Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Will 2009 Have a Song of the Summer?

By Evan Rytlewski
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Before he left the New York Times for the New Yorker, the great Kelefa Sanneh wrote a 2007 eulogy for the Song of the Summer, contending that media fragmentation has made it all but impossible for one single to reign over the season the way hits had done in eras past. "As entertainment options multiply, even mainstream pop is starting to look like a niche market," he wrote. Harsh words, coming from the only pop writer of his stature to so thoroughally romanticize the notion of a Song of the Summer. But sure enough, 2008 lacked a definitive summer song, even if Leona Lewis' perfect "Bleeding Love" and Estelle's infectiously peppy "American Boy" made valient efforts.

This year, however, I believe will be different, since the Top 40 charts are are so rich with goodies that any number of hits can make a case for ubiquity. My personal pick is still DJ Class' sleeper single "I'm the Ish,"which has worked its way into Milwaukee clubs in recent weeks, but a more realistic possibility is Jamie Foxx's criminally smooth "Blame It," if only for T-Pain's "ah-ah-ah-al-alchol" update on Rihanna's "ella, ella."  The track has shot up the charts with real momentum, but pacing itself to peak during the heart of grilling season. Also, it's awesome, escapist fun, and more inclusive than your typical R&B hitan urban hit even Ron Howard can get behind.

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