Monthly Report: June Singles
1. Omi - "Cheerleader"
I often reminisce about the early/mid-2000's when dancehall and reggae regularly crossed over to the American pop charts, and there have been some encouraging signs lately that it could happen again. This song is really sweet, obviously it sticks to a pretty stereotypical idea of a cheerleader as being a woman who applaud's a man's accomplishments, but I've always kinda felt like as long as that feeling runs both ways in a relationship, it really is great to be a cheerleader for your partner, I always try to be my wife's biggest cheerleader. Here's the Spotify playlist of my favorite 2015 singles that I add to every month.
2. Maroon 5 - "This Summer's Gonna Hurt Like A Motherfucker"
Phase 2 of Maroon 5 has quickly erased whatever coolness phase 1 had achieved, although when you look at Adam Levine's tattoos or his new song with "motherfucker" in the title, you wonder if he's deep in denial about how much of a mom band Maroon 5 has been from the very start. But this and "Sugar" are their two best singles since the band basically took a backseat to The Adam Levine Multimedia Empire, so they're on a roll right now, for better or worse.
3. Chris Young - "Lonely Eyes"
This was big on country radio throughout the spring and it really took me a while to catch onto it and realize it was one of the good ones. Great guitar leads on this.
4. Jeremih f/ J. Cole - "Planes"
This song sounded so incredible when Jeremih debuted it live with Chance The Rapper and the Social Experiment last year that it was hard not to be disappointed when the studio version was finally released, with a truly awful J. Cole verse in place of Chance and none of the Social Experiment horns. But the song has been a real grower, even with Cole, that big loping bassline and the way Jeremih darts around the beat just sounds so cold.
5. Silento - "Watch Me"
One of the things that interests me about regional dance rap hits is that they kind of follow one of the customs of dance craze records back in the '60s, where a song like "Land Of 1000 Dances" could be bigger than several of the previous songs it references. That happened a few years ago when "Teach Me How To Dougie" was way bigger than "My Dougie" or "Teach Me How To Jerk," and it's happening now with "Watch Me," which incorporates everything from "Crank Dat Soulja Boy," a huge record from 8 years ago, to smaller recent hits that "Watch Me" has already surpassed on the charts. I heard a radio interview with Silento where he answered a question about his influences by mentioning Ne-Yo, Usher and Rich Kidz, two huge crossover singers and one group that people outside of Atlanta have barely heard of, which seemed like an apt way of explaining this kid's appeal.
6. Rich Homie Quan - "Flex (Ooh, Ooh, Ooh)"
Much like "Watch Me" has its roots in the ringtone rap of yesteryear, it interests me that "Flex" is the biggest song Nitti has produced since Yung Joc's "It's Goin' Down," which is 9 years old (man, time flies). I think my favorite part of this song is "I'm a bad boy but I don't wear big clothes like Ma$e," partly because Rich Homie Quan is wearing way wackier stuff in the "Flex" video than those "Mo' Money" shiny suits. The rape lyrics on a couple of leaked Quan tracks have really cast a shadow over him lately, though. Those were some shitty and alarming things for him to write, although to be honest I'd feel more strongly if he'd chosen to publish those songs instead of leaving them in a pile of dozens of unreleased songs that got stolen.
7. Big Data f/ White Sea - "The Business Of Emotion"
I hated Big Data's first big hit "Dangerous," so the follow-up single was a pleasant surprise, really feel like this song has a huge hook and should've been bigger. It seems like his stuff varies wildly in quality depending on the guest vocalist, the song on the album with Jenn Wasner from Wye Oak is really great too.
8. Royal Blood - "Little Monster"
This album has been out for 10 months and just reached a new peak on the Billboard 200, so it feels like they're really becoming a sleeper hit in the U.S. Not a terribly original band, I dunno if I'd care to listen to the album, but they're 3 for 3 as far as singles go.
9. Mariah Carey - "Infinity"
This is the best single Mariah has made in a while, but she's too far gone commercially for this to do much, unfortunately, and she did it no favors but tacking it onto a compilation of all her #1s. I feel like people are way too hard on here these days. She's gonna be 50 in a few years, of course she's not gonna have the vocal range or the figure she had in the '90s, she should still be able to make records and perform and shit.
10. Vance Joy - "Mess Is Mine"
"Riptide" was kind of a guilty pleasure for me and this gooey ballad follow-up is really catchy to, really gotta give this guy his props.
Worst Single of the Month: DJ Khaled f/ Chris Brown, Lil Wayne and Big Sean - "How Many Times"
As much as I can't stand Chris Brown as a person, I will still grudgingly admit when he's involved in a song I enjoy, and the last DJ Khaled single he was on was great. But wow, this song is just total garbage, and it actively reminds you of how terrible Chris Brown is in real life, since the whole song is him passive aggressively hectoring a girl to come over and fuck him, and dropped right before that whole creepy incident with him forcing his way into his ex's car. Lil Wayne's verse is more comically pathetic in how he's just whining that he'll pay for a girl's Uber to try to convince her to come over, but it's still all just awful. You know a song is bad when Big Sean is the least objectionable thing about it.