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Summer Anthems of 2014: Which Song Epitomizes the Season for You?

by Mike Halterman
Saturday Jul 19, 2014
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Last year people were dancing the summer away to Icona Pop, because they didn't care and they loved it, and Cher, because she was telling the truth about it being a woman's world. This year, many hits are reaching the dance floors... but which one will come out on top as the song that, when looking back, will remind you of the Summer of '14? I've profiled seven hot songs.

"Fancy" by Iggy Azalea, featuring Charli XCX

Nothing says flirty and fun like this music video, a blatant homage to the 1995 film "Clueless." The lyrics are earworm material as well. "First things first, I'm the realest," Australian rapper Iggy Azalea purrs and growls at the same time. She leads the listener into a flawless rap, and just like that, the song has what it takes to entrance... and I guarantee it will be stuck in your head all day. This #1 hit is a strong contender for the summer anthem title.

"Chandelier" by Sia

It's rare for a song to be danceable and heart-wrenching, but Australian singer-songwriter Sia Furler manages to play on many of your emotions in this hit, inspired by her own struggle with alcoholism and drug use. The minimalist music video, featuring stellar choreography performed by an 11-year-old girl, illustrates the mania and emotions involved when one lives with alcohol addiction.

"Stay With Me" by Sam Smith

Talented, soulful, beautiful, and gay (!!) - it's like Sam Smith fell from heaven. His recent top five hit, "Stay With Me," is for many people the introduction to this British singer-songwriter. With a humble stage presence, he allows his pure singing voice to take him everywhere. Of particular note is his crystal-clear falsetto, which ranks up there with past pop greats such as The Bee Gees and Hall and Oates.

"Really Don't Care" by Demi Lovato featuring Cher Lloyd

Demi Lovato doesn't just want to earn the summer anthem title, she wants to snatch it. Extra credit points awarded: The music video takes place at a gay pride parade (Demi pulled double duty at Prides on both coasts this year). Her role as mentor to contestants on FOX's The X Factor has come to an end, and it's obvious to everyone that she has successfully completed her transition from kiddie starlet to a pop princess with staying power. Also featured is English singer Cher Lloyd, who I can best describe as an espresso shot of girly exuberance.

"Summer" by Calvin Harris

Like all Calvin Harris offerings, this song is made for the dance floor - the sick beats that feature as preludes between verses will have you on your feet even if you were just planning on chilling. We're willing to forgive the obvious ploy to win the summer anthem title by titling this song "Summer." After all, have you seen Calvin Harris's face? And his body? If you haven't, you need to keep up with the times and watch the music video!

"Dare (La La La)" by Shakira

Colombian firecracker Shakira has featured prominently on dance mix playlists in summers past, and this catchy song has plenty of spice, which vaults her to the forefront for yet another season of dancing and frivolity. Whether you like the original version, or the World Cup-inspired cut featuring Carlinhos Brown, one thing is for sure: you'll be hearing a lot of "La La La" in the clubs if you haven't already!

"Problem" by Ariana Grande featuring Iggy Azalea

Pint-sized, yet bubbling with sex appeal, Ariana Grande burst onto the scene last year with a youthful glow and a vocal range that could snatch Mariah Carey's wig. This summer she scales the charts with "Problem," a perfect song choice for people who don't have a care in the world - or for people who have just cast off their last few cares. Iggy Azalea, featured in the music video coiffed to heaven à la the late Dusty Springfield, adds street cred to what otherwise is harmless pop.

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