The argument over "song of the summer" is an annual debate that's fun to have, but it often results in no clear winner. Everyone has their own favorite, and no one wants to back down.
But I think we all can agree that the ladies are having a pretty strong showing this season - Adele's "21," released in February, is still tearing up the charts, and you cannot go anywhere without hearing a cut from Gaga's "Born This Way" or Rihanna's "Loud." So, as August dawns, let us submit our nominees for Song of the Summer 2011.
1. Adele, "Rolling in the Deep"
Yes, it's been out there for a while, but this track won't quit. Just two weeks ago, Patti Smith sang its praises before offering her own cover of it. "Deep's" urgent blues stomp grabs at the heart and has managed to captivate listeners of all sonic persuasions.
2. Rihanna, "Man Down"
Rihanna has a solid track record with summery hooks - see "Umbrella," "Love the Way You Lie," etc. - and this reggae single, which echoes Bob Marley's "I Shot the Sherriff," is another winner.
3. Beyonce, "Party," feat. Andre 3000
"4" received mixed reviews when it debuted in June, but this single has a sensual, sultry beat that perfectly captures the feel of a lazy August late night out. And when Andre 3000 is around, you know it's a party.
4. Nicki Minaj, "Super Bass"
Where Be slows things down, Minaj amps her jam up to catch the frenetic joy of summer - a feeling from back when the season meant complete freedom from school and everything else.
5. Lady Gaga, "The Edge of Glory"
"Edge" has that urgent, last-night-on-earth groove that makes it a summer dancefloor essential.
6. Katy Perry, "Last Friday Night (TGIF)"
Personally, we're not big fans of Perry, but it'd be delusional to deny that this song has been everywhere. And "Last Friday Night" - the slightly dangerous older sister to "Teenage Dream" - gets the job done.