06 June 2016

Summer Jam Week 4: JT and Drake Lead Cookie Cutter Jams!

We've come crashing into June with a thunderous stroke of destiny, people. There is a plethora of interchangeable pop out there right now, with little resembling anything that actually stands out in the musical landscape. I'll admit I'm a little disappointed. I had leaned super into rock for a little bit, and into hip-hop last week, but this week it's totally pop. Not sure what to make of my fickle nature, but sink your ears into this week's ultimate jam list:

Hot Jam of the Week: "Ain't Your Mama" by Jennifer Lopez

Yeah, boy. This is a really weird song considering that at age 46, she's totally old enough to be most of our mothers. My first impression is that it's a sassy date song, saying that she's dating some scrub who can't cook or clean up after himself. If that's true, I mean, damn, this is like Boy Next Door (2015) shit. I'm down with J. Lo the cougar. I just can't believe she worked in that refrain about taco-flavoured kisses.

Three of a Kind: "Me, Myself, and I" by G-Eazy ft. Bebe Rexha

This is winding its way down a bit but still a decently hot jam. Its airplay is certainly on the decline, and it gets a spot here more on my still digging the track, although I'm probably close to reaching the limits of my tolerance here. It's still creeping around but I'm just about at the point where I change the channel instead of hearing it out.

Everest Style: "Frankie Sinatra" by The Avalanches

I'll admit it. I was totally drunk on Friday and somehow this track came to my attention. I'm not sure how, but I remember really loving it and adding it to all my playlists. Under the cold harsh light of sobriety I don't think it holds up as well, but it's too late now. You can't just take it off a digital playlist once it's added. Everything about this is pretty weird, and this will totally be a regrettable addition, but it made it. Forever, baby!

Oh, Feel Ya: "Ophelia" by The Lumineers

I ought to be careful, lest "Ophelia" win the Summer Crown just because it's fought its way on to the countdown each week by virtue of me listening to a lot of rock radio that don't change their playlists that often and the fact that I haven't gotten sick of this yet. For all of these reasons it remains, though. Actually this song kind of blows.

$50 Million Price Tag: "Panda" by Desiigner

I'm really glad that when I search YouTube for "Panda" this is the first result. Even Barack Obama has gotten in on the phenomenon. Who'da thunk it? I need someone to sit down Fetty, Future, A$AP (either one) and Desiigner and have them all sing-rap and then tell me the difference. This is the first time in my long history of hip-hop love where I've been tempted to say something along the lines of "All those young whipper-snappers sound alike!" And I have both D12 albums! Do you know how hard it is to differentiate between Kon Artis and Kuniva? This is a hot jam for sure, though.

"Lonely Man Porn: "Work From Home" by Fifth Harmony ft. Ty Dolla $ign

I love Fifth Harmony so much. I've really come around to this terrible band. It's a completely ironic love, although I think some of it is becoming genuine. It's so blatantly and obnoxiously horrible that it just seems obvious to me that it's ridiculous, right? How is this a real thing? I suppose I didn't think twice when Christina Aguilera was making far more risque music videos fourteen years ago, but the sex appeal here seems so surface level rather than empowering (is it ever? Let's not get into this debate), that it's actually stunning to me that they would be able to cultivate any kind of following based on their audial capabilities. Also, those hot dudes are terrible, I'm trying to jack off here.

Jewish Salsa: "One Dance" by Drake ft. Wizkid, Kyla

The more I listen to this the more generic it sounds to me. It just feels like any other pop song out there. It's not really hip-hop, which I suppose is actually an interesting turn for Drake, but what else can you say about the softest man in the game? That doesn't make it a bad song, and its biggest strength is probably the work that Kyla puts in on the bridge, but more and more this just seems inconsequential. It's decently popular, and not aggravating, but when that's the best you can say about a jam, is it really worth it? Fuck it. #2 this week!

Finally, Recognition: "Can't Stop the Feeling" by Justin Timberlake

So there's quite a bit to talk about with this one. After snubbing JT for the past two weeks this was finally a big enough presence in my life this week to not only earn a spot on the list, but the very #1 spot! This is as much a product of no other jam being especially dominant right now as anything else, but there's a lot of weirdness here. I totally had to look up the name of this song, and I couldn't name a single word besides "that new JT song." Like "One Dance" it feels extremely generic, like it's just checking off a bunch of boxes for a pop song. It's also apparently tied into Trolls (2016), which is an animated film coming out in November that no one knew was happening. That also explains why there's all these random people from Anna Kendrick to James Corden in the music video. Why do animated films suddenly have these pop songs attached? It's all insane.

Next week...

I remember at this point last year going through a similar level of ennui towards the current pop landscape. There's not really that big overpowering song to rule the roost yet. I mean, we've been dishing back and forth between "Panda", Drake, and JT with a little Fifth Harmony sprinkled in; when will the bass drop?! Connor4real, we need you! Oh shit. Well, there's always some Meaghan Trainor that I'm waiting to crack the zeitgeist. Stay tuned, true beliebers!

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