Summer Anthem Power Rankings
In addition to vacations, pools, beaches, and barbecues, summer has given us some great anthems with which to celebrate the season. A truly great summer hit has got to be more than just a catchy pop song. It must have that indefinable ‘X-factor’ that causes it to repeat endlessly in our heads, that urges us to crank up the volume and roll down the windows, and that commands us to drop what we’re doing and start dancing.
In the interest of commemorating the great summer anthems of the 2000s, I have ranked the number 1 singles from each summer since 2001. With Wikipedia as my guide, I explored these hit-songs to remind all of us what great taste in music we have had.
12. We Belong Together (2005) – Mariah Carey
To be honest, I neither know this song, nor do I have any desire to hear it. My cursory research into ‘05s biggest summer song showed that it came from an album entitled, ‘The Emancipation of MiMi.’ So that about sums it up.
Tie 10. Promiscuous (2006) – Nelly Furtado ft. Timbaland & I Kissed a Girl – (2008) Katy Perry
Otherwise generic pop tunes took a turn for the edgy, though it’s hard to decipher exactly what Nelly and Timbaland are talking about. If we learned one thing from summers ‘06 and ’08 it’s that a provocative title can go a long way to cover up a mediocre product.
8-9. U Remind Me/Burn (2001/2004) – Usher
OMG, Usher has two number one singles in the 2000s? YEAH, he sure does. Before we get too ‘Caught Up,’ in the hype, we’ve got to recognize that these #1s are some downers. Usher seems to drop his heavier stuff on consumers in the summer months. What’s ‘More,’ these slow jams are catchy but my ‘Confessions’ are that these are not the kind of material I find myself still humming today.
7. Rolling in the Deep (2011) – Adele
It is undeniably a great song. But I’m not convinced that it works as a summer anthem. If Adele could only get a little happier she could certainly ascend to summer anthem glory.
6. Hot in Herre (2002) – Nelly
Nelly picked up on a vital characteristic of summer – it’s hot. Using some 2nd grade logic, he crafted a thoughtful and insightful reflection on what happens on hot summer nights in the club.
Tie 4. Umbrella (2007) – Rhianna & California Gurls (2010) – Katy Perry ft. Snoop Dog
Katy’s second summer entry is much more accessible and light. Along with Rhianna’s classic offering which permanently changed the pronunciation of the word ‘umbarella,’ these two songs struck a nerve in listeners who just wanted a catchy, fun summer tune that didn’t ask much intellectually but also didn’t take itself too seriously.
3. Call Me Maybe (2012) – Carly Rae Jepson
This song came from out of nowhere! An unknown artist ascends to pop-culture glory with one of the catchiest chorus’ in recent memory. This song symbolizes summer in so many ways – brisk, light, innocent fun.
2. I Gotta Feeling (2009) – Black Eyed Peas
Of all the songs on this list, this one might have been the most overplayed. And some of you might be rolling your eyes or shaking your head to see this, but I simply ask you to remember a happier time in the early summer of ’09, when a summer anthem took everyone by storm and gave the phrase “Mazel Tov” as much popularity as when Fiddler on the Roof first came out in 1971.
1. Crazy in Love (2003) – Beyonce ft. Jay Z
There you have it. Infectious horns, insanely catchy hooks, two top artists at the top of their games – Crazy in Love is the consummate summer hit. Beyonce and Jay Z stepped up their game with this jam that you can still find on the radio today.
Now you know the summer songs that have taken this country by storm. So what songs do YOU think should have been number one summer anthems?