17 August 2015

Summer Jam Week 15: Watch This!

August is gearing up for one of its last laps and we've reached a point where there's actually a lot that could still happen, with how much staying power these late-breaking Jams have had. The Summer Jam Throne is still totally up in the air. Let's recount, for the fifteenth time this summer, the Hottest Jams of Our Day!

Hot Jam of the Week: "Marvin Gaye" by Charlie Puth ft. Meghan Trainor

I feel like I've had a lot of Meghan Trainor slide in the Hot Jam of the Week spot this year. This song is actually a few months old for some reason, but I got into it for the first time this week and that's good enough for me to spread it back out to you fine people. This is a sexy song, but it is fairly tame. It's as much sex as you can sell to pre-teens. This works mostly because Charlie Puth looks like a 12-year old. At this point no Hot Jam is making a run at things, but this could have been a cool song if it were a bit more interesting, maybe if it had more of an edge.

Pick a Culture, Any Culture: "Lean On" by Major Lazer

I really didn't think Lazer would make it again this week but this has grown into a bonafide Summer Jam. The addictive, simple lyrics, thumping ascending beat, and weed-soaked street cred are actually reminiscent of Daft Punk's "Get Lucky" a few years back. Although I love this song, it's actually no where near as good as "Get Lucky," actually.

Cripple for the Summer: "Renegades" by X Ambassadors

Who knows why X Ambassadors decided to focus on an assortment of inspirational hand-capable athletes for their music video, but for whatever reason, here we are. This track has been around for a while, playing in Shopping Malls and Doctor's Offices everywhere and it's about time we found a spot for it on this list. It's not totally a super-great jam or anything, and it falls neatly within contemporary wuss-rock territory.

Like Spider-Man: "Trap Queen" by Fetty Wap

"Trap Queen" gets a last hurrah (probably) this week. I mostly included this because I had a moment where we all jumped into the car and this track came on and we all knew all the words, were all on the same page rocking out, and it was awesome. Great freshman jam from Fetty who's really taken off as the debut artist of the Summer. Then again, there were hardly any old Legends doing time this year, so that's a bit of a contentious topic that we'll certainly be digging into when we wrap up this nonsense.

Beware the Oni: "Cheerleader" by OMI

After a few weeks apart I have a spot back to "Cheerleader" because it's doing fairly spectacular on every conceivable weekly recount list. That never really impacts my decision, but I gave it another listen and remembered just how solid this jam is. It's so accessible, fun, and sunshiney. Total Summer Jam material. I wonder if Jamaica is nearly as into this faux-reggae jam as we are.

Numbo Jumbo: "Can't Feel My Face" by The Weeknd

This could be the greatest song on the Jam List this week. It's such a cool track. I can see this having a fairly extensive lifespan into the Fall as school starts back up. Listening to it again, I'm actually disappointed that the beat isn't more unique or clever, but it does rise and sway with the whims of the lyrics, which is competent music making. The video is also nothing special. All this really means is that someone needs to give The Weeknd a shot at a truly distinctive awesome jam in the very near future.

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

It has felt like there's been something  holding back "Cool for the Summer" since it debuted. I don't totally know why. Maybe it's because it really broke far too late to ever be seriously considered in the Summer Jam conversation, even though when tallying everything up, I'm sure it'll contend well. It's still just more of an afterthought than something we'll always associate with those few glorious months of sunshine. Or maybe Demi's just trying to hard with her weird attempt at a Britney Spears baby voice. For now, though, yeah, it kicks ass.

Best Summer Ever: "Watch Me" by Silentó

Like the rest of America, I've gotten to the point where I love every single thing about this track. First of all, we need to talk about the fact that Silentó can't actually dance that well. Also how this is basically the chicken dance updated for a hip-hop crowd. And how the song is do damn Black, yet also super-accessible to white people. In fact, Silentó ought to be sentenced to life in prison for crimes against humanity for making white people think they can nae nae. This is also all but guaranteed to be the biggest one-hit wonder of 2015. Silentó better enjoy this Summer, because it's going to be the greatest one of his life.

Next week...

I'd be curious if "Watch Me" holds on. I think it can for a few weeks. We're decidedly into our second half right now, with an interesting crop of jams lobbying for position. This is the time for any of them to make their cases, but there is some stiff competition this year. We haven't had a Summer dominated by any single Jam like we've seen in years past. That's kind of a Summer Bummer, but it ought to be exciting for all of those out there in Internet-land who read this blog for some reason. Stay tuned, folks!

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