04 August 2014

Summer Jam Week 13: (Finger) Bang You Into My Life!

August! Nice to see you. We're entering the final month of Summer, folks, and it would appear that the Quest for the Greatest Summer Jam of 2014 is all but wrapped up in a fancy little package. But we're going to continue this masturbatory effort, anyway, because frankly, Summer Jams is why I wake up in the morning. I live and eat this stuff.

Hot Jam of the Week: "Bang Bang" by Jessie J ft. Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj

Here's one thing I really don't understand: this is a dream team of vocal artists right now, but why in a song that features both Ariana and Nicki is Jessie J the most featured voice? That's like a Destiny's Child song featuring Michelle Williams, or if "Moulin Rouge" focused on Maya instead of Christina Aguilera. I'm not trying to hate, but this it's kind of ridiculous that this track isn't able to ride Ariana's "Problem" stardom. This is nitpicky criticism - it's a damn catchy tune, if a little overproduced.

Noventa y Nueve: "Problem" by Ariana Grande ft. Iggy Azalea

Speaking of Ariana, this is duper low this week because I think this jam has really reached a low point. It's still ubiquitous as hell, but everyone has really stopped caring about it. It'll get to that point where it's really being milked, probably as a featured track in Fall Singing shows like The Voice or something (although can you imagine an amateur singing this? It'd be awful). But yeah, I'm over it.

Make Love to Me: "Come Get it Bae" by Pharrell ft. Miley Cyrus

This has been an underrated jam all summer that sort of blew its wad early then retreated to the background but it's still a pretty sick jam. Pharrell has to try really hard to make a faulty jam right now, but it's Miley's cooing that elevates this one this time around. That and that nippy guitar strum. It really makes me feel like making love, hence its title. It also landed a video this week, so here you go.

Spoof! I mean...POOF! "Rude" by MAGIC!

I was hesitant to include this because I think it really burned out after a couple weeks of being on the Top of the Hot 100, but it's still up there, so oh well. It was like a flash fire though, man - I didn't hear much of it this week, although it's still a good way to respond to anyone being rude "Why you gotta be so rude?!" is a common Summer 2014 phrase. But then the song is about bypassing a girl's father's approval for marriage. That's not rude, it's just forbidding or maybe pretty well founded. I wouldn't want my daughter marrying MAGIC!.

Bam Bam: "Disclosure" by Latch ft. Sam Smith

So this is basically background song week - I haven't really acknowledged this enough yet, but here's Sam Smith's companion jam to "Stay With Me" that's been a bit overshadowed. It's got the thumper beat courtesy of Latch which makes it a pretty rad chill jam. But it's absolutely a background song rather than anything that's going to change your life.

50s Housewife Drunk: "Wasted" by Tiesto ft. Matthew Koma

I can't really stand Tiesto and I have no idea at all what Koma contributes to this jam, but it's another fun song that's lurked more in the shadows this summer. It's pretty straightforward EDM but it's got enough conventional pop beats to cross over into Top 40 airplay, even though "I like us better when we're wasted" is a decently horrible message. I mean, I'm definitely one to get wasted, but I'm not going to be proud of that. damn, Tiesto. What a douchebag.

Be Vewy Quiet, I'm Hunting: "Habits" by Tove Lo

I really dig this jam and I'm going to express that as frequently as possible through this meager weekly rundown. It has a curious little rolling beat, a lonely lyrical quality, and a passionate batch of vocals out of the pipes of Tove Lo. What a wild thing. It's also more of a Sunday morning coming down song than a Saturday night get pumped jam, but Summer needs those, too, folks.

Prancy: "Fancy" by Iggy Azalea ft. Charlie XCX

There's almost no question that "Fancy" is outpacing its sister jam, "Problem" by now. This song has cray cray ubiquity and has proven its cultural influence to be pretty significant. The next few weeks are going to be critical though for its legacy - will it really be forever linked to Summer 2014 on its own or does "Problem" need to be part of that conversation? And is it making Iggy into a star or a novelty act? I'm curious how "Fancy" evolves, but it captures so much attitude that I'm still digging it hard now. Actually this week was the first time I really tried to understand the lyrics (I failed) so that will keep it interesting for a while.

Next week...

I was cautious about leaving out Charlie XCX's "Boom Clap" but I think it may have just had its time in the sun last week. Since we highlighted so many under-the-rug jams this week I also feel bad for leaving out Nicki's "Pills N Potions" which has also been a constant presence this summer but hasn't really made the waves something like "Super Bass" did. And that video is so insane! We'll see who can still fight to the top!

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