Song of the Summer: Rob Thomas and a Radical Revamp of the Power Rankings

By
Me? Really, Vulture? Really ? Photo: Getty Images

Holy crap! This week sees the Power Rankings completely upended: The Black Eyed Peas have finally spilled from the No. 1 spot, and the effects have cascaded downward. Our new number one? Jeremih, with his yet-to-curdle celebration of once-yearly intercourse, “Birthday Sex.” Fans of more traditionally couched odes to copulation will be glad to welcome Maxwell to the list. More controversial might be our inclusion of mom-rocker Rob Thomas as this week’s Biggest Gainer. (After all, there’s nothing like broadly appealing, flawlessly executed, irresistibly chorused rock to really crawl up some people’s butts.) What’s not up for argument is our renewed interest in “Every Girl” — Young Money and Lil Wayne’s frank admission of nymphomania, you’ll recall — now that consistently warm weather and the fading relevance of Michael Jackson’s passing have women wearing next to nothing on our city streets.

1. Jeremih, “Birthday Sex”: This track has graduated from hit to full-fledged summer phenomenon — a song that absolutely everyone knows. Vulture reader Nina, a freelancer who often works from home in Bed Stuy, tells us she hears it three times, “minimum,” over the course of a full day: “It’s like church bells, ‘Birthday Sex,’ church bells, ‘Birthday Sex’ …”

4. Mariah Carey, “Obsessed”: After all the hype, the video was, inevitably, a disappointment, but who spends the summer watching videos? Mariah’s the biggest, brightest star plying a Song of the Summer, and the number of her haters online just speaks to how much love she still engenders in the world at large.

6. Fabolous feat. The-Dream, “Throw It in the Bag”: Way back, in the second week of the Song of the Summer spectacular, we named this track the Biggest Gainer. And then we kinda forgot about it. But then we spent a few consecutive weekends driving all over the damn place and couldn’t escape hearing it in the car, even across five states. So it’s back.

8. Maxwell, “Pretty Wings”: As a Taurus, we like to think that in 2010 there will be a spike in babies sharing our sun sign, thanks to Maxwell’s BLACKsummers’night, the new No. 1 album. Again, you might not hear this first single so much on the street — unless it’s coming out of that van you see a-rockin’.

5. Young Money feat. Lil Wayne, “Every Girl”: Now that it’s finally hot and the halter tops, hot pants, and bikinis are out in full force, what guy isn’t thinking the same thing that Money and Wayne are rapping? And what woman in hot pants isn’t gratified to know he’s thinking it?

6. Fabolous feat. The-Dream, “Throw It in the Bag”: Way back, in the second week of the Song of the Summer spectacular, we named this track the Biggest Gainer. And then we kinda forgot about it. But then we spent a few consecutive weekends driving all over the damn place and couldn’t escape hearing it in the car, even across five states. So it’s back.

7. Rob Thomas, “Her Diamonds”: Rolling Stone’s review of Thomas’s Cradlesongs — the album that has this as its first single — describes “a post-everything musical era … in which old-fashioned Top 40 rock aesthetics have mostly migrated south to Nashville.” There’s no better evidence of this new pop order than these Power Rankings. Why isn’t there more rock on them? Because there are few men left who can do towering, super-sticky uplift like this.

1. Jeremih, “Birthday Sex”: This track has graduated from hit to full-fledged summer phenomenon — a song that absolutely everyone knows. Vulture reader Nina, a freelancer who often works from home in Bed Stuy, tells us she hears it three times, “minimum,” over the course of a full day: “It’s like church bells, ‘Birthday Sex,’ church bells, ‘Birthday Sex’ …”

9. Kid Cudi, “Make Her Say”: The “Day ’n’ Nite” guy’s album is coming in August, and in the meantime, this profoundly dirty song is on Hot 97’s top twenty-five most-played list. If we had a bass tube in our car, we would totally crank this just for the beat.

10. Michael Jackson, Rarities, Remixes, Covers and More: What, you haven’t been up in this all week?