"Be sure to play 'Blessed Lord' tonight — play it real pretty."
- Martin Luther King Jr., American civil rights activist
I usually have some form of music playing. Whether it be Bach or Flo Rida, I have a pretty eclectic taste. Actually, a friend told me once after looking through my iTunes that it was 'schizophrenic.' To-may-to, to-mah-to. I just simply love music. It has the power to transport back to the time you first heard its notes or which loved one you would sing and dance along with in the auto.
Therefore, here are ten songs that will forever remind me of Summer Twenty Ten.
These songs may be Top 40, yet that's the saturation of pop music. It's EVERYWHERE: clubs, bars, television, FM radio, iTunes, the roommate's head.
Airplanes - B.o.B. feat Hayley Williams of Paramore
First off, it's just a gorgeous song. Hayley is at the peak of her talent, ethereal without being sugary. B.o.B.'s raps are heartfelt and truthful, not overdone or ridiculous that usually make me switch a rap song. The imagery of the song appealed enough to reach #2 on the Billboard Top 200. Everyone could use a wish right now.
Alejandro - Lady Gaga
A nod to the latinos? A successful strategy [Re: Fernando - ABBA and La Isla Bonita - Madonna]. Remember the Latin Invasion era of 1999-2003? Most of those singers are big moguls now. Also I'm a sucker for anything with a violin included (may explain my affinity for a band named Yellowcard). The blatant message of bidding farewell to past relationships is a step most everyone can relate to, one that is not undertaken easily. You can call my name, though.
All The Right Moves - Onerepublic
I had heard the original version of Apologize before Timbaland used his Midas touch and this band exploded onto the airwaves. Their sophomore effort is not in vain. With the cello overtures and a drum line that makes my grandmother stomp along with, this song is sweepingly beautiful. Plus with a killer Edwardian era video, Onerepublic has yet to make a wrong move. Seriously, if there is one music video to watch, please view this one. Freaking awesome.
Break Your Heart - Taio Cruz feat Ludacris
This British import will probably do just that. Squealing and clasping of hands happens to every female when I've seen this song played. I like a guy that lays it all out on the line. More people should be this honest, instead of embarking headlong into a disastrous relationship. Ludacris does not disappoint as well. The electric beat is banging, for sure.
California Gurls - Katy Perry feat Snoop Dogg
Grammatical spelling aside, usually any song with The Dogg is on the fast track to a memorable experience. Having spent a few summers and semesters in California, I can attest that California girls WILL melt your Popsicle. Also, most are bat guano crazy the further south one ventures. Perry's summer smash about the Golden Coast is catchy and nostalgic for anyone who has visited the wild and wacky epicentre of our nation's pop culture. Suggestive lyrics AND a music video based on the board game Candy Land? Epic!
Cooler Than Me [Gilgamesh Remix] - Mike Posner
Already a hot commodity on the college tour circuit, a friend in Washington state played the Cooler Than Me EP. Accusatory lyrics and a deceptively happy upbeat mesh perfectly. It's true because most of us have seen it: a girl wearing oversized sunglasses to hide her face because she thinks herself above the masses. Currently, this single is number one on the Billboard 100 Dance Chart. Not bad for a 22 year old whose repertoire includes Evil Woman and Drug Dealer Girl.
In My Head - Jason Derülo
Who hasn't had fantasies about another? As a followup to Whatchu Say [which samples Imogen Heap (!)], a slightly creepy imagination of a girl in a club has a heavier rock feel to it. His dance movies in the music video are fantastic, I foresee a part in Step Up: 4 the Masses. And yes, everyone IS looking for love, Jason. Or a free drink. Maybe a Klondike bar.
Not Afraid - Eminem
So his last album was a flop, just like Rihanna. (Perhaps that is why they teamed up for a duet?) Every recording artist is allowed that one album. The lead single of the aptly named album sets up Slim Shady for a massive comeback. His lyrics are always real, he's himself and not afraid to show it. Taking pain and turning it into music is an old formula, yet he portrays it in a fresh way that takes me back to when I first heard Eminem in my high school years. He preaches about reaching out to walk the path together and standing up for what one believes in, lessons from which everyone can benefit.
Umbrella Beach [Long Lost Sun Remix] - Owl City
Adam Young may only be known to the wider masses for his Fireflies fame. Out of all his discography, there is only one I dislike. So, anytime I can obtain new music from Owl City is a grand day. When Young offered a free remix of Umbrella Beach for a Tweet mention, it was a no-brainer. The original is orchestral and ocean wave backed clap-the-hands along effort, including the seminal lyrics "I'll spread out my wings and fly." This remix is above and beyond. The transformation is an aural orgasm. Instead of muddling the original like so many remake failures, it succeeds in transferring a great song into the next hard-hitting level. Adding Breann Düran's heavenly overlays was genius. This version gives me goosebumps everytime.
Waka Waka (This Time for Africa) - Shakira feat Freshlyunderground
The official 2010 FIFA World Cup anthem. The lyrics not only sum up a match perfectly, but also translate to real life. I had every bar and club I visit play this hit, used 'Waka Waka' as a greeting, and set it as my ringtone. With South African guitars and a modern take on an old Cameroon soldiers' chant, Shaki again produces an infectious earworm. It really doesn't matter what language this woman sings in, she's the business. The music video is pretty cool as well, with all the football players and dancers. And for a month this year, we were all Africa.
What are your favorite songs this summer?