26 August 2013

Summer Jam Week 16: Imagine some Dragons, Robins, and a Hot Mess named Miley

Welcome to the penultimate week of Summer, folks! As all the little bastard children get ready to trot on off back to school the Hottest Summer Jams are winding down, but it's looking more and more like a certain rape-y song will become the Season's Victor. Barring an extreme 11th Hour upset, "Blurred Lines" is the place to be. Here are the rest of the week's winners:

Hot Jam of the Week: "Demons" by Imagine Dragons

I mentioned this track a few weeks back as a possible second monster hit for the group, although it's admittedly a much weaker jam than "Radioactive." This still isn't really going anywhere, but it's fiery enough to get the Hot Spot this week, as forgettable as the song is.

Pretty Girls, Bright Lights: "Treasure" by Bruno Mars

While this song never became teh super-jam I thought it could be at one point, its summer has still been pretty pointed. After a few weeks off this rundown, "Treasure" comes back in a real mild way, but still as funky as ever. It remains one of the more listenable songs of the summer, but ultimately may not have a truly significant place in Bruno's catalog.

Put Your Hands Together: "Applause" by Lady GaGa

After a unique VMAs performance it's clear that GaGa wants back in the spotlight. Unfortunately on Monday morning the only thing on people's minds seems to be Miley's performance (more on that later). "Applause" is a solid introductory song to GaGa's new style and sound, although it hasn't really changed all that much. It's clear she's trying pretty hard to be an "artist," or at least whatever she thinks our concept of a serious "artist" should be. "Applause" isn't really a "Telephone" and certainly not a "Bad Romance," but a serviceable reminder that GaGa is still out there somewhere.

Still Glowing: "Radioactive" by Imagine Dragons

Does this jam have legs or what? "Radioactive" is still kicking around, and thanks to the monster hit, Imagine Dragons can be considered a major current rock power player. At least, that is, until their next jam bombs and they fade from all our memories like a Modern Day Gotye. That's right. Imagine Dragons are pretty solid, though, and ought to keep churning out the hits. Until then, they'll be milking the intensity "Radioactive" for all its got.

Indiana Jones and the: "Holy Grail" by Jay-Z ft. Justin Timberlake

It's such a shame that JT is the best part of this song when Jay-Z was actually used pretty well on "Suit and Tie." Typically random collabos like that are just mash-ups that don't really add anything to a track (see also: will.i.am's horrendous rhymes on Ke$ha's "Crazy Kids"). Here Jay-Z doesn't add anything to his own song, although half of JT's lyrics don't even flow into what he's singing either. The problem with this kind of mafioso rap that reaches for the stars is that it's so easy to fall short, and when you do there's no real excuse for an artist with a self-imposed "Greatest Musician of All Time" title to suck eggs. Sorry, J.

Boogie Oogie Oogie: "Get Lucky" by Daft Punk ft. Pharrell

Having a music video certainly would have helped Daft Punk get that final push to Legendary Summer Jam status, but I also dig how they totally don't give a shit about any of that. They're content with just making awesome music, and we ought to be content listening to one of the more engrossing tracks of the Season. Still, with lots of VMA buzz, the next two winners this week get a final edge over DP and P.

Holy Shit, Girl: "We Can't Stop" by Miley Cyrus

I don't really give a shit about Miley Cyrus, and frankly, her performance wasn't all that shocking or even that sexy. It's a little awkward to see Miley really whoring it up on Robin Thicke, who is like 16 years older than her, but anyone who has paid attention to Miley's recent career, or even seen the video for "We Can't Stop" could have seen this coming. There are more troubling comments such as the idea that Miley's wildside stems from her virtual lack of a childhood akin to many other child artists whose upbringings were very controlled, and her bizarre and possibly racist appropriation of black culture. If anything, Miley does inspire some good debate. The whole thing is pretty insane.

Hail to the King (Probably): "Blurred Lines" by Robin Thicke ft. T.I. and Pharrell

Just when it seemed to appear that "Blurred Lines" was finally on its way out, it comes back in a big way this week. This has just about unequivocally been THE Jam of Summer, but there is one week left for someone Daft Punk-ish to upset the master. Considering the album that contains "Blurred Lines," Blurred Lines is also picking up sales, this song may not be going anywhere soon. Because you know, how else are people going to hear the song? They have to buy the album, that's how. Because the current year is 1967.

Next week...

It's all coming down to this folks - Week 17! The Final Week of Summer! As Labour Day looms large and dreary, we'll run through one more week of Jams and then recount the entire Season of Sun to determine which song and artist is finally crowned True Summer Royalty! Stay tuned, folks, it's all coming down to this!

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