5 Faves: Best Summer Songs of 2011

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Posted July 14, 2011 by J Matthew Cobb in Features
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Summer 2011 is here…and so are the year’s best summer jams

With uptempo synth-pop dominating the Top 40, it’s hard to squeeze in a ballad. Adele’s “Rolling In The Deep,”  probably the most pecuilar of successes this year, managed to climb the charts. But it isn’t entirely a ballad: it has a midtempo disco swag and some infectious gospel-blues grit. So while we decided to compile the best summer anthem of 2011, we expected dance-pop to rule. And it did. So if you’re not chilling to these songs on the beach or at your backyard cookout, you’re bound to hear most of these selections on Ryan Seacrest syndicated sradio show or somewhere on the dance floor.

1
“Party Rock Anthem”
LMFAO feat. Lauren Bennett and GoonRock


Gordy: Generation X pulls on the fun of Ghosttown DJ’s “My Boo” and the dominant club ferocity of Ke$ha’s “Blow” to create this irresistible dance track. The raps are catchy and almost silly like The Fresh Prince was on “Summertime” (“We party rock, yeah, that’s the crew that I’m reppin’/On the rise to the top, no lead in our zeppelin”). But what really makes this song spark as the 2011’s best summer jam is its unapologetic magnetisim to electronica wizadry. Along with the infectious music video, the beeps, bleeps and sweeps of “Party Rock” is the perfect PSA to raid the dance floor.

2
“The Lazy Song”
Bruno Mars


It should be outlawed for the law of laziness to be promoted in pop music, but Bruno Mars makes the crime so legal. The only obvious reasons Mars may have to “chill in my Snuggie,” “stare at the fan” and “strut in my birthday suit” is to ride on the backs of the hazy, lazy, crazy days of summer. Finally, laziness has its official anthem. It’s a song that enjoys bubbly Island sensations of reggae and delicious pop.

3
“Good Life”
OneRepublic


According to OneRepublic’s “Good Life,” you only have one life to live, so live it big. “Good Life” is a midtempo pop-rock that slightly details the journeys and successes of the sumergroup, even providing a quick road map of their international travel (“To my friends in New York I say hello/My friends in LA they don’t know/Where I’ve been for the past few years or so/Paris, to China to Colorado”).  Ryan Tedder celebrates his share of blessings and culls out another one of those memorable OneRepublic-esque choruses on top of Drumline percussions and a hanuthing whistle.

4
“Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)”
Katy Perry


Katy Perry is proving to be the new Queen of Summer. “California Gurls” headlined the Summer of ’10 while “Teenage Dream” proved to be the magical coda to a summer’s farewell. A year later, the “dream” continues with a crazy hangover and painful consequences to a drunken good time. Besides “pictures of last night ending up online” and feeling “screwed,” Perry still carries the precious memories (“We went streaking in the park/Skinny dipping in the dark/Then had a menage a trois”) close to her heart. And once again, she finds a chorus that’s Sesame Street-friendly.

5
“Don’t Wanna Go Home”
Jason Derülo


Harry Belafonte’s “Day O (The Banana Boat Song)” is nudged into the opening lines of the chorus of Jason Derülo’s newest single for 2010. It sounds like a disaster on paper until Derülo works a grind into the fiery rhythmic jam with his Usher-sounding vocals. The summer sounds of the Belafonte classic adds a 4th of July sparkler to the song’s obvious sample of Robin S.’s “Show Me Love.” Fire up the track if you’re looking for an alternate for Enrique Iglesias’ “Tonight (I’m Lovin’ You”).

So what do you think?
Approve of the list?
What songs do you think should’ve made the list?

Leave your comments below.


About the Author

J Matthew Cobb

Managing editor of HiFi Magazine


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