Monday, July 14, 2008

About summer songs

Okay, I know I should be listening to more NPR and less Top 40 radio, but there you go.
I keep listening for the '08 version of the Song of the Summer. I'm not the only one--I came across this story on philly.com.
It lists 21 suggestions by music critic Dan Deluca, only some of which I've ever heard of (but, given my age, can be forgiven for).
Pickings are slim this year, as rare as hot-n-humid days have been here in northern Indiana. Being the kind of human who thrives in heat and humidity, that means it's been kind of frustrating summer so far; having no quintessential summer song makes the weather that much worse to bear.
Just looking at Dan's list, I immediately throw out any song I've never heard. So there goes half of them. I also throw out anything referencing "lollipops" (two songs), that reference being too crude for me. Also, anything by Jessica Simpson, for obvious reasons.
I'm leaning -- on this list -- to Coldplay's "Viva la Vida," despite I heard it first in a commercial (usually a killer).
But in my ear right now is Kid Rock's "All Summer Long," which is catchy, but I'm wondering if I should disqualify it for is derivative-ness amid blatant sampling of the overplayed if irresistible "Sweet Home Alabama."
And Madonna's (who's almost as old as me) "Give It 2 Me" -- might be in contention too.
But it's pretty sad that here it is the middle of July and I'm having to THINK about what the song of the summer is ... that song should just be in my head, over and over, like (oh God, please let me forget it) Billy Ray Cyrus's "Achy Breaky Heart."
"Achy Breaky" is no "Hey Ya," for sure. Where's a song like that this summer? Or where's the Carpenter's "Close to You"? The Police and "Every Breath You Take"? (Few can touch that one, granted.) Or even "Crazy" -- Gnarls Barkely?
I long for my all-time summer fav -- Rod Steward's "Maggie May"? (Irrevocably dating myself.) And even Madonna's new one can't touch her "Borderline" of 1984.
Pop music is not what it used to be. Actually, it probably never was what we think it used to be.
But I'm still waiting for that song that makes me think for a minute that I'm still sixteen, and it's okay to work on my tan, and that the summer lies full of possibilities before me.
How about you? What's your summer song?

1 comment:

Julianne said...

Summertime, by Will Smith. It captures the essence of summer with its lazy raps and good vibe and talk of barbecues and the park and cruising, just a happy, feel-good, warm summer evening kind of tune that would make me think of being 16 even if I didn't first hear it when I was somewhere around that age and rolling in my Honda hatchback with Bell Biv Devoe or Billy Idol in the cassette player, wind in my tall hair and my feet or head dangerously hanging out the window because I was so in love the whole world on a summer evening that I couldn't contain myself even to my moving vehicle.