By Tyler Clark
It’s that time of year. Our lives become less stressful, we lounge by the pool or ocean, the smell of hotdogs and burnt marshmallows fills our noses, and the boom-clap of fireworks rings in our ears. It’s the time of year where action movies and raunchy comedies populate the box office and music festivals and concerts are alive and well.
With summer comes the daunting task of choosing the song to blast through your headphones while you relax in the sun. There are 5 songs that I’m currently obsessed with and will jam to all summer long.
5. First Love – Jennifer Lopez
Honestly, J. Lo hasn’t had a decent single since 2011’s “On The Floor,” with frequent collaborator Pitbull. “I’m Into You” was a decent follow up, but didn’t have the charting power as it’s predecessor, “Dance Again” and the song felt like a reissue of “On The Floor.” “Goin’ In” had an excellent beat, but was riddled with ridiculous lyrics (“Tonight we goin’ orangutan, bananas). With the release of “I Luh Ya Papi,” the lead single from her eighth album A.K.A., I lost hope in J. Lo’s talent. That was until she released the Max Martin (“I Knew You Were Trouble,” “Problem”) assisted “First Love.” The song is one of J. Lo’s best and one of the greatest pop songs released this year. Though the song travels down familiar territory (talk-sing during the bridge), it is still quality pop music and the greatest showcase of J. Lo’s vocals. You can hear “First Love” on her eighth album A.K.A., available June 17.
4. Fancy – Iggy Azalea and Charli XCX
Though this song was released four months ago, radio stations are spinning this decade’s “Glamourous.” Though it’s the fourth single from Iggy’s debut The New Classic, it is her first single to gather momentum on the charts and her first number one single. Iggy is the first artist since The Beatles to have her first two singles at the number 1 and number 2 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 at the same time (thanks to her assistance on Ariana Grande’s “Problem”). The most addictive part of “Fancy” would have to be the music, which is an ode to the cult film Clueless which has helped the song gain mainstream attention. The video currently has over 94 million views. “Fancy” and The New Classic are available now on iTunes.
3. Sing – Ed Sheeran
I’ll admit, I didn’t understand Ed Sheerean’s hype. He has a great voice and there is no denying his songwriting abilities, but I could not get into his music. That was until he released “Sing.” The single, co-written with Pharrell Williams, is a huge departure from the folky rock sound found of his debut album. With Pharrell Williams at the production helm, the song screams Top 40 without ruining Sheeran’s artistry. Plus the music video, which features a muppet version of Sheeran, is entertaining. Ed Sheeran’s sophomore albumX will be available June 23.
2. Maps – Maroon 5
What is a band to do after becoming the third most played artist on Top 40 radio in 2013? Why, you release an ambitious lead single. “Maps,” the first single off of Maroon 5’s fifth album (coincidentally titled V), is my favorite song from the band (previously 2007’s “If I Never See Your Face Again”). The single, which Levine co-wrote with hit-makers Benny Blanco, Shellback, Max Martin, and Ryan Tedder (who also serves as producer), is reminiscent of their last album’s lead single “Payphone,” only with an upbeat sound and better lyrics. “Maps” is available on iTunes now and their new album V will be hitting stores this fall.
1. Ain’t It Fun – Paramore
It’s been over a year since Paramore released their fourth album Paramore and they are still raking in the success of their most ambitious effort yet. After the drama that ensued when Josh & Zac Farro left the band, all eyes and ears were on Hayley, Jeremy, and Taylor, wondering if they could still make the music fans fell in love with. Oh boy did they deliver. Released April 2013, Paramoreis the band’s first album to debut at number 1 on the Billboard 200 and their most diverse sounding album to date. Every one of the album’s singles have been successful, but none so much as “Ain’t It Fun.” The track, written Hayley and Taylor, has gotten more airplay since it’s release in February. No doubt will be unavoidable all summer long. “Ain’t It Fun” is the band’s highest charting single, peaking at #10 on the Billboard Hot 100. Some critics have suggested that band should earn a Grammy nomination for the single. “Ain’t It Fun” can be heard on Paramore’s self titled fourth album, available now.