01 August 2016

Summer Jam 2016 Week 12: Bieber's Back and More Stuff Happens

Ah, the Dawn of August is upon us. We've only got one month left of this glorious exercise in discerning the Top Jams of the Season and things are really getting nuts now. We're in the thick of it now, with a flurry of hot tracks mounting an assault on our ears and bods. Who earns a title this week? Read on, loyal viewers.

Hot Jam of the Week: "Into You" by Ariana Grande



Alright, so this track has been around for a while but it really seemed to worm its way into my earballs this week. I actually had no idea this was Ariana, but it's a great evolution from "Dangerous Woman" with a really sultry rhythm and pretty fun atmosphere. It's definitely been around for a bit, and although it could certainly catch on, we're well past the proper launch time for proper threats to the Summer Throne. Then again, we almost always see some kind of late-rising jam.

Kaleo's Ristorante: "Way Down We Go" by Kaleo

Kaleo has quietly been having a great summer, with some thumping rock hits that are really fun, while also exhibiting a sort of melancholy. They're pretty great background jamming songs as well as something nice to absorb on your own. Again, it's a bit late for this to take off, and Kaleo's not quite on the pop spectrum like Maroon 5 or Imagine Dragons in Summers past.

The Boobs: "All In My Head (Flex)" by Fifth Harmony ft. Fetty Wap

I thought about slotting in "Work From Home" this week, which also seemed popular, but I wanted an excuse to talk about this ridiculous song and video. It's so obsessed with male gaze for reasons that totally escape me - why do they want to attract male viewers? Why do they even care? I suppose that's been infecting pop hits for years now, but who knows why. It all feels really exploited and ridiculous. The song's actually pretty catchy if not explicitly sexual for no real reason.

Hola Como Estas: "Don't Mind" by Kent Jones

This really follows in a long line of one-hit pop patois songs you can follow from Shaggy to Sean Paul to Sean Kingston to MAGIC! Kent Jones isn't necessarily as explicit as those guys, but it's still there. This is still a cute song, though, and has managed to stick around a bit. A late season run at things is certainly possible, but it's been middling in the mid-section of the Winner's List here. It'll really need to break out soon to do some damage.

Fucking Trolls: "Can't Stop the Feeling" by Justin Timberlake

I about guarantee that this song scores way bigger than JT's Trolls (2016). That movie looks rough as hell. Although I do kind of like the abstract fuzziness. Anyway, there's about no reason why this can't be considered the King of Summer at this point, which feels kind of like a letdown because it's just not that great of a song. Maybe Sia can mount a campaign in August to take it over?

The Biebs: "Love Yourself" by Justin Bieber

I was pretty sure that "Love Yourself" was done, but I weirdly heard it a ton this week. Like, constantly. It's still probably my favourite Bieber song ever (that's not that hard to achieve), but I legit love the restrained melody, the biting satire of a jilted yet apathetic lover, and the simplicity of the whole ordeal. This mantra of simplicity carries through all the way to the music video, which I wish was a little bit more thematically relevant, but is interesting enough.

Down the Well: "Send My Love (To Your New Lover)" by Adele

Sending your love down the well! This track grows on me the more I hear it, and after a bit of a back-and-forth start, it's now firmly cemented in the Summer Pop Jam consciousness. It's got that similar cheery break-up feel that "Love Yourself" does, and it's all about moving on and not getting hung up on stupid emotional shit. Like a lot of these late summer breakers, it's got a shot if it can keep rolling the next six weeks, but we'll see how it works out.

How Low: "Cheap Thrills" by Sia

It's got a good beat and you can dance to it! For the second week in a row Sia commands a spot at the top of the List, and for once I actually agree with the Billboard Hot 100, who also awarded her the #1 spot. This is probably the one thing that can now threaten JT (although he'd have to drop off the List entirely and stop earning any points for that to make a real difference), but Sia's now in peak hotness. I couldn't be happier, and for once my interests totally agree with America - six months in, I still can't get enough "Cheap Thrills."

Next week...

Chainsmokers and Calvin Harris have always been hanging out here, but I'm over both those jams. "Panda" has still also been on the periphery, as has "One Dance," but they haven't yet forced me to stop ignoring them like Justin Timberlake. I'm most curious about that Britney / G-Eazy collabo, which is probably good enough to do some damage here in August. Stay tuned, folks!

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