Welcome back to the Battle of the Summer Jams. The weather is heating up and so are the music charts thanks to two new songs from both Calvin Harris and Katy Perry. Both artists have a proven history with making summer the best time to dance. It’s a surprise they haven’t teamed up for the ultimate summer jam since Harris has no problem working with pop’s top divas (Ellie Goulding, Florence Welch and Rihanna) and Perry has an ear for smart producers. Just ask Dr. Luke and Kesha. But enough chit chat, it’s time for “Summer” to face off with “Birthday.”
When we began compiling our Best Songs of 2012 list, there were many differing opinions, and after briefly toying with the idea of pitting all our staff against one another in a Hunger Games fight-to-the-death scenario against the backdrop of Times Square, we conceded that the most diplomatic and least murderous thing to do would be to each submit our own list. You know, in the name of preserving a civil work environment and whatnot (not to mention our longstanding policy of avoiding contact with the human resources department). So while we didn’t battle it out in a conference room or some such nonsense, each one of us faced an internal battle — choosing our favorite songs of the year.
As far as consensus is concerned, there were 21 songs that appeared on multiple ballots, but only eight that appeared on three or more lists: Carly Rae Jepsen‘s “Call Me Maybe” (4 ballots), Frank Ocean‘s “Pyramids” (4 ballots), fun.‘s “We Are Young” (4 ballots), Gotye‘s “Somebody I Used To Know” (3 ballots), P!nk‘s “Just Give Me A Reason” (3 ballots), Usher‘s “Climax” (3 ballots), Azealia Banks‘ “212″ (3 ballots), and Miguel‘s “Adorn” (3 ballots).
(Btw, before we get into this, we’d like to note that we put together the following Spotify playlist for your listening pleasure: VH1 Staffers Pick Their Favorite Songs Of 2012. It’s sequenced in alpha order by artist first name, so we wholeheartedly recommend you hit Shuffle while listening to this 92 track playlist. Now, on with the show…)
British dance-floor darling Ellie Goulding has joined forces with Scotland’s club king Calvin Harris for “I Need Your Love,” a shimmering new cut from Harris’ upcoming album 18 Months and a bonus track off of Goulding’s own Halycon. It has only ever been a matter of time before these two found one other, and it was inevitable that their meeting would result in such a spark. They shouldn’t have to ask, though — of course they can have our love!
The stripped vocals on “Anything Could Happen” had us thinking that Goulding might be edging out of “Lights” Lite-Brite like glow for this second round, but Harris seems to have dragged her back to the dance floor, and to an ecstatic effect. “I Need Your Love” bleeps and bloops and bounces along an electronic beat, which might have sounded two-bit if not for that piano line. Goulding meanwhile returns to her signature smoky-cooing, begging that: “I need your love, I need your time/ When everything’s wrong, you make it right/ I feel so high, I come alive/ I need to be free with you tonight.”
What do you think, does “I Need Your Love” earn your love?
Last month, Calvin Harris helped Rihanna take home the MTV VMA for Video of the Year with “We Found Love,” a video whose dysfunctional romance and dark-but-beautiful imagery has been permeating the hearts and minds of viewers since last year. In keeping that gloomy theme alive, Harris has returned with a video for his forthcoming album’s fifth single, this time alongside Florence Welch, to deliver an intense visual for an already powerful song.
Last night Tuner had a dream. A dream where Rihanna, P!NK, Usher, and Green Day shared a stage. There were flashing lights, thousands of people and … Ryan Seacrest? Wait, this can’t be a dream, it must be time for the second annual iHeartRadio Music Festival!
The aforementioned artists, as well as Mary J. Blige, No Doubt, Calvin Harris, Bon Jovi, Lil Wayne and VH1Behind The Music subject Ne-Yo are among the 20 superstars set to hit the stage over two nights at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. And luckily for you, dear readers, VH1 will have insider access to the entire event. If Taylor Swift makes a surprise appearance during Green Day’s set (hey, crazier things have happened), we’ll be there with a first-hand report. Trust us, it’ll almost be as good as being there! Read more…
“Cockiness” —the hook of which features a sample by none other than Greg Kinnear (!!!)— is one of the raciest tracks on Talk That Talk, an album we described when it was released as “the dirtiest pop album since Madonna’s Erotica.” The chorus of “Suck my cockiness/Lick my persuasion” was liberally bleeped by the MTV censors, but one thing that MTV did not get around to blurring out was the moment when A$AP Rocky grabbed a handful of RiRi’s heinie. And when we say handful, we mean a HANDFUL.
What started off as a suffocatingly hot and humid Day Two at Lollapalooza turned into a mud bath by dinnertime. The Lollapalooza Evacuation 2012 commenced around 3PM when severe thunderstorms threatened the safety of the shelterless attendees. While initial reactions to the enforced mass exodus were confusion, anger and sulking, it was very obvious how everyone soothed their frustration. Booze. Lots of booze. Let’s recap the wet ‘n’ wild Saturday, kicking off with the single show I saw before the storm. And I’m so glad I did.
The Givers are the kind of band that makes a crowd happily throw their hands in the air, hop around and sing any lyric they know. Fans got particularly riled up during a lively rendition of “Up Up Up” and it didn’t go unnoticed by band members Tiffany Lamson and Taylor Guarisco. The Louisiana-based group repeatedly stressed how grateful they were to be performing at Lollapalooza. They gave (see what I did there) a spirited performance that surely pleased fans and won over some new ones.
Chairlift was next on the docket for the same stage but unfortunately ended up being one of the shows canceled. Cue three hour rain delay and the soaking of my moccasins.
Since Jay-Z’spress conference in Philadelphia last week we’ve been on pins and needles anticipating the announcement for the lineup of the Made in America festival he’s curating and headlining on September 1 and 2. Jigga man delivered on the goal he’d set for himself asking, “Is it going to push the culture forward?” With such a diverse selection of musical acts crossing multiple genres, we’d say the answer to Jay’s query is unequivocally, “Yes!”
Oh, can we talk about Jay sangging R&B singer D’Angelo (who hasn’t released an album in 12 years) for a minute? Over the weekend D’Angelo made headlines when a GQ profile hit the net with him looking rather scrumptious. The singer is working on an album, and whatever Jay did to get him to perform at Budweiser’s Made in America, we salute you, Jay. As diverse as the list of performers is, even more acts will be announced next week. Jay-Z can check off successful curator from his bucket list.