song of the summer

Your ‘California Gurls’ Alternatives

The boringly sexy new video for Eminem’s “Love the Way You Lie” hammers home what one listen to the song makes abundantly clear: No matter what kind of chart-topping run it may put together, “Lie” is far too much of a bummer to truly qualify for the Song of the Summer crown. That means we go another week — sigh — without the emergence of a serious challenger to Katy Perry’s “California Gurls.” Look, sure, we could try to muster up some enthusiasm behind the campaigns of Taylor Swift’s latest heartbreak jam, “Mine” (just look at these radio-play numbers!) or Kanye’s rock-solid “Power” (how about that video portrait painting thing!), but facts is facts: With “Gurls” as the spear and her boobs as the rest of whatever weapon metaphor we’re reaching for here, Katy Perry has commandeered this summer. Ask yourself: When you think back to the summer of 2010, will you think KP? Yes. Yes, you will.

That doesn’t mean you have to listen to “California Gurls,” of course. Over here at Vulture HQ we’ve put our heads together and whipped up a quick summer-song quiche. Listen, enjoy, angrily disagree with our choices in the comments below. And for maximum effect, feel free to pop open a beer at your cubicle.

The Walkmen, “Angela Surf City”

Freddie Gibbs, “National Anthem (Fuck the World)”

Wavves, “King of the Beach”

Curren$y, “King Kong”

Arcade Fire, “Sprawl II”

Beck, “Summertime”

Deerhunter, “Revival”

Miniature Tigers, “Gold Skull”

Chromeo, “Don’t Turn the Lights On”

Robyn, “Hang With Me”

Your ‘California Gurls’ Alternatives

Things you buy through our links may earn Vox Media a commission.