As we approach Labour Day, summer’s unofficial sunset, it’s time to look back on the songs of the summer. Maybe you think the official song of summer 2012 might be Carly Rae Jepsen’s ubiquitous “Call Me Maybe,” the sugary pop song that spent nine weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100 and was covered by everyone, including Cookie Monster.
Or maybe it’s Frank Ocean’s breezy, summer night driving song, “Sweet Life,” or the hip pop perfection of Haim’s “Forever,” or Vancouver’s Japandroids with the high-energy rock anthem, “The House That Heaven Built.”
And you’re right. Those songs are all great, but they’re a bit heady, don’t you think? We’re not all Poindexters. We can’t all appreciate these masterpieces. Some of us resent songs that aim high and reach their potential, becoming the embodiment of everything a summer song should be. For some of us, summer songs need only satisfy two criteria: dumb and fun.
Here are the top dumb fun summer songs of 2012.
“Gangnam Style” by PSY
What it is: a song by South Korean singer PSY. The song became a worldwide hit thanks to its popular video, which has racked up more than 40 million views on YouTube.
Why it’s dumb: maybe it is; maybe it isn’t. I don’t speak Korean. The video apparently contains subtle comments on Korean culture, which is lost on most Westerners, so maybe the video is smart and we’re dumb.
Why it’s fun: the bizarre equine dancing, the drop-crotch culottes, the bright colours, the gratuitous wind-whipped debris and let’s not forget the toilet reveal. Summer is meant to be spent in the beauty of the outdoors, but that wouldn’t be nearly as much fun as staying inside and watching this video.
“Cash, Diamond Rings, Swimming Pools” by DENA
What it is: a slackey-bounce Eastern European pop song from the Berlin-based newcomer, DENA.
Why it’s dumb: there’s something about hearing someone rap a list of superficial status symbols in broken English. Does she say, “All I want is chill with my friends by the swimming pool”? But the real reason it’s dumb is because it’s so dumb.
Why it’s fun: this kind of mindlessness is always fun, and DENA may be an MC Miker G & Deejay Sven for a new generation.
“Hot Cheetos and Takis” by Y.N.RichKids
What it is: a song by a bunch of kids participating in a Minneapolis after-school YMCA program called “Beats and Rhymes.” It’s also the catchiest song I’ve heard in months.
Why it’s dumb: it’s a song about artificially flavoured corn chip snacks, with a repetitive hook, performed by the best kid rappers since Jordy.
Why it’s fun: see above.
“My 5” by Top Less Gay Love Tekno Party
What it is: s song from Canadian artists who give shout-outs to various cellphone options, including unlimited evenings and weekends, ringbacks and the titular feature. It actually came out last year, but it's a hit on Radio 3 this summer.
Why it’s dumb: on the surface it seems to just be a song about a cellphone plan, but if you dig a bit deeper you find that it really is just a song about a cellphone plan.
Why it’s fun: It’s a danceable party song with an infectious vocal hook. Plus the singer is losing his voice singing about the most frivolous topic possible.
"Oh my Dayum" by the Gregory Brothers
What it is: the Gregory Brothers, the guys behind autotuned internet hits like “Bed Intruder Song,” worked their magic with an in-car review of a bacon cheeseburger by online food critic DaymDrops.
Why it’s dumb: it’s a passionate ballad about a burger.
Why it’s fun: possibly the most heartfelt song I’ve heard in years. This guy loves meat so much, and he has a fantastic voice. The biggest notes in the song aren’t even autotuned.
Listen to your ultimate summer songs playlist
The '60s to Carly Rae Jepsen: A look into the summer song formula
10 awesome things about PSY's 'Gangnam Style' video
on Aug 22, 2012