Invading Your Beach Blanket: Summer Songs ’07
Starting around, oh, March or so, pop, hip-hop and rock acts and their labels begin jockeying for position in the unofficial Song of Summer sweepstakes. Crack open Billboard by around May, and every third review you’ll read on the singles page makes a claim about said song’s Jeep-booming properties. The thing is, for all that labor, the anointing of a Summer of Song of [X] Year is a fairly organic process, and the public won’t always do what it’s told.
Sony/BMG probably thought it had a lock when the midsection-wiggling Shakira/Beyoncé duet “Beautiful Liar” dropped in late winter, one year after “Hips Don’t Lie.” No doubt the label expected beach/boardwalk dominance by June, but 16 weeks after its momentary tour of the top five, “Beautiful Liar” (Billboard No. 88) is now one week away from chart oblivion, while–as Matos pointed out here the other day–Avril “What’s a Rubinoo?” Lavigne’s “Girlfriend” is entering its fifth month in the top 10. Take that, undulating pelvises!
In short, there’s only so much the powers that be can do to concoct a summer single. (Well, unless your label executive/guest rapper is Jay-Z.) Below, we poll our always-perceptive, finger-on-the-pulse readership on the Summer Song of 2007.
Since it’s no secret that Rihanna’s “Umbrella” is spending its seventh week at No. 1, we’re going to make things interesting–and make the fight a little fairer–by replacing that obvious choice with Ri-Ri’s fast-rising, car-celebrating followup, “Shut Up and Drive.” Songs are in alphabetical order, except for the ringer we’ve placed at the end; don’t laugh–it’s still in the iTunes Top 40, more than a month after Tony Soprano’s blackout. So pass the aloe and make your selection.