04 July 2016

Summer Jam Week 8: Boom Goes the Beat for America!

Happy America, everybody - and as the fireworks explode in the sky outside, let us also explode...in our hearts. And pants. We're going straight down the middle this week, letting the beauty of pop exuberance wash over us. In many ways this is when Summer actually begins. Let the Purge commence! I mean, uh, listen to these fun jams:

Hot Jam of the Week: "M.I.L.F. $" by Fergie

Needless to say, I love this for so many reasons. I hope this stays a hot jam for a while, although I can't really see it catching on. First of all, even though it's spelled "M.I.L.F. $", the correct pronunciation is "Milf Money", which the Dutchess has equated to Milk for some reason. It's also crazy to me that Fergie has had exactly one previous solo album, which gave her a spectacular 2006-07, and then for some reason after her great break-out, she went BACK to the Black Eyed Peas, had a ridiculous 2009...then like nothing at all since then. It's a bizarre career. No event is too small for the Black Eyed Peas. This is also a bonkers video with Kim Kardashian, Chrissy Teigan, and Devan Aoki making appearances alongside a lot of random-ass models in a celebration of motherhood. Or something. Oh I hope Double Dutchess makes bank and 2016 becomes another Year of Fergie. It needs to come every ten years.

Stayin and Slayin at Home: "Work" by Fifth Harmony ft. Tyga

This video has had 623 million YouTube views. Let that sink in for a second. That's obviously because it's one o the hottest videos ever, filling me with weird horny boner feelings then immediately cutting to a sweaty greasy male construction worker. It's just that kind of summer. I'd probably still go Benny Benassi when I'm looking for construction girls.

Bill 'Em With Blindness: "Kill 'Em With Kindness" by Selena Gomez

Selena has been on the pop Summer Jam periphery for a while now, and this might be her ticket to the big show. I don't think the beat quite matches the vocals - it's way to fast and sounds like it was made on a keyboard, but this is listenable enough. I like the content, even if it loses itself when it gets out of the chorus, and it's an interesting match to Bieber's "Love Yourself" if indeed they're singing about each other.

I Love Cheap Thrills! "Cheap Thrills" by Sia ft Sean Paul

I do really love the complete lack of effort to translate whatever the hell Sean Paul is singing, but this clearly my favourite song of the week, and has been since This is Acting dropped months ago. The track was originally written for Rihanna's Anti, which as good as it is coming out of Sia, would have been damn spectacular slid in between "Yeah I Said It" and "Same Old Mistakes." Okay, I've listened to both these albums far too much this year. I think Sia does a spectacular job here, but Rihanna spitting this would have been a sight to hear.

Mrs. Dead Eyes: "Dangerous Woman" by Ariana Grande

This has kind of grown on me lately, even if it's still kind of a whatever cookie cutter type of pop song that's typical of most of Ariana's non-"Problems" work. I feel like she very rarely finds a song to match her talents, which are virtually without limit as far as I'm concerned. The chorus here works, but the rest seems to undersell her vocals. It's gearing up at this point, and while I don't think it's Queen material, I'd be curious to see where it goes from here.

Trolls! "Can't Stop the Feeling" by JT

I think I've reached my saturation point with all these songs. I'm just not impressed by their spiciness at all. This is just a song that could have been sung by anyone. I'm over it. It's still a perfectly cheery and energetic summer jam, but that's really not enough. We need something a little bit more special to truly earn Summer Jam status, and with eight solid weeks in the can, this is looking like the best we got so far. Where's our ubiquity!?

RiRi and Calvin: "This is What You Came For" by Calvin Harris ft. Rihanna

See? I'm having trouble even distinguishing between all these jams. Each one is more similar than the last one. Is Fifth Harmony actually the most memorable jam right now? This one had a nice upsurge this week, although I'd honestly expect more out of Rihanna. They're all just kind of boring honestly. This has been on and off so far this summer, and if it stabilizes, it could make a nice dent in Summer Jamhood, but my inclination is that's not likely.

One More: "One Dance" by Drake and whatever

Now, I can't be alone in the feeling that even though this is the #1 jam on the Hot 100 and has made great strides across both Pop and Hip-Hop playlists, it just doesn't quite feel like the kind of Summer Jam that really takes hold of the country, right? It's not a "California Gurls" or "Party Rock Anthem" at all. This kind of shit happened last year with "Shut Up and Dance" which just took the Top Spot because no one else stepped up. We do have nine weeks left (it's amazing that we're nearly half over!), so we'll see!

Next week...

I may need to scour to do another "All Brand New Hotness" edition because we're getting mad stale mad fast. I narrowly left off the Chainsmokers this week, but other than that, I'm not hearing anything all that interesting. Keep your ears and hearts open people and to this, to you, to America, I say good day!

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