The Weeknd

Playlist: Summer Lovin’

Summer is practically here! It’s time for sun, sitting by the pool, and lazing on the beach. It’s also a time for summer romance. Sometimes you go out of town or somewhere new and someone catches your eye. You either date for the season or you just want some fun for a night. These things can be complicated full of regrets or long lasting feelings. Other times you don’t think twice about it and ready to move on. No matter what your feelings are on the situation, musicans have been there. These songs are about fleeting romances, sexy one nighters, and even some regrets. Check out these songs about summer love. And in case you missed it check out last month’s playlist on the best remixes.

“Summer Love” – Justin Timberlake

Everything about this song from JT’s second album is made for summer: it has a killer beat, an irresistible rhythm, and an unforgettable hook. But let’s not forget the lyrics where Timberlake thinks he’s falling in love and hopes this fling will go beyond the summer. It’s an anthem for those who have met someone and wanted there to be something more, but knew deep down it would be over as soon as fall hit. Whether you can relate to the singer or you just dig the catchy track, this is one to add to your summer playlist.

“Summer Hair = Forever Young” – The Academy Is…

Ah, this one takes me back to high school. Though this song may not exclusively about summer flings, the lyrics can still be applied to the situation. Frontman William Beckett sings about partying and chasing “summer girls” and falling for one in particular. He then goes on to say he wants the moment to last forever and never wanting to let his mate go. It could be real love, but there’s a better chance that it’s naive optimism and wanting to make a fleeting moment last. Whatever it’s about, it’s still upbeat and catchy enough to put on for those throwback summer parties.

“This Summer” – Maroon 5

Some summer flings are good, others are damning. This is one of those it’s so bad, but so fucking good situations. Everyone’s favorite hot douche bag Adam Levine sings about the latest hot girl of the week and how he wants to get with her. At the same time he realizes she’s not that smart, she only cares about “fancy things,” and may even have a drug habit. He knows he needs to stay away from her, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t want her body. It’s one of those toxic relationships; you know you need to leave the person alone but something about them keeps bringing you back. And if TV and movies taught me anything it’s that most fling are of this nature. You wanna hook up with the bad boy, the naughty girl, the person that lives on the edge because sometimes danger is damn sexy.

“Little Red Corvette” – Prince

There’s no doubt that Prince was the master of sex. Most of his catalog is filled with songs about doing the deed, including this one. But here Prince talks about someone who is used to “makin’ out once/love and leave em fast.” It’s another one of those toxic relationships: Prince knows this person isn’t looking for anything serious and even mentions having “a pocket full of horses” and some of them were used. For once the singer seems apprehensive about the act as he tells the person they’re going too fast. So, if it’s about a one night stand why is the song named after a car? The song was inspired by a time Prince fell asleep in band member Lisa Coleman’s Mercury Montclair Marauder. And you thought he was singing about a car this entire time.

“Fuck and Run” – Liz Phair

Guys aren’t the only ones that can dish about one night stands. On this track from Phair’s critically acclaimed Exile in Guyville, the singer starts this track waking up in a place she doesn’t recognize. She then laments how she didn’t want this to happen again and how she wants a boyfriend. Eventually some comes to the conclusion she’ll spend another year alone because she can’t seem to escape from the fuck and run cycle. It’s a simple, straightforward song about the awkwardness of one night stands. Instead of being shy and coy about, she dives right in. She may have some regrets, but she doesn’t judge her behavior as smutty. It’s just one of those situations she’s tired of finding herself in.

“Tired of Sex” – Weezer

Not being tied down sounds like a ideal situation for some, but Rivers Cuomo doesn’t find any pleasure in it as he laments about it in this song. He starts by singing “I’m tired of sex” followed by an exhaustive list of girls he’s been bouncing between. Cuomo sounds bored and fed up with having so many flings and wonders why he can’t “be making love come true?” It’s a great alternative rock song showing how even sex can be too much of a good thing. It’s kind of funny in a self-deprecating kind of way.

“One Night Stand” – The Pipettes

There always seems to be unwanted consequences when a one night stand is involved as British indie group The Pipettes explain in this song. Rather than trying to fool themselves into thinking it’s something more, the girls know the night of passion is nothing but a fling. They spend the brief song telling some poor sap they don’t love them and telling them to realize it was just a one night thing. It’s a brief, upbeat poppy song that’s in the style of doo wop groups of the 50’s. It’s blunt, straight to the point, and pretty quick kind of like a one night stand.

“I Just Want Something to Do” – The Ramones

Even punks get lonely as this song shows. This track starts out with the legendary punks eating chicken and being bored, looking for anything to kill the time. What better way to make the time pass than some casual sex? Joey Ramone doesn’t try to hide what he’s after. He makes it clear he wants to be with someone just for the night so he doesn’t have to spend it all by himself. The video even features fans and groupies throwing themselves at Joey’s feet. And that’s pretty much it. Like their other songs it’s punchy, catchy, and simple punk rock.

“Get Lucky” – Daft Punk

Hope you’re not sick of this song. The Daft Punk track practically took over music when it was released in 2013 for good reason: it’s so damn funky. The music is infectious and Pharrell’s slick vocals about staying up all not to “get lucky” are catchy and memorable. Though the singer has stated the song doesn’t only refer to the act of sex, that’s the first thing you think of especially with the hook proclaiming “we’re up all night to get lucky.” Unlike most of the songs on the playlist, this one doesn’t think about the morning after or trying to make a fling last. Instead it focuses on having a good time and enjoying the moment. It’s hard not to loose yourself if you’re knocking boots to this song, though that would be a little weird.

“Wicked Games” – The Weeknd

The Weeknd isn’t shy when it comes to talking about love, sex, and drugs in his songs. For his debut single he addresses all three. This seductive track finds the singer healing a bad break up with drugs and causal sex. He says he wants to hear someone say “I love you” for just one night. And he’s not fooling himself since he says he knows it’s not true. He just wants something to give him a little confidence and to make the pain go away. For a song that’s about having a fling with someone to get over a break up, the music sounds sexy as hell as if it’s made to get busy to. But then again that can describe most of his music.

“I’m a Loner Dottie, a Rebel” – The Get Up Kids

This song is about that awkward moment when you have to sneak out from your one night tryst. There’s no intense drama, long lasting feelings, or even passion here. Instead, it’s about a guy leaving before the other person wakes up and maybe calling them on the way home. He wants to make an exit to make it clear the relationship doesn’t go beyond one night. It seems even the Get Up Kids know summer is a prime time for one night stands as they reference it in the line “one summer night’s the only time we’ve know.” It’s kind of a melancholy song, which you would expect from rock/emo band like The Get Up Kids.

“One Night Stand” – Janis Joplin

Sometimes there are no feelings tired whatsoever to a fling. That’s how Janis Joplin comes off in this cheeky song. There’s no question what this song is about. Joplin talks about arriving in another faceless town and finding someone to cure her loneliness. She makes her intentions clear with the first line of the chorus “Don’t you know that you’re nothin’ more than a one night stand?” But unlike most songs here, Joplin isn’t thinking about the consequences or the next morning. She wants nothing but a one night stand and if you don’t feel the same, well it’s time to get packin.’ Joplin just wants a good time, if she has any regrets or doubts, she can think about them tomorrow.

“Our Last Summer” – ABBA

The playlist ends with a song not necessarily about a one night stand, but a fleeting summer romance. Swedish dance giants ABBA sing about traveling to Paris and finding love. Of course, as these relationships tend to go, things don’t last. It’s time to go home and a long distance relationship doesn’t seem possible. So you say goodbye to your summer love and what little time you spent together. It may have felt like forever, but it wasn’t meant to be. So, when you’re out on the beach and you think you’ve found that special someone, keep this song in mind and try not to get too entangled with your summer love. Or have a good time and save regrets for another time.

Which one of these summer love songs is your favorite? What would your Summer Lovin’ playlist look like? There are a ton of songs about one night stands out there, so which ones did I miss? Let me know in the comments.

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Top 10 Michael Jackson Covers

This Sunday would’ve been Michael Jackson’s 57th birthday. Instead of dwelling over the fact he’s no longer with us, it’s a time to celebrate his wonderful music. No matter what you thought of him it’s clear his music has inspired artists across a span of genres from R&B to rock. Some artists have even taken it upon themselves to cover their favorite Jackson song. Of course no one does it better than Michael, but some artists have come close. There are a ton of terrible ones out there, but here are ten of the best Michael Jackson covers.

10. “The Girl is Mine” – Richard Cheese

Richard Cheese is known for making lounge style covers out of popular songs. He previously covered Jackson’s “Beat It,” but it’s his version of “The Girl is Mine” that’s unique and hilarious. The song starts out like a standard lounge tune and Cheese sounds smooth and silky. Just imagine him snapping his fingers to the beat while listening to it. After the first verse he introduces a special guest, which is supposed to be Stephen Hawking. Yeah, you read that right. Of course it’s not actually him, but hearing an automated voice singing this Jackson duet is weird, but is sure to put a smile on your face. It’s a bit silly, but you gotta admit Jackson’s tunes sound pretty good in lounge style.

9. “Billie Jean” – Nonpoint

This song has been speed up to be a punk rock anthem and tuned down to be a metal nightmare, but Nonpoint puts a different spin on it. They slow things down to make a brooding, melancholy song. Singer Ellias Soriano sounds vulnerable, broken, and hurt as he wails “but the kid is not my son.” Any ounce of happiness or fun is completely stripped away from the track. We’re left with the underlying angst and anger that was masked by the catchy beats. It’s not until you hear the song in this style that you realize how somber it can be.

8. “Dirty Diana” – Bruno Mars/Christina Aguilera

Both of these artists covered the sexy song during live performances and they’re both excellent. Mars’ version is very faithful to the original. In the clip, he plays the dirty riff while the synth soars behind him. He didn’t go too far from the source material, but he at least sounds really good while singing it. I’m sure he could release this as a single and it would sell well. The same goes for Aguilera’s version, which she sang at a Jackson tribute concert. But her impressive vocals matched with the steamy lyrics will give you chills.

7. “Speed Demon” – Xerath

It may come as a surprise to learn how many metal bands love covering Michael Jackson songs. “Beat It” seems to be the favorite track, but this British band went for one of the underrated tracks from Bad. Everything about this version kicks ass from the riff given a dirty make over to the intense vocals screaming “Speed demon!” that sounds like singer Richard Thomson is ripping his vocal cords. This track captures the dangerous and edginess Jackson tried to give off on the original. This track has the same spirit of the original, yet has its own flavor that makes it unique.

6. “P.Y.T.” – The Wood Brothers

There’s a good chance you may not have heard of this Americana blues band, but they know what makes a good cover song. As part of the A.V. Club’s project where artists choose a song to cover from a list, these guys choose this tune from Michael Jackson’s Thriller. It starts out a little wonky with the jarring vocals and silly music, but it all falls into place by the time they reach the hook. They turn the song from an R&B dance track to a smooth, folksy tune that sounds just as silky as the original. The coolest part is during the refrain where instead of singing “Pretty young things/repeat after me” they freestyle riffs instead, but that doesn’t stop a chorus of people from responding with “Na-na-na-na.”

5. “D.D.” – The Weeknd

With comparisons to the late pop star, it’s no surprise that The Weeknd covered this sultry track from Bad. It starts out pretty faithful to the original, but once it gets to the chorus hard electronic beats take over creating a lush soundscape of pulsating rhythm. This version takes the grittiness and edge out of the song, but turns it into more of an atmospheric track that ends up sounding more sad than angry. It’s a subtle tweak to the song, but it’s effective at giving it a completely different vibe.

4. “Billie Jean” – The Bates

This German punk band, known for their cover tunes oddly enough, turns the R&B filled track into a raucous punk anthem made for moshing. Their version is pretty faithful to the original except when it comes to the music. Their gritty guitars and energetic vibe punches up the song and brings it into the rock realm. The best part is the chorus where you can picture them pogo dancing while singing “Billie Jean is not my lover.” Something about it is fun, upbeat, vibrant, and just really inviting. Whether you like Michael Jackson or not this song is sure to get you in the pit. They’re cover songs are pretty spectacular. Check out their version of The Cure’s “Wailing Wall.”

3. “I’ll Be There” – Mariah Carey

This Jackson 5 track was always kind of mushy and definitely got the feels going, especially when Michael performed it in concert. Carey does a very faithful rendition of the song that doesn’t hold back on the emotions. Her soft soaring vocals that made her a household name in the 90s, work perfectly with this slow track and turns it into something beautiful. She did such an amazing job with it that it became a regular in her catalog and many believe it surpasses the original. She was even nominated for a Grammy for the song in 1993. Of course it took on new meaning when she performed it at Jackson’s memorial service in 2009. Say what you want about Mariah now, but back in the day her voice was something out of this world.

2. “Smooth Criminal” – Alien Ant Farm

These guys proved it was possible to make a kick ass MJ cover without royally fucking it up. Jackson has always incorporated rock influences into his music and this proves how well his songs work when you replace the synth with gritty guitars. It turns this classic Jackson jam into a headbanger. What’s even better is the video filled with references to the singer’s videos from Bubbles to the “Thriller” ending. How many can you spot? Alien Ant Farm may not be remembered for anything else, but at least they gave us this awesome cover that shows how universal Jackson’s music is.

1. “Thriller” – Imogen Heap

Ever think the creep-tacular filled “Thriller” would work as a soft ballad? Somehow Imogen Heap makes it work. With a stark, beautiful piano accompanying her she sounds haunting, yet beautiful as she sings Jackson’s iconic tune. She sounds breathy and airy as she whispers “Cause this is thriller/thriller night.” It really catches you by surprise with how awesome it is. Who would’ve thought the song would work well at a slower speed and without Vincent Price’s eerie laugh? This is everything a good cover is supposed to be: a hint of the original, but different enough to grab your attention.

Which Michael Jackson cover is your favorite? Is there another great one I missed? Let me know in the comments!