20 May 2021

Summer Jam 2021 Week 1: It All Begins Here!

 I long debated this, as you can likely tell from it being super late into the season already. Summer Jam tracking is exhausting, only kind of fun, and by far the least popular column we've ever done. But...I do just love Summer Jams!

So my goal now is to complete implode what we've done. I'm not even going to bother with a set number of songs each week. We're just going to chat about songs that are popular in the moment and I don't care about anything else. As long as I have the compulsion to write about this, it's going on the Internet. We'll tally a point for making it on the list and two points for winning and then figure things out in September. DONE.

"Deja Vu" by Olivia Rodrigo

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It's nice that Olivia Rodrigo is officially more than a one-hit wonder. I don't think this will hit "Driver's License" levels, but it's still in that good vibe zone that feels like it could be a big Summer 2021 hit. It's a fun song that just makes me think about who the hell hurt Olivia Rodrigo to get continually eviscerated. It's like Adele or Taylor Swift over here.

Maroon 5 is so weird. I really go in between thinking they're great and thinking they're shit. For the record, they are clearly the biggest sell-out rock group of all time, and have totally devolved into pop crap. But sometimes pop crap is great! I kind of dig this. It's old, but still hooky.

Dua Lipa had the best 2020 and has never looked back. This is mostly off the strength of Future Nostalgia, and "Levitating" made the big news by scoring the #1 Billboard spot, but "We're Good" is the more recent song and equally smooth as far as I'm concerned. But for the record, "Levitating" also had a great week.

I was never actually on that Bieber hating wagon - even the multiple eras of Bieber hating, from punk kid to jackass kid. He's got a good voice and now he's found a good niche of milking his pop stardom into a comfortable zone of not quite dominance, but certainly a good string of hits. I was also just eating some peaches this week.

This song exploded this week and Doja is clearly hungry for a Summer Jam crown after coming close last year. I really dig her flow and she transitions between singing and rapping and sing-rapping with damn fine ease. I didn't actually know what the name of this song was, but I get bad Mondegreens all the time.

Bruno kind of brilliantly makes a sort of sexy parody song that is still pretty sexy, but also hilarious. It's a very narrow zone to find a home in, but Bruno nails it. I also couldn't escape it this week, and neither could America. Your first #1 in 2021 in our new format gives Bruno an early edge. Will HE BE CROWNED CHAMAMPION?! Stay tuned, folks!

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