The Battle of the songs of summer

Natalie Moses

Many adults look to current pop radio stations as a sure sign that our generation is infinitely less cool than theirs — the argument being that the same four songs are played over and over again.

Well, who can blame them? It’s true that pop playlists are short stacks, but this summer’s pop songs may have been the lamest of all. While we still only had a small selection of jams, all artists seemed to have collectively decided on a few themes to follow. A catchy whistle appeared in songs by Britney, Foster the People, Bruno Mars and One Republic while Lady Gaga and Katy Perry both had cameos by famous sax players in their party songs. Other recurring themes were lighters and pairing up two completely different artists for a duet. This is a lot for an audience to handle, so instead of freaking out over which similar songs you like the best, the following list picks the winner in each category.

The Whistle: Foster the People vs. Bruno Mars

Winner: “Pumped up Kicks”

The whistle was everywhere this summer, but Foster the People did it best. Bruno certainly had a catchy whistle, but one thing has to be taken into consideration: endurance. The other whistles were short and sweet, but hats off to Foster the People for whistling the entire chorus (and getting it stuck in our heads).

The Sax: Lady Gaga vs. Katy Perry

Winner: “Last Friday Night”

Lady Gaga and Katy Perry each brought the sax solo of the ‘80s back by joining forces with sax legends. We’re talking about Perry’s “TGIF” with Kenny G and Gaga’s “The Edge of Glory” with Clarence Clemons (who passed away just weeks after the song’s debut). There’s no denying that the solos are both strong, but the deciding factor is the video aspect. Perry’s is downright hilarious, and of course Rebecca Black’s appearance helps, whereas Gaga’s is just… weird.  The shock factor of seeing “Uncle Kenny” rocking out on the roof seals the deal for “TGIF.”

The Lighters: Eminem, Bruno Mars and Royce Da 5’9” vs. Jake Owens

Winner: “Barefoot Blue Jean Night”

Though Eminem, Bruno, and Royce Da 5’9’’ (whoever that is) did compose a great record, but in reality we will probably forget “Lighters” by next summer. However, Jake Owen’s song “Barefoot Blue Jean Night” will always be a summer anthem. It sets the mood of exactly what the title refers to, and it’s takes you back to summer every time you hear it. This lyric in particular is awesome- “We were shinin’ like lighters in the dark in the middle of a rock show.”

The Tween Tune: Selena vs. Demi

A heated debate amongst middle schoolers everywhere. Both Selena’s “Who Says” and Demi’s “Skyscraper” are empowering messages for any age. Considering Demi’s struggle, she wins this one. Her downward spiral and rehab stint for an eating disorder were widely publicized. Now she’s more healthier, happier and more beautiful than ever. She deserves an applause for being brave. Favorite line: “Go on and try to tear me down, I will be rising from the ground, like a skyscraper.”

Tonight: Pitbull vs. Hot Chelle Rae

Winner: “Tonight Tonight”

Tonight is a very important night considering both Pitbull and Hot Chelle Rae are singing about it. Pitbull wants “everything tonight” while Hot Chelle Rae is “goin’ at it tonight!” Thanks to Pitbull for producing a great hit, but Hot Chelle Rae wins the battle. Even if nothing is happening, this song gets you pumped for the evening. Plus, who doesn’t want to dance on the edge of the Hollywood sign?

Unlikely Combos Jason Aldean and Ludacris vs. Rascal Flatts and Justin Bieber


Jason Aldean wears cowboy boots, and Ludacris alternates between an afro and corn rows. Rascal Flatts are an old favorite in country, and Justin Bieber is relatively new to pop and anything but old. Who would think that these two couples of seemingly opposite styles would collaborate to make two fantastic hits? Literally no one, but we’re glad they did. The guys from Rascal Flatts couldn’t control their Bieber Fever, and they all came together with their amazing vocals in “That Should Be Me.” In “Dirt Road Anthem,” Luda did what he does best — he has a 30-second solo that absolutely completes the song. Who wins? “That Should Be Me” blends a band and two very distinct, beautiful voices into perfect harmony, but “Dirt Road Anthem,” was the better song. It’s more chill, and once again is always going to go hand in hand with summer, not to mention Ludacris is a boss.

Contact Natalie Moses at [email protected].