Michael Deeds: Six contenders for song of the summer in 2013

mdeeds@idahostatesman.comAugust 9, 2013 

  • Pick your favorite

    Go to my blog at blogs.IdahoStatesman.com/Deeds to listen to all six tunes.

With summer shifting into overdrive, we’ve all had a chance to hop into our imaginary convertibles, crank up the stereo and savor life in Idaho.

In other words, we’ve had plenty of time to figure out and crown our ultimate song of summer in 2013.

Or not.

Every summer has one. It’s the tune that, years later, snaps you back in time the instant you hear it: a song like Jay-Z and Beyonce’s “Crazy in Love” in 2003, or Katy Perry’s “I Kissed a Girl” in 2008.

Sometimes, though, it’s tough to pick a single track out of the pack. This is one of those years.

Let’s take a look at possibilities. We’ll start with two obvious picks, then follow with four more suggestions from Keke Luv, program director at Top 40 station 103.3 Kiss FM. You can listen to the songs and discuss them on my blog.

Æ Daft Punk featuring Pharrell Williams, “Get Lucky”

When they’re playing a song by a French electronica duo during the Fourth of July fireworks at Ann Morrison Park, you know the thing has gone mega-mainstream. Plus, it’s just an addictive, cool groove.

“The thing with ‘Get Lucky’ is it appeals to such a wide group of people,” says Tim Johnstone, program director at adult-alternative station 94.9 The River. “Even people, God forbid, in their 40s and 50s are digging on it because of the Chic influence.”

• Robin Thicke featuring T.I., Pharrell Williams, “Blurred Lines”

One critic recently described Thicke as the “low-rent Justin Timberlake.” But he’s pulled out the big, sexy guns on his album of the same name. (Review, page 14.) Is it this song’s topless-model video? Is it Thicke’s sweet falsetto? Whatever it is, the risque title track is ubiquitous.

• Florida Georgia Line featuring Nelly, “Cruise”

There is no sub-genre of music worse than country-rap. Unfortunately, fans of this melodic abomination do not agree with me.

“We’re country up in Idaho,” Luv explains, “and when hip-hop meets country ... booyah!

“Play this song ANYWHERE around women and watch them. It’s the same with guys.”

Forget the yah. I’m stopping at boo.

• Miley Cyrus, “We Can’t Stop”

Basically, this song is a clubbin’ version of that episode of “South Park” where Cartman keeps saying, “Whatevah! I do what I want!” Yet Cyrus’ repetitive lyrical theme — “It’s our party, we can do what we want” — oozes the unbridled freedom that we all crave during summer, especially as teenagers.

“Miley is kinda like Bieber was,” Luv says. “It’s just harder for a guy to break out of that boyish stereotype than it is for a girl. Miley just plain got freaky! She got engaged to the ‘Hunger Games’ dude and all the women love this. It’s all about her rebelling, but not in a dumb way. She hasn’t given anyone a reason to hate her. I think girls relate to Miley.”

• Icona Pop featuring Charli XCX, “I Love It”

Swedish electro-pop duo Icona Pop has crafted a perfect soundtrack for summer squabblers. It’s an upbeat dance-floor burner describing a girl so peeved at her guy that she not only tosses his belongings down the stairs, she also wrecks a car, watches it burn, then proclaims, “I! DON’T! CARE! I LOVE IT!”

(We’ve all dated this person at some point, right?)

“Girls love to sing in groups about some dude that broke a heart,” Luv explains. “It’s an anthem.”

• Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Ray Dalton, “Can’t Hold Us”

I’m not buying rapper Macklemore’s latest single as a true contender for song of the summer, but Luv says he expects a “big story around this guy” when he performs Oct. 25 at Taco Bell Arena.

“I’ve interviewed several high-school teens and they are calling him a MOVEMENT,” Luv says. “He’s just friggin’ huge and all (demographics) love this song.”

So ... drum roll ... who wins?

The clear pick is Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky.” (Assuming that I can’t vote for Peyton and Eli Manning’s “Football on Your Phone” music video ad for DirecTV.)

Johnstone says he’d roll with “Get Lucky,” too.

Luv? Not so much.

“I don’t get it at all,” he says of Daft Punk’s latest song and album.

Luv votes for Icona Pop’s “I Love It.” And why not? It’s a fun, cathartic singalong. The two ladies even have a hot new single, “Girlfriend,” which sounds a lot like “I Love It.”

“It’s just, like, the same song — two girls singing at the same time,”Luv says. “ ‘With my (girlfriend)!’ And they’re driving around in their car. And I’m, like, how long before that drives people crazy?”

Crazy ain’t all bad. In fact, it was the song of the summer in 2006. Remember Gnarls Barkley?

Michael Deeds’ column runs Fridays and Sundays. He co-hosts “The Other Studio” at 9 p.m. Sundays on 94.9 FM “The River.”

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