Every music publication and website is putting out their list of summer hits, so I just couldn’t resist. Mine, however is based more on my personal taste…and distaste.
First, the songs that got me all excited every time they came on the radio:
Although this EDM millennial generation theme song was released in November, it seemed to really hit the states hard in the summer. Plus, it just sounds like summer! It makes ya wanna jump in a pool or drive a convertible with the top down- and crash it into a bridge.
Sometimes it’s nice to hear a simple, pretty song. And it doesn’t hurt that it’s sung by the lovely Anna Kendrick. Many of us saw Kendrick sing this song with just her voice and some cup persussion in the movie Pitch Perfect, but this one has some added instrumentation (not too much, though).
We all know that things come in cycles- music is no different. Treasure is reminiscent of the disco/funk of the late 1970’s and early 1980’s (think Prince’s “I Wanna Be Your Lover”). Even the video is retro! This song is catchy, makes me want to dance, and (in my opinion) narrowly avoids being too cheesy.
Lorde - Royals
My friend pointed out that I initially neglected to include one of the summer’s best songs. Although Royals didn’t get as much airplay as the above mentioned, it certainly was a breath of fresh air. The production and vocals are clean and crisp- and there are some tight harmonies, too.
And now the part where I get to complain about things that bug me- I could do without hearing these songs for the next few summers:
First off, I actually like this song. I love the powerful vocals, elements of Dubstep, and minor tonality. The problem is that it’s been overplayed. I do a lot of driving for work and I listen to the radio when I drive. It wasn’t uncommon to hear this song 2-3 times an hour (granted, that’s spread over multiple stations). There are very few songs that I can stand to hear more than once day after day.
Guys, it’s 2013- wtf is a payphone? I mean, everybody probably knows what you’re talking about, but the concept of a payphone is mostly obsolete. That pretty much covers the lyrics, now the music: it’s boring. Payphone sounds like something we’ve heard before and I don’t think it was that exciting to begin with. This song came on the radio all the time and after I heard it the first few times, I didn’t need to hear it again so I changed the station almost instantly.
You didn’t seriously think I could do a summer music roundup and not mention Blurred Lines, did you?! It’s been a while since a pop song has stirred up so much controversy, most of which is from the video (the link above is for the ‘clean’ version, but there is an unrated version with nudity). It should also be noted that, although I don’t need to hear this song for a while, I really do like it. As with Radioactive, Blurred Lines is way overplayed- but that’s how hits work- I get it.
Now, while overplaying is part of the reason I am over it, the video and lyrics are just as much a part of it. Here we go:
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you may hear that many people think that this music video condones rape culture. Whether it does or not, it’s not the first video to portray and objectify women in this way and it certainly won’t be the last. I actually had less of a problem with the video, and more of a problem with the use of the word “bitch” in the song. I didn’t even know it was there until I watched the video. Of course, they edit it out in the radio version. I really didn’t think it needed to be there and that, for me, is what gives the song ‘rape culture’ vibes- but that has nothing to do with the video, just the lyrics.
The other thing, that people don’t seem to be talking about, is the weird racist vibes the video gives off. Maybe I’m tripping, but why is Pharrell wearing a straw hat, chewing hay, and standing next to a model holding a goat? That whole shot just kind of rubbed me the wrong way.
If you would like a song like Blurred Lines, but without the rapey and racist vibes, you can listen to the original: Marvin Gaye’s Got to Give it Up.
Okay, now back to good things:
Deep Cut of the Summer: J. Cole - Trouble
Sometimes our favorite songs aren’t singles and aren’t on the radio. That’s why I still buy CD’s.
J. Cole released his sophomore studio album, Born Sinner, this summer and it’s dope. My favorite song off the album is this dark track with backing from a chorus. Cole’s lyrics are his usual relationship subjects, but he does it in a very good way. it’s easy to relate to, but doesn’t come off like he’s whining about his feelings.
Thanks for reading and tell me what your favorite summer song was below!