25 May 2015

Summer Jam Week 3: Kendrick and Taylor Rule

Ah Memorial Day. This is the moment where Summer Truly begins for many people across the country. With that kind of lofty status, it's an integral component of the ascendancy of a tasty Summer Jam. And this week our contenders are truly taking shape in the form of some very familiar faces that keep stunning again and again. Let's dig into the Memorial Day Jams:

Hot Jam of the Week: "Bad Blood" by Taylor Swift ft. Kendrick Lamar

Yep. There's no real question this is the hottest new jam that dropped last week and I may already posit that it's in an extremely good position to be if not THE Song of Summer 2015, at least a very highly ranked Jam. It's extremely catchy, has a interesting, if not entirely coherent music video stocked with cameos, and most of all, rides on two of the hottest contemporary artists. I love the love between Kendrick and Taylor that's been stewing for a while now. I also love every single part of this video. Taylor's fab hair as she's kicked out the window. Her complete unrealization of what kind of video she's in at the 3:36 mark. Kendrick rocking the Dodgers hat while everyone else is a combination of Mad Max, Kill Bill, and The Fifth Element (1997). It's fantastic.

Bring the Funk: "King Kunta" by Kendrick Lamar

I want to keep the Kendrick rolling for a little bit here. I don't think this jam is really popular nationwide on the level of some of these other pop songs, but I watched this video eve more than I did "Bad Blood" this week. It's one of the best rap tracks I've heard in a long time, even if it's more a canny hodge-podge of Mausberg, Michael Jackson, James Brown, and Ahmed Lewis. For some reason I just love the cinematography in the video, maybe because it's so cramped, limited, and simple while still being so fun and funky, which undercuts its amazing lyrics. I don't think "King Kunta" will be King of Summer, but listen to this song!

Just Breathe: "American Oxygen" by Rihanna

I don't know what "American Oxygen" is, but I suppose that's the puzzle of this jam. I'd contend it's just the concept of every immigrant in this country trying to get a piece of that precious American air, the lifeblood of the new American dream. Totally not that catchy or totally summer-y, and as I talked about with "Bitch Better Have My Money" last week, probably dropped too early to truly make an impact. Still, a soulful Rihanna American Ballad, even if it doesn't totally strike down the plate is a nice lick.

Who? "Somebody" by Natalie La Rose ft. Jeremih

I'm probably pimping this track out far too much, but whatever, I still like it. It's the sexiest song on the list this week and even with its simplistic, undeveloped beat and monotonous lyrical content, it possesses a keen rhythm that allows for a fun Summer Moment. And that's all this song will last for - the moment, but that's notable to call out.

Ode to Monogomy: "Honey, I'm Good" by Andy Grammer

The bumping positivity of this jam is crazy and contagious and the way it rips through its knee-slapping rhythm sets it up to be a grand Summer Track. I am still curious about its legs, especially when braced against the typical cynicism that comes with pop culture. It has the potential, though and it's distinctive enough in a retro way to gain some deserved notoriety this season.

Shut Your Talking Hole: "Shut Up and Dance"

You know, I take it back, in its own way, this could be the sexiest video of the week. It's so damn fun in a way that also effectively cuts through a lot of romantic bullshit in favor of just going with the moment. Again - that moment! It's all about the moment. Summer is fleeting. Stop thinking about and SHUT UP AND DANCE!!! That's what this jam is all about and although it felt like a lot less people were humming it this week, it's still a fairly potent force.

Queen of the Clouds: "Talking Body" by Tove Lo.

Okay, this is the sexiest song of the week. No, but really, this is an epic jam that's strong and soulful with having just the right level of catchiness in its hook to really crossover into mainstream pop. That being said, I don't think it's actually been soaring all that much outside of this list, but who cares, I love dishing on my favourite tunes of the week. I also don't think that Tove Lo is a carbon copy Fifth Harmony pop star, which also gives her that hard sought credibility of genuinity. I can dig it.

Fine: "See You Again" by Wiz Khalifa ft. Charlie Purth

Alright so I finally caved and gave this the number one spot. After really digesting the Jams this week there wasn't really any other clear winner, and this song just keeps crushing it and is totally listenable nearly two months after its debut. I usually give high-level jams about a three-month lifespan, but it's also possible that "See You Again" crushes that. How high can this thing soar? When everyone deals with loss and pain and can relate to how elegant this track translates those emotions, there's no limit, brother.

Next Week...

I was mighty tempted to throw in "Earned It" by The Weeknd, along with its sister Fifty Shades of Grey (2015) jam, Ellie Goulding's "Love Me Like You Do" but I remain unconvinced of their hotness. I would also be hard-pressed to not include Maroon 5's "This Summer's Gonna Hurt like a Motherfucker" which is a weird hard swearing departure from what they usually do, but that's got Jam written all over it. Stay Tuned!

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