22 July 2013

Summer Jam Week 11: Treasure Can't Stop the Party

We're hitting some peak vacay time in the middle of July, and the race for the most Jamworthy Track of Summer is really heating up. There were a tremendous amount of debuts this week, and it was tough to narrow it down. Be sure to check out the preview for next week for more:

Hot Jam of the Week: "Holy Grail" by Jay-Z ft. Justin Timberlake

Magna Carta...Holy Grail really isn't that great. Neither is this song, which is kind of all over the place, from smooth JT lyrics to a little "Smells Like Teen Spirit" for some reason, to intense break downs, then Jay- going "uh uh uh." It's completely schizophrenic and no part of it is that catchy. Still, it's doing OK, though I can't imagine this taking off. It's certainly no "Suit and Tie."

Chernobyl Style: "Radioactive" by Imagine Dragons

It's safe to say by now that this track has put Imagine Dragons on the map and is here to stay for the summer, even though every week I think it has overstayed its welcome. To be honest, it's not all that stale yet somehow, which is a testament to the throbbing beat, the passionate vocals, and the completely boffo music video.

Need Somebody: "Love Somebody" by Maroon 5

Maroon 5 is getting good at cranking out the most generic alt rock / pop tracks imaginable, and this one is no exception. It's so bland and forgettable, although it seems to be catching on a little bit. The rad music video helps. Still, this is such innocuous, mind-shutting down music, nothing stands out. Maybe that makes it a bit better for party background music. In that case, no where to go but up I suppose.

Crank the AC: "Cruise (Remix)" by Florida Georgia Line ft. Nelly

This track is starting to have a bit of cultural cache, connecting hip-hop and country fans alike. That said, it hasn't really caught on entirely like it needs to or could have considering the possible market for big country crossover hits. My guess is unlike Lady Antebellum, the country parts were way too country (they are severely twangy), and the Nelly parts were too Nellyish for it to really fly up and away. It's become a pretty widely known song, but far from a Summer King.

Robots in Paradise: "Get Lucky" by Daft Punk ft. Pharrell

If you haven't yet had the chacne to read the Rolling Stone interview with Pharrell, where he ruminates at length about how "Get Lucky" was inspired by philosophical concepts of capturing the moment of the present as opposed to the past or future, you should definitely read how crazy this dude sounds. It's also apparently clear that Daft Punk are robots and Pharrell is a vampire. It's still a groovy track and worthy of all its Summer Praise and electro crossover appeal.

Titties Everywhere: "Blurred Lines" by Robin Thicke ft. Pharrell and T.I.

In what is probably the most iconic video of the year so far, I'm still not sure how Robin Thicke got three topless models on YouTube. From the smut and chauvinist perspective, filming this video also looks like the funnest experience ever. From a female empowerment perspective, probably not so much. The most iconic video of the year is also the most controversial, for no reasons that are really legitimate. It is sad that three popular music stars can shoot a video with three topless broads like this and have it become one of the forerunners for Summer Jam of 2013 but what can you do? I suppose we need a team of lady artists to come up with some Banana Hammock-themed monster hit next year, right? I'm not sure that would work. Demeaning or not, this song is catchy as hell, and it'd take a heady upset to properly derail its Summer King chances.

All Twerk and No Play: "We Can't Stop" by Miley Cyrus

Speaking of super crazy music videos, welcome to the party, Miley. I'm not sure which part I like best - the money sandwich, the faux finger slicing, the teddy bear dances, or just the massive amounts of twerking and mugging at the camera. I just want to listen to Miley sing more about standing in bathroom lines. And doing lines in the bathroom. It's this crazy aggressive assertion of her maturity and sexuality, but it's kind of amiss because it's totally immature and really confused sexually. That could be intentional. I hope so. Party on, girl.

Funk City: "Treasure" by Bruno Mars

With Sad Mouse no where to be found, Bruno gets the #1 spot with "Treasure" this week. The track is really popping out loud and is become the kind of ubiquitous song a true Summer Jam needs to be. For the first time in many years the real Summer Jam isn't totally obvious, with many contenders all vying for the crown. There a still a few weeks left though - can "Treasure" hold on? "Get Lucky" and "Blurred Lines" are probably the best competition right now, unless Macklemore can get back into the game. Stay tuned, folks!

Next Week...

Okay, folks, in addition to Jay-Z, competitors for the Hot Jam of the week included songs such as Demi Lovato's "Made in the USA," which is a fairly awful song that could have benefited at least somewhat from being released a few weeks prior during Independence Weekend.There are also new songs breaking from Of Monsters and Men and Imagine Dragons that are no where near as good as the big songs each band is known for. Finally, Bowie dropped a single this week. Not sure why this didn't drop in January or February, but whatevs. "Valentine's Day" is about as good as any other aging Rock Star's modern track is. And that guitar riff does feel a lot like Ziggy. Will any of these Jams crawl up the charts to be considered for a Summer Throne? Unlikely - but check in next week
 as we wrap up July!

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