Catchy dance tunes turn up the summer heat
Steve Carell and Gru’s Minions were kept appropriately loopy by the theme song of “Despicable Me 2” throughout the animated feature’s shoot. Pharrell Williams’ Oscar-nominated ditty, “Happy,” is so relentlessly catchy that it got Meryl Streep, Amy Adams and Lupita Nyong’o unabashedly grooving to it at the Oscars last month.
The hit single, now on its seventh week at No. 1 on Billboard 100, is everywhere: Gwyneth Paltrow performed her winsome version in the 100th episode of “Glee.” It has likewise been covered on “American Idol” (by Maje sty Rose), “The X Factor” (Daniel Evans) and “The Voice” (Josh Kaufman and Austin Ellis). Like “Happy,” some songs in our first batch of Top Summer Tracks have been around for some time, but they remain inescapable:
“Neon Lights” doesn’t just draw clubgoers’ attention with its pounding electropop hooks—it also showcases Demi Lovato’s formidable range as she captures the excitement of partying with someone she likes.
In “Classic,” MKTO, the American pop duo composed of Malcolm Kelley and Tony Oller, sings about a special girl they compare to the enduring tunes of Michael Jackson, Prince, Marvin Gaye and Frank Sinatra.
The British quartet Little Mix delivers an estrogen-pumped revival of Cameo’s 1986 dance anthem, “Word Up!,” while pop luminary Kylie Minogue returns to chart-topping form in “Into The Blue,” the rousing carrier track that mirrors her fiercely independent spirit, from her 12th studio album, “Kiss Me Once.”
In the Taylor Swift-channeling midtempo tune, “Cool Kids,” the indie pop-rock group, Echosmith (composed of siblings Sydney, Jamie, Noah and Graham), sings about a kid who has a difficult time fitting in.
For her part, Janelle Monae utilizes the vibrant energy of the Latin sound as she sings about how love completes her in “What Is Love?,” a cut from the soundtrack of the animated feature, “Rio 2.”
In “Walk Away,” Dia Frampton puts a whistling, deceptively upbeat spin on Foster The People’s “Pumped Up Kicks.” But, the song’s lyrics tell a truly devastating tale: It’s about a young girl who is sexually abused by her father’s friends. She feels temporarily safe everytime she’s with her boyfriend—who’s aware of her horrifying dilemma but doesn’t know how to help her!
On a lighter note, if you want something as catchy—and silly—as Psy’s “Gentleman” or DJ Baauer’s “Harlem Shake,” you need look no further than The Chainsmokers’ hilarious musical parody, “#Selfie,” featuring Alexis Killacam’s speaking voice.
The songwriting duo of Drew Taggart and Alex Pall pokes fun at (and cashes in on) the ubiquitous word in social media by spinning a winking yarn about a trash-talking, clubgoing woman who loves taking selfies and posting them on Instagram—whether the cute guy she has a crush on notices her or not!