05 August 2020

Summer Jam 2020 Week 13: Return to the Prairie

When this summer first started I don't think I got a post off until Tuesday and subsequently remarked that there would likely be all sorts of delays as we moved forward. I've largely avoided that! Until this week. Sorry. Here's your super-special Wednesday Edition of the Last Summer of Our Lives:

Hot Jam of the Week: "Who's Laughing Now" by Ava Max

Alright, I actually love Ava Max. This isn't quite "Sweet but Pyscho" or "Kings and Queens" or even "So Am I" but it's still a pretty fun track. She dropped her somehow debut album this past week and deserves a highlight. I'd like to see her keep on rising although I constantly feel like I'm the only fan. That's fine. Her time will come. Remember 2018 Lizzo?

This song has flirted with the list this whole summer and although I'm generally not a huge fan, it has gotten familiar enough that when I heard it again this week I wanted to give it a highlight. I just feel like they couldn't have seen this summer coming and this someone comes off as so not of our times. Maybe that's good for the long run. I think more that this will be forgotten forever. Maybe it earned a few weeks but certainly not the points it'll need to contend.

This hasn't quite taken off yet, but it's truly a fantastic song the more I hear it and I think it deserves its moment. It's very un-Taylor, or at least what she has been recently, but that works in her favor. We'll keep an eye on this because I think it's primed wonderfully for a late season surge, but it hasn't quite caught yet. Keep working, Taylor!

This track drops a bit from last week, but is still a thing in my life and I reflect on the lyrics more and more each time I hear it. My soul just craves traumatic bummer songs in Summer 2020 and this does a great job of it. I just picked up the "Killing me softly; Lauryn Hill" line. It's solid. It's not quite making a race to the top at this point as we move into the endgame, but it's still solid.

The Weeknd has come up with plenty of follow-ups since this track, but it remains the OG. It's been on and off a little bit this summer, but earns a pretty strong position this week from making it to the point of its lifetime where everyone can sing along to it and get excited when it comes on. You know...at all those parties this summer.

This is perhaps the most underrated song of the summer, but it's also generally everywhere and everyone knows it. So let it happen! So depressing yet so uplifting at the same time. I am well past my hesitancy from early on in the season. It may not be crowned Queen, but has presented a solid case for itself at this point.

The Summer King apparent, this song has gotten more radio play and it's sincerely grown on me by this point. It's so contemplative and intriguing and enveloping, it pushes its genre to a new art form. Maybe that's hyperbole, but I like it. I found myself singing it quite a bit this week and at this point it doesn't show much sign of slowing, especially because it seems like radio has finally caught up with streaming.

At this point should we be talking about "Watermelon Sugar" as a legit contender? It's got a few winning weekends under its belt at this point. It's possible, as competition is still wide open at this point. It's also blatantly summery. It's not quite 2020 summery, but it ought to earn some serious consideration right now.

Next week...

At this point this crop of songs are pretty finalized. Katy Perry had some new tracks, but they're all garbage. I was thinking about Drake, who really seems to have faded down the stretch. There is always "The Woo" or more Ava or Taylor or Dua waiting in the wings. All have some potential. We're into August now, people - these months are CRITICAL! WHO WILL BE CROWNED FINAL JAM ROYALTY!

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