

Well, it's been one long and crazy summer, folks. Here we are now, a few days into the new school year and it's time again to name an Heir to the Summer Throne. Yes, Summer Royalty is upon us - what will be that one Jam that this Summer will always be known for? Let's look at some past winners:

2007 - "Umberellaella" by Rihanna
2008 - "Keep Bleeding in Love" by Leona Lewis
2009 - "I Got a Feeling" by the Black Eyed Peas
2010 - "California Gurls" by Katy Perry
2011 - "Party Rock Anthem" by LMFAO

What does 2012 have for us? Let's look at the Final Top 10:

Guy Pierce's Backing Band: "We Are Young" / "Some Nights" by fun.

I lumped these two big tracks together. fun. has arrived, folks. It's only to be determined now whether this band will be a two-hit wonder or their momentum will fizzle out. Their songs tend to have big youth pride themes that are easy to cling on to, but also easy to get sick of. How many optimistic "get drunk and party but change the world by doing so" songs can you really have? According to this Summer, at least two.

Out of Nothing: "Somebody That I Used to Know" by Gotye

This cat has over 300 million YouTube views somehow. Considering that young people get their music more from YouTube than any other source, you can bet that this dude made his way onto a ton of playlists this summer. Though he really blew up over the spring, it's clear that carried on to the early Summer Months, making a good jam for the Heat in his own right. It was such a unique new sound (the rest of Gotye's efforts have been garbage) that it really caught on. It's also one of the greatest music videos ever, and it would be a travesty if he didn't sweep the VMAs.

Do the 'Do: "Boyfriend" by Justin Bieber

This will be remembered as the Summer where Bieber arrived. Between the excellent timing between the releases of this track and "As Long as You Love Me" he's really trying to enter the mainstream like many pop idols before him. Can he be the New Century's version of Michael Jackson? He's still got a lot of PR to do to enter the hearts of everyone who isn't a 13-year old girl, but this is a nice start.

Folk Rock is Back: "Ho Hey" by The Lumineers

I didn't expect these guys to make the Final List here, but hey ho here they are. This track didn't really blow up like Mumford & Sons in 2010, but it still had a nice little presence this Summer. It's a nice happy song, great for Summer Chilling. I'm not sure the Lumineers have great potential as a band, but this was nice for them.

Guerrila Guetta Warfare: "Titanium" by David Guetta ft. Sia

I have an uncontrollable seething hatred for David Guetta. He's just such an enormous talentless douchebag. His beats are repetitive, uninteresting, shallow, and hollow. Let that not distract us from Sia, who has a nice voice that tends to fit more on tracks like this, as well as singing Flo Rida hooks than jumping out on her own (though you could have argued the exact same for Ke$ha early in her career). Should Sia start dressing like a prostitute? Please don't.

Make Out Anthem of Summer: "Tongue Tied" by Grouplove

This was a great track to have a nice run this summer. It's fresh, jammable, and is all about hooking up - quite possibly the perfect Summer Message. Grouplove has had a handful of mild hits now, and tho this didn't really hit mainstream as much as some other songs here, it was still heavily featured just about everywhere this Summer, and we're glad for it.

Cooter Blowing Anthem: "Whistle" by Flo Rida

Flo Rida was constructed in a secret government lab to combine hard rapping with a pop friendly demeanor and competent beats to become the perfect Summer Jam producer. He sure is ugly, though, huh? "Whistle" is the best fellatio-themed anthem in recent memory, and an absolutely chill song - a perfect Summer masterpiece.

Anachronistic Anthem: "Payphone" by Maroon 5

Do Maroon 5 fans know what payphones are? This track got huge this Summer, despite the high levels of irritation it deposits on all its listeners. The decline of Maroon 5's talent can be tied directly to their astronomical rise in popularity as well as Adam Levine's obnoxious presence on NBC's The Voice. They are certainly Overexposed, as their new album suggests, and we're all worse off for it.

The Break-Up Anthem: "Wide Awake" by Katy Perry

Somehow Katy continues popping out hits, though this Jam didn't exactly reach the extreme levels of ubiquity of just about every hit she put out from 2010 - 2011. I ranted at long lengths this summer how hypocritical this song is, as if Perry truly abhors all the fame and attention she has gotten since she Kissed a Girl way back when. It's largely bullshit, but people eat it up and tend to buy into her faux-messages. Another one in the can.

The Final Anthem: "Call Me Maybe" by Carly Rae Jepsen.

Rihanna. B.E.P. Carly Rae? Out of no where this chick ruled Summer 2012, even taking over the Olympic Games. I think her likeability has to do with her supposed innocence, flirtatious nature, and the ridiculous simultaneous stickiness and stupidity of this track. Carly Rae joins the ranks of many of the great Summer Hit-makers, and this one, I'm sure no one could have predicted. Except for Justin Bieber, of course.

Close Calls

There were plenty of other great jams like Nicki Minaj's "Starships" (Nicki seemed like she put out a dozen songs this summer, none of which really caught on), No Doubt's "Settle Down," Pink's "Blow Me," and Taylor Swift's "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together," which ought to be a good Fall Jam. We can add The Black Keys' presence in every commercial from May to June. There wasn't really a huge ubiquitous rap song, but Rick Ross, Kanye, and Wheezy all made some great efforts. Wiz Khalifa and Big Sean also popped up everywhere, and if they don't soon become the new Superstars of Hip-Hop I'd be astounded. Even if they tend to not have much more behind their lyrics than insanely clever phrases.

So that's it, folks. I hope your Summer was as great (or let's go with much greater) than this - we'll see ya next May!

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