27 July 2015

Summer Jam Week 12: Too Many Southpaw References to Make a Good Post

Well we're about to close out July which means it's do or die time for most of the hot tracks that are surging out there trying to vie for the opportunity to be named True Summer Royalty - THE Hot Jam of Summer 2015. There's still room for songs to move up or down and even a decent shot at something brand new and fantastic to drop and win its way into our hearts. It's unlikely that anyone at this point is going to make real significant waves, but there's certainly room to break into our Final Top 8. Without further adieu, let's talk about the last week of July:

Hot Jam of the Week: "Kings Never Die" by Eminem ft. Gwen Stefani

Eminem apparently contributed a few songs to the Southpaw (2015) soundtrack, and this is a little better than the ubiquitous "Phenomenal" featured in most of the marketing material. It's almost a bit odd that Em hooked up with Stefani to add the chorus vocals here, because he'll usually pair with any random broad with adequate pipes like Skylar Grey or the dozens of contributors to The Marshall Mathers LP 2. You know, outside of Rihanna. Neither this jam nor Southpaw has a huge chance of busting out, but it's cool for this week.

Lookee Here: "Watch Me" by Silentó

I still can't believe that Silentó is a 17-year old High School Senior, but there you go. I'm also curious to see how his career will change when he hits puberty. Seriously, it's tough to pin him for a dude during that opening shout-out. He's still having the best Senior Summer of anyone in the country right now, and to add to that career prediction, I believe I can safely say that he won't really have to worry about his voice dropping. Quick, what was the last album that J-Kwon put out?

Electric Rasta: "Lean On" by Major Lazer

"Lean On" churns out another stellar week, but I have a gut feeling it's about to crack. I mean, truthfully I am always wrong about these sort of things, but it feels like it hit a peak. Then again, this could just be a valley and not a permanent sentencing. I'd be curious if "Lean On" paves the way for other Major Lazer jams to break, for which there's been plenty. The cartoon show is crazily hit or miss, but also pretty addictive. I'm game. Better than Diplo...

Numb'd: "Can't Feel My Face" by The Weeknd

The Weeknd has been quietly having a pretty good year, actually, and I haven't found as much room for them in these weekly lists. He's just not typically my bag, although with this track I'm reconsidering. He deftly treads that line between pop and R&B. I also get a weird young Michael Jackson vibe at times from Abel Tesfaye's voice, which is solid. Also I did not realise that The Weeknd is just one dude. And it's really hard not to type that third "e" each time, dammit. I haven't had to written about an artist this grammatically frustrating since fun.

Southpaw Theme: "Fight Song" by Rachel Platten

Much more appropriate for Southpaw than "Phenomenal." I mean - fight song! Fight songs. Right? I don't give a shit about Rachel Platten, and although this is conceivably a pretty empowering jam, it's far too uninteresting a composition to grab my attention in any kind of meaningful way. It's kind of nice to hum along to absent-mindedly, but that's not my goal. My goal is rocking out to tasty hot summer jams!

Is it: "Worth It" by Fifth Harmony

Yeah! That's more like it. No, no, this song is terrible and this group is so damn weird and their artistry is so visibly forced through the creepy hand of Simon Cowell and his ever-growing plot to manipulate young hot women into singing generic songs to further his slowly crumbling empire. It got some nice commercial exposure this week in some commercial that I forget whose product it was selling exactly. Chocolate or something? Who cares. All I want is to be able to distinguish any of their voices. Maybe. And that green-eyed black guy in that video freaks me out.

Cool for the Bummer: "Cool for the Summer" by Demi Lovato

This song has less earned this spot on its own than being anointed by a populace thirsty for explicit summer-based pop jams. We haven't had any this year, which is damn right ridiculous, so Demi's there to fill a gap, which is awesome timing for a woman who usually misses the boat. Anyway, we just got a video for this forgettable song, and with a solid gap in obvious Summer Jams right now, this could make a run for it.

Living Up to The Name: "Bad Blood" by Tay Sway

Ranking #1 again, finally, comes "Bad Blood" again, despite a week full of mild controversy between Taylor and Nicki Minaj along with Taylor and Katy Perry, who this song is supposedly about. It's all pretty extremely stupid, particularly on Taylor's part, jumping in where she didn't belong, but whatevs. This song and video are still pretty addictive, even if there is an oblique, unintended point for Nicki to make criticising how a video featuring a bunch of skinny white girls is loved by everyone on earth. Sorry, but did you really think "Anaconda" was saying anything more important? You'd have to argue that her dead, objectified eyes were satire, which I kind of think they were, but it's still a little close to the chest, Nicki. Whatever. This works until we turn on to Demi.

Next week...

I'm reaching that point where I think I'm finally sick of "Bad Blood," which was certainly a long time coming. This summer's been weird. More than usual it seems like nothing has broken out to totally dominate the airwaves. Maybe that's a sign of fractured media, maybe it's a sign of depleted talent, or maybe it's just random. We've definitely got our share of memorable tunes, but at this point it's hard to say where that classic jam is. Stay tuned, we got but five more weeks to see how it all sorts out!

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