There’s something about these sweet and sticky summer months that just begs for creating a playlist. Every pop megastar aims to have just one super summer single to soundtrack the country’s hometown BBQs, sweaty nights at the club and “down the shore” roadtrips. Aside from the occasional one-hit summer wonder (see Kevin Lyttle’s “Turn Me On” from 2004), it’s no surprise that the majority of these singles come from pop’s fave front runners. Front seat, windows down, that’s the way we like to … listen to our favorite radio hits, of course. As we enter the month of August, we present the party pleasers and beach blasters of 2011 — plus a few from summers past.
Katy Perry, “TGIF”
WIth a fist-pounding beat (T! G! I! F!) Katy doesn’t disappoint with her third summer single (after she kissed a gurl in California or something like that in 2008 and 2010, respectively). The video is teeming with celeb cameos (hello Artie from “Glee,” Debbie Gibson and the brother Hanson!) and we love the catchy chorus.
LMFAO, “Party Rock Anthem”
LMFAO had its claim to 15-minute fame with the Jersey Shore theme song, “Get Crazy” (there ain’t nothin’ like summer at the beach, right?) and somehow managed to squeeze out another with “Party Rock Anthem,” a track that sounds like four different artists at once. A friend describes it: “It’s a ridiculous, autotuned, put-your-hands-up-and-chug-a-FourLoko pop song. Weird enough to be different but completely mainstream.”
Nicki Minaj, “Super Bass”
The perfect song for all of the following: driving with your besties, cleaning your room in your underwear, dancing on top of tables at your favorite bar. Even pop sweeties Taylor Swift and Selena Gomez love it. Check out the vid above of Selena rapping along in her dressing room.
Pitbull, “Give Me Everything”
“Grab somebody sexy, tell ’em hey!” is a simple, straightforward tip to make the most of your summer, don’t you think?
David Guetta, “Where Them Girls At”
Nicki Minaj and Flo Rida make special appearances on this whistle-along summer song. The hook will make you scream, “Here we are!!”
Taio Cruz, “Dynamite”
A song that still gets a ton of radio play, “Dynamite” was one of many radio hits from Taio Cruz last summer. “Break Your Heart” and “Higher” were equally popular, but only “Dynamite” was parodied out the wazoo. YouTube it and you’ll understand.
Katy Perry, “California Gurls”
Silly and summery, this is totally a “Turn it up!” kind of song. Get out your Daisy Dukes and bikini tops and let Katy take you on a three-minute Cali vacation.
T-Pain, “Buy You a Drank”
“Buy You A Drank” was T-Pain’s first single to top the charts and was followed by “Bartender” in the same summer. 2007 was the year T-Pain helped us understand autotune on a whole new level.
Imitated by many, the heckling “eh, eh, eh” of “Umbrella” drove us nuts by the end of summer 2007. Whose cover is your favorite, Mandy Moore or All Time Low?
Ashlee Simpson, “Pieces of Me”
Remember when Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey were married? Better yet, remember the short-lived Ashlee Simpson Show on MTV? The eight episodes chronicled the makings of her debut album “Autobiography,” and had us eagerly waiting for the release of her first single, “Pieces of Me.” Come on, sing along. You don’t have to pretend like you don’t know the words.
Did we miss any? Let us know in the comment section below.
Allison Berger is a Philadelphia-based writer and a pop music columnist for Reverb. Check out more of her writing here.