Soundtrack of the Summer

This past weekend’s final round of college graduations has come and passed, meaning three things are occurring in parks, streets and other public spaces: tank tops are in style again along with obnoxious “sun’s out, guns out” and “sportin’ chest, feelin’ blessed” mantras, high schoolers are complaining on Twitter about how excited they are for “summer vibes and bonfires, omg! @summerlovevibesxoxo12” and lastly, that one song is emerging from the banal depths of pop music to reign repetitive and supreme as the soundtrack to the summer.

By mid-July of last year you couldn’t enjoy an ice cream cone or a game of pickup foursquare without hearing Magic!’s “Rude.”

“Why you gotta be so rudeeee?” the vocalist swoons.  And yes, that is the question I’m left asking my many music producer friends when they re-work the pop-hit formula into another smash summer hit everyone secretly grows to hate after the first week of radio domination, at the point when it’s inevitably reduced to white noise.

So why do week keep falling for these formulaic smash hits? Sure, they’re fun, catchy and latch themselves into your brain, but why must we continue to listen long past their enjoyable, “not god-awful” period within our minds?

I’ll admit it, too- I loved “Rude” at its conception, when it was a kinda-raggae spin about unattainable love that brought me back to my first high school relationship- it stuck in my brain for about 3-4 minutes before the radio’s commercials ended and then I forgot about it completely (until I changed the station and what do you think I heard?  “Why ya gotta be so rudeeeee?”).

So what’s going to be this summer’s smash hit?  My money is on Walk the Moon’s “Shut Up and Dance.”  It’s the perfect mix of fun, excitement and fun bundled with a catchy tune.  Seriously guys, that’s all it takes.

My dark horse candidate? Madeon’s “Pay No Mind” featuring Passion Pit.  It’s dancy, full of synth and harmonized vocals, something you could listen to with equal effect both the beach and the club.  Its lyrical content also never stretches beyond unattainable love.  That helps with summer hits.

Many never read into their pop music choices enough to justify naming one the “Soundtrack of the Summer.”  To them– shut up and dance.  

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