Wednesday, September 9, 2009

2009 Does Not Have a Summer Song

Normally, by this time of the year, I have predicted at least a few songs that could qualify as songs of the year. After all, the biggest songs of the year usually crest over the summer months, due to the nature of the summer falling at the middle of the calendar year. I would play games with myself, trying to guess it earlier and earlier, but I noticed a few years ago that the #1 song of the year—as demarked by all those radio countdowns in December—hit number one, the apex of being played out, over a very narrow timeframe, the final weeks of July, into August.

Yet, this year, there was no summer song. Not even a hint of it. Even the contenders were weak. Sure, there was Lady Gaga—the Kelly Clarkson of 2009, in terms of airplay—and Pink’s “Don’t Leave Me” never left. But despite the Black Eyed Peas dominance—as of this post, 22 weeks at number one, spread over two singles—they never got the vibe of this summer.

The Peas were resurgent, sure, but—and maybe it was just the back-to-back nature of their party anthems, “Boom Boom Pow” and “I Gotta Feeling”—they didn’t have the oomph, the love, that summer songs traditionally have. I’m not a fan of “Boom Boom Pow”, and while “I Gotta Feeling” has its moments (how many times have you heard “L’Chaim” in a pop song?), there’s nothing so outrageous or brassy or just as cool as “Umbrella” was, to give an example.

Lady Gaga would fit the bill, but her songs blur together as singles, since she is an entity onto herself. “Poker Face” was the spring, “Just Dance” the winter, and it looks like “Lovegame” and “Paparazzi” will fill up the summer and fall quarters respectively, but she is 2009, not summer 2009. I personally would have picked “Boys Boys Boys” to be her summer single, with the beach-ready chorus of “Boys boys boys/we like boys in cars/boys boys boys/buy us drinks in bars/boys boys boys/with hairspray and denim/boys boys boys/we love them!” Can’t you just see the chunks of girls in convertibles, their hair flying, singing along to this at top volume?

Now that’s a summer song.

No comments: