July 19, 2007
It's the middle of July. Anyone seen a TUSH?
Most summers, a pop song has emerged by now that so saturates our environment that you hardly go a day without hearing it somewhere. Car stereos, bars, the Gristedes PA system, radios at the beach--it's everywhere. It's the Totally Ubiquitous Summer Hit.
I've been listening hard every time I go into a Rite Aid or a bodega to identify the song that will be the definitive hit of summer 2007, but I'm still waiting. What is this year's TUSH? Today, the NY Times' Kelefa Sanneh wonders the same thing. He comes down strongly supporting Rihanna's "Umbrella" [video], which was auspiciously released right before Memorial Day, and only got knocked off #1 on the charts this week. Of course, in his review back in June, he predicted that it would be this year's Song of the Summer, and whaddaya know, now he says he was right!
I should also note that Kelefa Sanneh suggests that the 2005 TUSH was Mariah Carey's "We Belong Together", when everybody knows it was "Hollaback Girl", obviously.
"Umbrella" is catchy, sure, and I like it OK, but it lacks the warmth and energy of your ideal summer hit. Plus it's not so great to dance to. Last year's TUSH, "Crazy", was unconventional too--a consideration of mental illness and death somehow lacks the buoyancy of "Macarena" or "Good gracious, ass bodacious", the opening of "Hot in Herre".
There's still a lot of summer left, but so far I'm not quite hearing non-stop, unavoidable, ubiquitous "Umbrella" airwave saturation. Or maybe I just need to go to bars more. So what else would qualify? Sanneh offers "Beautiful Girls" by Sean Kingston [cute video], and earlier WNYC suggested a few other songs that seem off base now, such as Ne-Yo's "Do You", which I rarely hear and in my opinion is a pretty terrible song.
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