Weve never wanted to shoot the messenger as bad as we did when Perez Hilton last week declared Katy Perry’s “I Kissed a Girl” 2008’s song of the summer because I still just don’t believe that a song this awful could possibly claim the honor. Sure, Hilton has the math to back him up — as of last Wednesday, Perry’s hit has been atop Billboard’s Hot 100 singles chart for seven of summer’s thirteen weeks, making it impossible for another song to beat it (chart-wise, at least). But music is more than just a numbers game! With that in mind, after the jump Vulture presents six reasons why “I Kissed a Girl” isn’t the Song of the Summer…
1. You can’t dance to it. A Song of the Summer needs to make you move, whether you’re out at a club or alone in your room; at most, this lumbering ode to part-time bisexuality might make you nod your head a bit. It sounds more like a jock jam than a club hit and would probably clear a dance floor faster than “Marquee Moon.”
2. It has a message, albeit a stupid one. When was the last time a Song of the Summer actually meant something? Lyrics to previous ones like “Crazy,” “Crazy in Love,” “Umbrella,” and “Hollaback Girl” were just sort of there and never distracted from the beat, whereas the words to “I Kissed a Girl” are just a cheap grab for attention.
3. It doesn’t have the full support of our nation’s rappers. Though Kanye’s blogged about it (but, then again, what hasn’t he blogged about?), no A-list rappers — the Dionysian guardians of the summer party season — have endorsed “I Kissed a Girl” by doing a guest verse on a remix (honestly, Mims was the best they could do?). Surely it wouldn’t take much to persuade Lil Wayne to spit a few lines over a song about sapphic experimentation if he was at all down with the song, right?
4. Snobs hate it too. Did you know that Katy Perry has never once been mentioned anywhere on Pitchfork? (See for yourself!) In fact, the entire music blogosphere seems to be lukewarm on “I Kissed a Girl.” The support of hipsters (ironic or otherwise) is strictly essential for a track to attain Song of the Summer status.
5. Actually, everyone seems to hate it. “I Kissed a Girl” hasn’t gotten a decent rap remix, but it sure has been parodied and ironically covered. Among the more notable were Max Vernon’s version that left all pronouns intact, “I Kissed a Squirrel,” and another parody with fart jokes. The Song of the Summer should be the coolest kid in class, not the awkward one that everyone picks on.
6. Was it released too late? Many Songs of the Summer are spring hits that snowball into summer ones. “Hollaback Girl,” 2005’s official SOTS, was released as a single in March, and was on an album that came out the previous November. Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy” got leaked to the Internet in December 2005, and by the time it was 2006’s SOTS, it already had a six-month head start as a blog hit. “I Kissed a Girl” was first heard in May, and although it may be peaking now, there’s a chance (we hope, anyway) that it could just be a passing fad. —Ehren Gresehover