Much like the insanely hyped "Christmas Single" that is so big in the UK, the US media for the last few years have been using the term "Song of the Summer" in order to hype music, much in the way movies have been pushed to summer blockbuster status for the past 30 years. Last year was a battle between fun.'s "We Are Young" and Carly Rae Jepsen's earworm "Call Me Maybe." In hindsight, the latter won but who among us wants to hear that one for about the next 20 years?
This year, with the Pride Parade looming large and yours truly DJing the "mega float" combo of HBHC, AIDS Foundation, AIDS Legal, TPAN, Chicago House and Center on Halsted, I've done nothing but narrow down the songs of the summer. With just about five minutes of your listening time donated to me, I've got to make every moment count. So far the contenders are more obvious, and oddly straight with no new Madonna, Rihanna, or Gaga to play with.
Daft Punk's "Get Lucky" had the early vote with its retro jangly guitar from Chic's Nile Rodgers and sultry vocals by the previously MIA Pharrell, but by the time summer started, I think we'd all gotten a bit tired of this one. Not to say I won't play it. Some folks never truly get tired of pop genius, no matter how overplayed.
Jennifer Lopez and Pitbull seemed to purposely be forcing a summer single on "Live It Up," but it was far less catchy and memorable than Pitbull's other thousand tracks, especially his spring single with Xtina. Bye bye.
Kylie could have had the summer single if she'd leaked a stronger track than "Skirt," which is not a bad song, just not catchy and obviously an album teaser versus a real single. Same to be said of Beyonce's "Grown Woman."
So the summer single as I see it is the extremely hetero, but very catchy, Robin Thicke single, "Blurred Lines." Lifting a bit from Bruno Mars and a lot from Tony Toni Tone, "Blurred" doesn't try too hard to go for the dance jugular but sneaks in from behind and gets into you before you know it. This trophy could have been Justin Timberlake's if he'd recut songs like "Let the Groove Get In" or "Strawberry Bubblegum" to be a normal single length, but he appears to be off to make his 20/20 sequel already. Robin, enjoy your first number one and Song of the Summer title. Here's to the next video with more topless Robin ... and less topless models.
Catch DJ Moose spinning at the Pride & Joy Kickoff Party at Center On Halsted, Fri. June 28.