22 August 2016

Summer Jam 2016 Week 15: Love in the Air

Like or not you little monsters Summer is winding down. We're at the fringes of Hot Jams at this point, and while there's some strong cases to be made out of a lot of early front runners, all these late-breaking studs are certainly getting thorny. This week is all about love, baby, so sink your toes in and let it drip up your leg:

Hot Jam of the Week: "Welcome to Your Life" by Grouplove

I love a little Grouplove, who drops a really chill yet engaging jam once every few years. "Tongue Tied" did some nice damage a few years back, and while this track isn't nearly as catchy as that one or their other smash, "Ways to Go", it does its job. It actually seems to start off stronger than it climaxes, which is a little disappointing, but it's a fun casual track for right now.

Second Hot Jam of the Week: "Real Love Baby" by Father John Misty

I couldn't really decide which Hot Jam to slather up with, but here's the latest by the indie pop-folk-rock master Father John Misty. I'm a big fan of his ironic detached folk view of America, and while this jam floats more than some of his more stagnant work, it's nonetheless poignant. Can this really make a case to be a mainstream Summer Jam? What do you want to hear from me? No.

How Low Can You Go? "Cheap Thrills" by Sia

It's got a good beat and you can dance to it! Yes, we've covered this before. "Cheap Thrills" is still out there and although it's #1 on the Billboard Hot 100, its presence isn't nearly as cuttingly fresh as it was a few weeks ago. It's still a really hard track to get sick of, though. I'd be curious if it can parlay its hanging around into a legit run at the Throne. That'd be one spectacular feat.

Down the Well: "Send My Love" by Adele

This is a lot like "Cheap Thrills" - it's novelty has washed away but it's definitely still hanging around and worth talking about. I don't even know what kind of song this is, actually. It's not really a dance song. Well, I suppose you could awkwardly gyrate around, but this ain't really a clubthumper. It's not even really a headphones workout song or a casual party background song. It's really just pure Adele, which is awesome in itself. Same as "Cheap Thrills" again, this jam as proven itself to be a force to be reckoned with and could rack up some serious late summer points.

A Little More Action: "Into You" by Ariana Grande

I can't really figure out Ariana Grande. I'm generally a fan, but she's also so damn awkward. She also doesn't really distinguish her voice above mindless generic pop. Maybe that's why she's reasonably successful - she's become our pop default. At the same time, she's got a ridiculous vocal range and some genuine acting skills, neither of which she tends to display. Whatever. This track is alright and I dig its sexiness when it starts ramping up before it descends into cliché.

It's Britney Bitch: "Make Me..." by Britney Spears ft. G-Eazy

I don't know if we'll ever remember this track as one of Britney's great tracks, but it's certainly made more of an effort to be one than anything else she's put out in years. At least since "Scream and Shout." I've kind of gotten more into this since it dropped last month without a real amount of goodwill or appeal. I think it can surge if it wants to, although I'm still fascinated by Britney's now reliance on that third-verse rap that's more common with peon wannabes than what the Diva used to throw down. Still, G-Eazy's a good choice. You know, when I was covering "I Mean It" years ago I never thought he'd be relevant on Britney songs.

Run the Tap: "Cold Water" by Major Lazer ft. Justin Bieber & MO

Major Lazer is a bit too good of a DJ (read: Diplo, I suppose) to make a beat this generic for the Biebs, but this track seems to be climbing after treading water for weeks after its debut. It's definitely not that great for a Major Lazer track, and even kind of sucks for what Bieber's been dropping lately, but it's here. If it can maintain a high position suddenly it's in the Summer Jam conversation, although that's more how weak these months have been.

Again?! "This Is What You Came For" by Calvin Harris ft. Rihanna

For the second week in a row Calvin Harris and Rihanna are near the top of the List, although this time only one of her jams has made it. It's kind of an unlikely rise, as if she just patiently waited for every other terrible Justin Timberlake song to burn out and then struck when our ears were weak. It's been climbing some charts as well, which is odd, to say the least. I'm not one to believe that its position is sustainable, but for now suddenly it's making its case.

Next week...

I narrowly left the Suicide Squad (2016) anthem "Heathens" off this list, and it's always a possibility it returns. Other than that, honestly "One Dance" and "Can't Fight the Feeling" (or is it "Can't Stop the Feeling"? I still can't remember) are still hanging around and could pop back in next week if the slate is week. We've only got two more weeks, people! Who will be named the King or Queen of Summer 2016?! Keep reading to find out!

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