What we’re into: summer jams

With summer all but here (at least the end of spring semester), it’s time to bust out the sandals, shorts and new playlists. Check out the following five songs for a fitting start to planning your own.
M. Ward — “Rave On”
“Rave On” is classic M. Ward muffled vocals and twanged guitar, but what’s different is the meaning behind the lyrics. Usually, he’s all about the love, changing from asking “what to do with a broken heart” to declaring how he “ain’t never had nobody like you.” In “Rave On,” M. Ward explains that he tells his woman to just keep raving when she says she loves him, even though the “crazy feeling” has him “reeling.” There is an interesting, soft, thunderous timpani to accompany it as well.
Black Eyed Peas — “Boom Boom Pow”
We get it, we’re all going to get hit by the bass in your song. But despite “that pots-and-pans music these days,” where people have resorted to using onomatopoeia and noises instead of lyrics, I still took a bit of a liking to this song. Best for loud car stereos, it’s just another hit from artists like the Black Eyed Peas, T-Pain, Soulja Boy, and the like. So we’ll hear it at a few parties, but it’s not mindblowing. The only part that bothers me is the lyric, “we so 3008, you so two thousand and late,” because it loses its originality the second or third time it’s heard in the one song, not to mention the next hundred times we will be blasted with this track.
Yeah Yeah Yeahs — “Runaway”
Yeah. I was refusing to jump on the bandwagon for the new Yeah Yeah Yeahs album, It’s Blitz!, despite my love for “Maps” and other early material because I dislike the new song “Zero” so, so much … but I learned to not judge an album by its single. “Runaway” has such a dark eerie combination of drums, strings and guitar with a lonely piano line. Beginning with the usual soft haunting vocals and piano, “Runaway” builds up serious weight and tension by the end of the song. All in all, the track is much better than “Zero.”
Sunset Rubdown — “Idiot Heart”
I love this song! The energy is incredible, as it needs all six minutes and 27 seconds to make its point. You’d think it had reached its peak after the chorus, but about halfway through the song, it explodes even further with the addition of female vocals and “So look at you go!” Starting quiet, bulking up on space-western guitar riffs, reaching unprecedented intensity level by level and then quieting down again to fade out, “Idiot Heart” is not only great musically but check out the lyrics.
Passion Pit — “Little Secrets”
“Little Secrets” is wonderful electro indie-pop coming from Passion Pit, complete with high yet whined slippery vocals. The pop beats and synths just shuffle along under all of it as the song takes us away to the dance floor and better times.

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