19 August 2013

Summer Jam Week 15: GaGa vs. Katy Again!

We're officially in Summer Wind-down mode now, folks, but there are still some hot jams to cling to. We've got an upset at number one, near vanishes from most of the hottest tracks that have been cruising all Season and more new fuzz than you can shake a hamster with. That's got to be an idiom somewhere. Let's do it:

Hot Jam of the Week: "Applause" by Lady GaGa



GaGa has been pretty quiet lately, but everything she's done in the last couple weeks seems to point to her coming back in a very big and very weird way. From her completely insane Abramovic Method video where she got straight-up naked (it's about time) to her leaked "Applause" track, and as of six hours ago, a video as well, everything is coming up GaGa. While she was once a staple of Summer Jams, a Crown has continually eluded her. From "Alejandro" in 2010 to "Judas", "Yoü and I", and "The Edge of Glory" in 2011, she's always been around, but not quite a clincher. "Applause" is coming out way too late to really be considered jam-worthy, but can she set things up to be a 2014 Summer Champion? We're always cheering for GaGa.

Close Call, Cloverfield: "Roar" by Katy Perry

It seems like Katy and GaGa tend to release competing singles in tandem, although in the past couple years, Katy Perry has had far more commercial success. That's not to say that GaGa hasn't really been successful, but Katy's run of #1 hits is nothing short of pop legend. Also, when I hear "Roar" I still of course think of the overture from Cloverfield (2008), which is a much better track than Katy's version. Grrr.

Douches of the Year: "Can't Believe It" by Flo Rida ft. Pitbull

I'm not saying that there is any evidence of Pitbull ever raping somebody - but you've got think that he's not a dude who believes that "no means no." This is probably one of the more overtly douchey songs in recent memory, which literally deconstructs females into walking asses. That hook "white girl got some ass" is sure to play nicely in suburbia, though, and you've got think that if this had some more time it could have caught on a bit more this summer. Still, what a pairing, right? This is also the most hastily thrown together, cheap CGI'd video I've seen in a long damn time. Congrats, douchebags.

Speaking of Douchebags: "Blurred Lines" by Robin Thicke ft. T.I. and Pharrell.

Robin Thicke actually also has a new jam out this week, "Give It 2 U" ft. Kendrick Lamar, which does not parallel "Blurred Lines" at all. Thicke may be resigned to be another Gotye or Carly Rae, who has a huge Summer Jam and is then relegated back to obscurity. A one-hit wonder, if you will. "Blurred Lines" does seem like such an anomaly - a mania fueled as much by the charisma of Emily Ratajkowski as the most infectious beat in years. You got it.

Back in Back: "Same Love" by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis ft. Mary Lambert

Yeah I feel bad about that joke. "Same Love" seemed to surge up a bit this week after a few weeks of teetering out there. It's certainly been a big Summer for Macklemore, although "Can't Hold Us" burned out a bit too early to really be in jam-worthy contention right now. "Same Love" has been really solid, but its achievement ought to be in bringing homosexuality more into the cultural norm than from being a really popular hit jam. And that's really the best result we could hope for.

The Queen's Baby: "Royals" by Lorde

Lorde probably doesn't deserve to be so high this week, but I'm digging the hell out of this track and nothing else seems especially catchy. It ought to be dying out pretty soon, though, and remembered forever only by me. It has one of the better hooks of the Summer, though, and itched its way onto my playlist sooner than just about anything else did this Season. Kudos to Lorde.

Robo-Fever: "Get Lucky" by Daft Punk ft. Pharrell

What can we say - "Get Lucky" remains a very hot jam. I imagine this summer will come down to a countdown between this and "Blurred Lines" for the final champion, not unlike LMFAO and Adele a few years back. "Can't Hold Us" may be in there, but ultimately it's down to these two. "Get Lucky" has held up way stronger down the stretch, but the cultural influence is all Thicke. Who gets the crown? We've got a few more weeks to firm things up.

Oh, and This is #1: "Clarity" by Zedd ft. Foxes

This track was everywhere this week. Somehow. See, sometimes I can really call what songs are going to blow up big, and other times I am way off. I counted this jam out as an obscure one-week wonder, but here we are, this jam is everywhere. It is a pretty damn attractive song, although despite its late-Season run up, it doesn't really have a chance to be the Queen of Summer.

Next week...

I mentioned Thicke's new jam, "Give It 2 U", and we'll certainly be keeping an ear on that during the penultimate week of Summer. Other than that, it's likely to be GaGa, Katy, and Foxes from here on out, so stay tuned to see the last minute shake-ups!

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