03 August 2015

Summer Jam Week 13: It's Worth It!

Welcome folks to the opening of August - we've only got one more month of Sunshine to go before all the wee children skip back to school, the leaves start turning, and that harvest harbinger of a wintery death looms in our futures. Let us take a gander at the smattering of pop hits that represent the hottest jams in the nation right now:

Hot Jam of the Week: "Omen" by Disclosure ft. Sam Smith

I almost feel like Sam Smith has become a parody of himself - that is to say, you could take any song of his and place it in a track like this without a ton of people noticing. This has got a simplistic yet revelatory beat that's not attention-grabbing at all, but could make for good Summer background fodder.

Another Hot Jam of the Week: "No Sleep" by Janet Jackson ft. J. Cole

This is becoming a weird Summer for Former Pop Queens trying to assert their status, from Britney to Madonna, now Janet. I'll give this song points for sounding exactly like something she would have made at the height of her musical prowess, but the problem with that is it makes for a fantastically uninteresting song in 2015. It's a little too soft-spoken to be worthwhile, but we'll take it kindly as our R&B Jam of the Week.

Five Seconds of Direction: "She's Kinda Hot" by 5 Seconds of Summer

5 Seconds of Summer is totally the boy band right now that can give you a lot of street cred with High School girls. Having said that, their latest jam is sure to blow up with that specific yet summer-leading demographic. Holy shit, this kid can't sing though.

Glaucoma Medicine: "My Way" by Fetty Wap ft. Drake

Fetty Wap could emerge as the hottest artist of the Summer 2015, and I might not call "My Way" stronger than "Trap Queen," but his distinctive voice still comes through pretty clear. Drake offers his inherent swagger that has somehow emerged from the softest rapper in the game. As far as contemporary rap goes, it's not like this beat is great nor is it all that interesting or even tolerable as a song, but it's perhaps one of the hottest in the pipe right now.

YA'LL ALREADY KNOW WHO IT IS: "Watch Me" by Silentó

I like the videos that keep coming out of various folks learning how to Nae Nae, from local cops to JJ Watt. This track's a total phenomenon, perhaps without the inherent silliness of a "Harlem Shake" or "Gangnam Style" or something, but it's definitely addictive. The video works as an instructional introduction to black dancing, which is also of course great for white suburbanites to co-op.

White Indian: "Lean On" by Major Lazer

I never thought I'd reach the point where I was a little sick of "Lean On" but I think we reached that point this week. It's still a totes hot Jam so I'm not excluding it here, but it's ubiquity has reached a saturation point. I'm all about Major Lazer, and I'm sure Diplo's off-the-wall show that's simultaneously an aesthetic homage to 80s-style G.I. Joe cartoons along with a distinctively original and bizarre property has had something to do with its surge this summer.

Hair of the Gods: "Can't Feel My Face" by The Weeknd

I still can't get over the fact that The Weeknd is one person. He's definitely talented enough to give Sam Smith a run for his money in the falsetto-singer department, and his tracks seem to be a little bit more well-produced than that potatoe-headed artist. This song straddles that line between soft slow jam and energized Beach Jam, which is working really well for it.

What: "Worth It" by Fifth Harmony

I know what you're thinking - this is unbelievable. But yeah, I put Fifth Harmony in the Number One Spot this week. There's no other clear dominator of Current Music Pop Culture, and this jam has been aggressive in getting back into our consciousness after some spotty weeks here and there. It's a totally moronic jam and the music video fetishizes its artists in the name of some feminist veil that's really odd, but it's still a total earworm, and at the end of the day, that's all that really matters.

Next week...

I don't think Fifth Harmony will stay in that spot forever. Hey, maybe. We definitely need someone to fill that "Bad Blood" / "Shut Up and Dance" vaccuum, but who knows where that is going to come from. None of these Hot Jams are really up to our lofty standards of awesomeness. Help us, Pop Music, give us a Jam worth spreading on our cultural toast.

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