12 May 2014

Summer Jam Week 1: The Legend of John Legend

Listen here, folks - it's time for the Summer Jam Countdown 2014, and this Summer promises to be one of the hottest ever. Steaming, even. Each week until Labour Day we'll be tracking the hottest jams of the week, fresh beats and smooth tracks only need apply. Past winners include immortal tracks from Rihanna's "Umbrella" in 2007 all the way up to Robin Thicke's date rape opus in 2013. Who will take home the Crown this year and forever be linked to the Summer of 2014? Keep logging in every Monday morning until the leaves turn brown to find out!

Hot Jam of the Week: "Summer" by Calvin Harris

I'm always curious about these explicitly summer tracks that seem to try way to hard to become a Summer Jam. It's an informal title, after all. It's not like LMFAO set out to rule 2011. This song kind of sucks, too. There's nothing really revolutionary about the beat or subject matter, which makes it pretty damn forgettable. I can see this gaining traction as people get pumped up for the Summer Months but it'll fall pretty hard far before fall.

The Prestige: "Magic" by Coldplay

"Magic" seems like just another solid Coldplay song in a "Fix You" or "Speed of Sound" sort of way and not a really incredible song like a "Violet Hill" or a "Paradise" sort of way. It's kind of boring, but pretty chill, and definitely palatable. Which is why Coldplay sells a ton of records. Anybody can put it on at anytime and it's pretty okay, but not challenging. I thought they were done after Mylo Xyloto (2011) anyway.

The First Couple Strikes Again: "Part II (On the Run)" by Jay-Z ft. Beyonce

This song is a little old but it's had some nice airplay lately and is infinitely listenable. Bey isn't really killing it like her secret album, and as far as collabos between these two go, "Drunk in Love" is still the high tally mark. Still, this sequel to 2003's "Bonnie & Clyde" earns its stripes with competent cooing from Queen B and Jay strutting through an old school cadence. As far as Summer goes, this won't last too long, but we can dig it.

Reznoriffic: "Satellite" by Nine Inch Nails

I'm not sure if Reznor is more conforming to modern day electronica or if EDM just owes that much of a debt to him, but even thought modern NIN isn't really the same band that would show up at Hullabalooza, "Satellite" is still an engaging track. It grows and permeates like the mature output that an Oscar-winning composer should produce and Reznor's voice is more suited to this style than anything else NIN has came up with in recent memory.

I Do Understand: "Talk Dirty" by Jason Derulo ft. 2 Chainz

It's wild what a well-placed trumpet can do for a song, right? It lends this otherwise dumb song a solid New Orleans Jazz flair and Derulo a bonafide hit. I can't really figure out if Derulo is worthy of attention as an R&B artist - I mean, who cares about "Ridin' Solo" today? 2 Chainz tends to save this track, though, and he's just ridiculous enough as this new wave of intense hip-hop artists (Future comes to mind) to pay attention to.

Inuition: "La La La" by Naughty Boy ft. Sam Smith

I'm captivated by the calm progression of this track, as well as the video which is cute as hell. There's this build to the eponymous "la la la's" that really grab me. The beat is minimal and the singing isn't really groundbreaking, but that childlike chorus is catchy as hell. The video is simultaneously surreal, grounded, bizarre, and comforting, which leads to a trip. It's a bit past its prime radio airplay, we'll see if this can make a run.

Put in Work: "Fancy" by Iggy Azalea ft. Charlie XCX

I'm wondering when Iggy Azalea is going to transition from underrated to overexposed. It may be soon. I kind of passed on "Work" actually, but she's really showcasing what a blonde white Australian girl can do with a full articulated hardcore rapper voice. Charlie XCX, last seen with Icona Pop last summer is a perfect addition during the bridge. It's also always a pleasure to watch Jimmy Fallon's lip sync version. I don't think this will be the last time Iggy is on this Winner's List.

Wedding Season: "All of Me" by John Legend

This is kind of a weird way to kick off the Summer Jam Season, but John Legend's wedding video will have to do. This track was clearly all over the place this week and just kind of dominated everything. I don't really think it has the legs to last that long this summer, but it's nice for the criminally underrated Legend to gain some public recognition.

Next week...

We're just getting started, folks. May is a brutal jam month, and it's very rare that any of these tracks will have the stamina to last long enough to become a true Summer icon. The race is wide open, though, and I wouldn't count out Iggy or Legend in particular. Stay tuned to find out who moves up and down and who becomes true Summer Royalty!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails