20 June 2016

Summer Jam 2016 Week 6: Rise of the Pop

Into the throws of June we descend and as a complete reaction to a shift in what kind of radio I happened to randomly listen to, this week's Winners List is decidedly more pop-y. Still, that's what Summer is all about. In this personal journey across the great months of Sunship there are moments of great rock, hip-hop, and pop that spring up unexpectedly. Here's what we're laying down Week Six:

Hot Jam of the Week: "Give Me Your Love" by Sigala ft. John Newman, Nile Rodgers

It might just be the sight of Nile Rodgers pounding away on a guitar that reminds me of "Get Lucky," but this is a mighty funky jam that deserves some props this summer. It's got a thumping, if not overwrought hook and while Rodgers is clearly the best part of this track, it moves along at that exact intersection between chill and energetic that summer's all about.

The Queen's Reign Continues: "Send My Love" by Adele

Give me your love...send my love...pop needs to make up its mind. This isn't "Hello" level in ubiquity or grandiosity but it's worth a listen n glisten. Adele throws her all into this again and feels like she's trying to break more singles than Rihanna and Beyonce right now. No, that's not possible. I think this track actually has some steep valleys in between its sweeping chorus that could be worked on. I don't think this is a mega-jam but worth keeping an ear on.

Black and White and Heard All Over: "Panda" by Desiigner

This wasn't all over the place this week like it has been, but there's still a thick odor of Panda in the air. I'm still totally down with the Panda-takeover, even though I was pretty late to the party. I'm curious what kind of career Desiigner has, because he really doesn't feel like a distinctive rapper at all. This is almost a novelty song rather than something that says anything.

Bebe Baby: "No Broken Hearts" by Bebe Rexha ft. Nicki Minaj

This song's hook weirdly reminds me of "No Guns Allowed" by Snoop Lion. Maybe it's not there. I like Bebe riding her exposure through G-Eazy to crush this song, which feels equal parts epic and fun, the latter part is really the distinguishing aspect for this young lady. She's reveling in her funness here, making her song very listenable and her video extremely watchable. Sure there's also the real slutty dress, but everyone looks like that. It's also an amazing feat that Nicki drags down the song when she comes on rather than providing the highlight.

Country? What the Hell? "My Church" by Maureen Morris

It's so rare that I actually list a country song here. It's really oil and water for me. It just doesn't mix with anything inside me. Still, there's a little Miranda Lambert or Florida Georgia Line that sneaks in from time to time. I actually really like this jam and it's been rising steadily the past few weeks, stealing some play on mainstream pop stations in addition to the country stations that play it way more than "Panda" across this country anyway.

Calvin Harris Tries Again: "This Is What You Came For" by Calvin Harris ft. Rihanna

If Rihanna can't dominate on her own, she'll do it as a featured artist. I actually didn't recognize her at first because this feels like something Ellie Goulding or Pia Mia would do, but whatever works. This is a typical EDM beat and pretty cookie cutter lyrics, but that's also exactly why it has potential to be pretty popular. In fact, I was tempted to place it even higher, since it felt like I heard it constantly this week, but it's a debut, baby, and we got bigger fish to grill.

See, Rihanna feels like Daya in "This Is What You Came For." That's what I'm going after. This caps off a ridiculous string of pop hits that all sound exactly the same this week. I can't even hum the tunes of like, five of these. Still, it's popular so who cares? I'll listen to the superior Beatles cover.

Jamming Hole: "One Dance" by Drake ft. Who Cares

"One Dance" gets the nod this week not through ubiquity but to fill a gap left by no other real song that's currently taken over the country. This is about the time in Summer where the next big thing needs to drop and destroy everybody. Kids are primed to get out of school and vacation and summer camps are about to start. Who's gonna release our HOT JAM!? GaGa? Katy? Black Eyed Peas? Jeez that's reaching now. LMFAO FTW.

Next week...

JT is always on the periphery these days. I came close to including Ariana Grande's "Dangerous Woman" here along with strong efforts by Chance the Rapper as of late. Adding to that is Beyonce, Rihanna, and Sia's pop assaults, although crowding single releases (there's some argument that releasing a flurry of singles shouldn't even matter anymore) is blurring their potential. RHCP also dropped an alright "Dark Necessities" music video which is most impressive for showing that Anthony Kleidis somehow still has abs. All this and more as we drop one more Winners List before July and the Heat of Summer takes control!

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