13 May 2013

Summer Jam Week 1: Have you heard of this Macklemore guy?

Here we go! It's Summer once again, and so it's time for one of Norwegian Morning Wood's greatest bits, the Countdown to the SUMMER JAM! Who will grab it all and claim the THRONE of SUMMER?! Previous winners we have tracked include the incorrigible rhymes of "Call Me Maybe," "Party Rock Anthem," and "California Gurls." Clearly this is some illustrious company. Our search is find that one immortal jam that we'll always remember the Summer of 2013 by. We'll run this every Summer Monday until Labor Day. It usually takes a few weeks to really take off, but let's take a look at the Winners for the Week ending on May 12th, 2013:

Hot Jam of the Week:

We'll keep filling the first slot with the hottest new jam of the week. This is for the freshest sounds only, and the songs may or may not catch on. This week the honor goes to Janelle Monáe, her super-weird hair, and Erykah Badu for Q.U.E.E.N. This track is lively and spritely as hell and would be a very welcome Summer Jam track. Monáe is far from mainstream, but her presence on one of the most overplayed tracks of last  year, fun.'s "We Are Young" may elevate her exposure. Still, this is far more funky than that. Still, I'm Skylar Digging it.

The Spanish Rihanna: "Gangsta" by Kat Dahlia

Seriously, doesn't Dahlia sound like a beefy version of Rihanna? Maybe it's just me. This is probably the best song of the week with some substantive lyrical content coupled with a smooth yet aggressive flow that matches the attitude and tone of the track. It's a spectacular track, and while it's not the most popular in mainstream radio play out there right now, worth some recognition. Any Miami song (even if it's um...highlighting some significant domestic problems among the Cuban population in Miami) is proper for Summer, right?

Pop goes the Weasel: "I Love It" by Icona Pop ft. Charli XCX

This song's popularity peaked a few weeks ago and it's on the downslide now, but it's still a pretty damn invigorating track. The bridge is one of the zazziest in years, and while the beat leaves something more to be desired rather than the derivative drums, there's just enough swagger here to make it a highly enjoyable track. Actually re-listening to it now I think I'm just in love with that bridge.

London Calling: "Next to Me" by Emeli Sandé 

We here at Norwegian Morning Wood are just specializing in underrated ethnic female singers now. Sandé is a refreshing new voice on the pop scene after establishing herself across the pond with a few singles that have landed as well as performances at both the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the 2012 Olympics. "Next to Me" is a smooth, feel good song that could take off, although it's been around for a while. Like, a super-long while. She's probably donezo.

The Actual Rihanna: "Stay" by Rihanna ft. Mikky Ekko

Tub fun. "Stay" is one of Rihanna's best songs lately and you can tell there's a bit of pain behind those vocals, which is strange, because she's had so many functional relationships lately. Seriously, Rihanna has one of the greatest attitudes in music, and is more punk rock than most rockers who self-identify as such. She will not listen to you. She will make her own mistakes and emerge stronger. She's damn proud of that, and now that she's separated, hopefully for good, from woman-beater Chris Brown, she'll get her personal life on track. A lot of that is in "Stay."

Hulked Out: "Radioactive" by Imagine Dragons

"It's Time" was OK, but Imagine Dragons have really landed on the rock scene with "Radioactive." This video came out a while ago, and I remember watching it thinking it was one of the strangest things I have ever seen. Glad to see it's back and gaining traction. We should always call attention to underground Muppet fights. That big double drum whack pumps me up every time.

Two Shots: "Can't Hold Us" by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis 

It's good to know that Macklemore & Ryan Lewis will now at the minimum be a two-hit wonder. After plugging in with the goofy crazy catchy "Thrift Shop," they've greatly elevated their game with "Can't Hold Us." There's a lot more to Macklemore than meets the eye, including the fact that he's been sober for four years, completely produces his own albums independent of any studio, and he's got one of the best flows for a white guy since Eminem. I think he's here to stay, and whenever I think otherwise that "give a little speed to a great white shark on shark week" line corrects me every time.

Red: "Just Give Me a Reason" by Pink

Pink's longevity is actually pretty impressive. She hardly ever really fades from the spotlight, even if it's fairly rare that she gets a #1 single. There always seems to be some crappy Pink song floating around there somewhere. Having said that, it's even more impressive that "Just Give Me a Reason" may be the greatest song she's ever produced in her long career. Just think about those "Moulin Rouge" girls (yes, if you've been following NMW, that's the second "Moulin Rouge" reference in four days) now. What are Maya and Lil' Kim up to? How about Christina since The Voice besides appearing in plus-sized dating sites? Oof. This track isn't going anywhere and that's a pretty good testament to Pink.

Next Week...

I was considering Taylor Swift's anthem about being in the 22nd year of her life, although I think I've heard that more in Coke commercials than on the radio. I'm also waiting for Selena Gomez's weird creepy announcement to the world that she's sexual now, "Come and Get It" to take off, although I dread it. You may be 19, Selena, but you still look like you're straight up 11. Remember Britney at 19? Fucking bombshell. Selena, you ain't there yet girl. I'm also kind of enchanted by the rhythm of the Robin Thicke track, "Blurred Lines," but we'll see if that actually takes off any time soon.

Stay tuned folks, there's a ton of tasty Jam left!!

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