The twenty-first century has devalued the “song of the summer” concept something fierce. With listeners increasingly fractured into obscure niches, no song unites the culture the way the Beach Boys or Four Seasons did back in the day. Even if you hated those songs, they were a part of your summer experience. After all, loathing counts as an experience.
Speaking of loathing…“California Gurls.” If there was a song that dominated summer 2010, that was it. It’s a simple formula. Katy Perry + singing about chicks = summer smash. That wasn’t the only summer ‘010 hit though. There were the indie summer jams, of which we’ve got a couple, as well as the hits blaring from car radios. Even if you consider yourself above the Top 40, odds are you’ve heard these one way or another: over the supermarket PA, at a minor-league ball game, or from the crappy iPod speakers serenading the couple next to you at the beach. So while these may or may not have defined your personal summer, they come to as close to universal as it gets these days. You can run, you can hide, but you can’t escape these songs.*
*Summer Song ’02 reference.