Latin-flavored pop music rarely crosses over in America unless the lyrics are sung entirely in English, but you can’t blame Shakira for trying. Her latest album, the bilingual Sale el Sol/The Sun Comes Out, debuted at #7 on the Billboard 200 (#4 among Digital Albums) when it was released in the first week of November against tough competition (namely, Kings of Leon and Sugarland), but the English-language version of single “Loca” featured British rapper Dizzee Rascal, who’s talented but hardly an American hitmaker.
“Rabiosa,” on the other hand, features Miami rapper Pitbull, so it’s getting a much bigger push, which seems warranted, since the lyric video posted a week ago already has nearly half a million views. (Granted, Latin artists perform disproportionately well on YouTube when compared to other charts.) Read more…
We’ve got a live one! Leaking last night with the rest of Beyonc?’s album, 4, “Party” might be one of the strongest new contenders for our Song of the Summer, and we’re hoping it will also be her third single. Produced by both Kanye West and Consequence and featuring an insane verse from novelty-spitter Andr? 3000, this sweetly sexy track delivers something for every listener, including a silly line from Yeezy woven in-and-out that’s so cheesy it might actually grow on us (I mean, “swag sauce” and “dripping swagu”? If you say so!).
But don’t let the song title deceive you; while “Party” can easily help complete a laid-back, trill evening with friends, its sound is more reminiscent of a come-hither lady anthem from the R&B 90s. And who better to pull off a grown and sexy summer smash than B, singing sassy lyrics that demand the most intense kind of intimacy from her suitor– but only if he “don’t tell nobody tomorrow.” The need for intimacy, however, is a self-proclaimed bi-product of a (perhaps unrequited?) love that crowns the track’s endearing confesional nature. Of course Beyonc? is a happily married woman, but at one time, she was a single lady looking for love and cruising for a man to be her equal. Perfectly suited for brewing summer romances, “Party” can serve as the backdrop to a BBQ, a bikini-targeted workout session, or -you guessed it- some good old-fashioned boot knockin’. Proceed with caution, y’all!
Welcome to Week Two of VH1′s Song of the Summer countdown. Each and every Monday from now until Labor Day, we’ll be utilizing today’s most advanced data collection techniques Microsoft Excel to chart the competition of what will become THE song that people will think of when they remember the summer of 2011.
Last week, Adele‘s monster smash, “Rolling In The Deep,” captured the top spot, scoring 87 of a possible 100 points. (For a reminder on how the scoring system works, click here.) Somehow, the English songbird managed to increase her stranglehold on the #1 spot in this countdown this week, racking up 91 (!!!) points and proving that no matter what medium people use to consume music these days, they’re using it to listen to Adele.
What is going to be the 2011 Song of the Summer? I honestly have no idea! I’m neither a prognosticator nor a music critic, but rather, I’m simply a fan. My colleagues Nick Minichino, Lacey Seidman and Jim Shearer have already weighed in with their thoughts on which songs will reign supreme (Burrito Supreme!) this summer, but all that I can guarantee about my three picks is that I will be listening to these a lot this summer. Either way, enjoy!
“Helena Beat,” their second single off Torches, is a synthy indie pop pleaser that will appeal to fans of MGMT. I will confess that I’m not entirely sure what the song is about, and lead singer Mark Foster‘s distinctively high-pitched vocals are sometimes a smidge tricky to decipher, but each and every time I hear this song, I can’t help but to tap my toes. Maybe it’s the washes of sound that roll through the track, maybe it’s the way the progression of the synth line builds, I’m not sure, but this song just feels like summer to me.
“Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall” has as big a hook as any Coldplay single before, but not much in the way of a chorus (much like “Clocks,” which hardly suffered for it). The Big Country-esque guitar solo and pinch of sidechain compression make it sound simultaneously retro and current, and its lyrical stabs at a communal experience of a solitary expression cast a wide net.
After a miserable NYC winter, the weather is again warm, and we’re all about hitting these streets! But what will our summer-lovin’ soundtrack include? Since the pop music monster is one that defies taming, most of us can already venture to guess what we’ll likely hear blasting out of car windows while dining al fresco and laying poolside, but for me, it’s all about the songs that may or may not hit the mainstream radar. Specifically, songs that light your summer on fire and arouse flashbulb memory nostalgia for years thereafter. As a music head, I can’t wait to find out what will be this year’s perfect audio accompaniment during glorious, sweaty cocktail-glass pre-game rituals, or what I’ll have on repeat in my headphones as I dodge European tourists in Times Square. Until then, here’s hoping that the radio gods are listening, and (fingers crossed!) that they have good taste.
NOMINATION: Friendly Fires, “Live Those Days Tonight” EXPLANATION: If mainstream radio could just bend some rules and make room for an indie-pop dance record, this next few months would certainly be a bit lovelier. Summoning nostalgia for the (allegedly) more-fun 80s past that he never had the chance to experience, Friendly Fires’ frontman Ed Macfarlane vows to one-up his predecessors on this uptempo, synth-happy slice of audio heaven. Heavy with drums and feel-good vibes, “Live Those Days Tonight” is the first single off of the band’s critically acclaimed sophomore release, Pala, and is also the perfect summer party accessory!
Memorial Day has come and gone, so the season of the summer jam has officially begun! We will be paying close attention to the competition for the 2011 Song of the Summer here on the VH1 Blog. Of course, the pop audience will decide who will win, but here are three of our favorites:
NOMINATION:Lady Gaga: “Edge of Glory” EXPLANATION: “Edge of Glory” seizes on a combination of rock and Euro-house not heard since 2002 (when DJ Sammy’s cover of Bryan Adams’s “Heaven,” among others, hit huge). Gaga’s song provides something not only for fans of the dominant sound of dueling pop kings Doctor Luke and RedOne, but also for those who appreciate more of a classic rock sound.
On top of that, the Clarence Clemons solo happens to coincide with the return-of-sax zeitgeist. Willa Paskinpronounced 2011 the “Summer of Sax” at New York‘s Vulture blog, but her only other evidence was Katy Perry‘s upcoming single “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F),” so the claim is a bit overstated. But it’s true that sax is back in vogue?indie rockers like Destroyer, and to a lesser extent Gayngs (featuring Justin Vernon of Bon Iver), have returned to a smooth-sax sound, and other artists on the edge, like Gorillaz collaborators (and Raphael Saadiq favorites) Little Dragon, have revived that specific smoothness, though with different instrumentation.
Potter’s Nocturnals have had success on the VH1 Top 20, and country has made its inroads, but can this summery love duet break into next Saturday’s charts (or possibly the race for Song of the Summer)? Your votes, starting next week, will decide.
It might not be officially “summer” until June 21, but that’s not stopping us from starting our 2011 Song of the Summer Countdown. All day today, we’ll be highlighting Song of the Summer contenders as chosen by people who not only work here, but those that live and breathe music. Up first, we’ve got three picks from Jim Shearer, host of the VH1 Top 20 Video Countdown, which airs each and every Saturday morning. Agree? Disagree? Let us know in the comments!
NOMINATION:Beastie Boys feat. Santigold, “Don?t Play No Game That I Can?t Win? EXPLANATION: To the naked ear it sounds like a Santigold song featuring the Beastie Boys, but don?t be fooled. When MCA, Mike D, and Ad-Rock were crafting the instrumental for this beachside-reggae delight, they were having trouble piecing it into a proper song until they got on the bat-phone and rang Santigold. ?Don?t Play No Game? is pop enough for mainstream radio, but will Katy Perry, Beyoncé, and Ke$ha fans open their ears to listen?
According to the calendar, until the Summer Solstice occurs on June 21, we’re still firmly in the grasp of Spring. That said, pretty much everyone we know considers “summertime” to be the period of time between Memorial Day and Labor Day. To wit, this past weekend millions of Americans broke out their barbeque grills, removed their sandals from storage, and spent the long weekend soaking up the sunshine with family and friends for the first time since last summer (and, if the temperatures here in NYC were any indication, it sure as hell felt like summer with temperatures hovering in the low 90s).
One of our favorite parts about the summertime is the way that music takes on an even more omnipresent role in all of our lives. Sure, we all listen to music year-round, but during the winter months, music is generally something you only experience either inside or through earbuds. Once the summertime rolls around, though, suddenly you start hearing music blasting EVERYWHERE: rattling out from car speakers, blaring from boomboxes while you’re lounging poolside, emanating from an iPod dock when you’re chilling in the park enjoying a picnic, and even crackling through old transistor radios while you’re camping in the woods.
And each year, one song emerges from the pack to stand out as that year’s Song of the Summer. It’s not generally a title that is officially anointed by any governing board, but we here at VH1 wanted to put a little science behind the emotion that these Songs of Summer convey.
Hence, we’re excited to announce that we here at VH1 will be tracking this year’s Song of the Summer from now until Labor Day. So, you’re no doubt wondering, what artist has the lead out of the gate: Lady Gaga? Adele? Bruno Mars? Continue along to find out…