The dog days of summer are here... super sunny weather, long lazy afternoons, and the perfect songs blasting to capture that carefree state of mind.
There's just something about certain songs that represent this time of year so perfectly -- so every year, I put together my list of Top 20 Summer Songs... and this year's choices are some of the most iconic yet.
And here they are... in no particular order...
Top 20 Songs of Summer 2011
1-"Tonight Tonight" by Hot Chelle Rae
"La, la, la, whatever..." -- it's impossible to deny the drop-everything-and-party attitude of the music and lyrics of this Nashville, TN, band's hit song. This feel-good tune is sure to break anyone out of a funk and get you bopping your head all summer long. (PS- Did you know Glee's Chord Overstreet's brother Nash is in the band?!)
2-"Unfriend You" by Greyson Chance
Not to judge a book by its cover, but the moment I heard that Greyson Chance's single from his album, Hold On 'Til the Night, out now, was called "Unfriend You," I was sold -- so brilliant and so "now." (And I'll admit I have "Unfriended" a friend or two... ;)). With a song that captures the emotion of today's social networking drama-rama so passionately mixed with Greyson's strong vocals, this is the ultimate song of the moment.
3-"Jet Lag" by Simple Plan featuring Natasha Bedingfield
Simple Plan is my all-time fave band -- and this single off their album Get Your Heart On! that came out in June just might be one of their best yet. It's the perfect mix of the catchy pop-punk music Simple Plan's known for plus the heart-wrenching lyrics of being away from the one you love that will tug at anyone's heart and leave you feeling just a bit jet lagged.
4-"The Edge of Glory" by Lady Gaga
Talk about an epic song. Lady Gaga wrote this song about the strength of love after spending time with her grandfather just before he passed away -- and it's sure to go down in music history as one of the all-time greatest power ballads.
5-"Rhythm of Love" by Plain White T's
If I were to roll summer up into a song, it would definitely be this beachy ballad by the Plain White T's. The band's frontman Tom Higgenson passes the mic to guitarist Tim Lopez (who I admittedly may have a little crush on ;)) who captures that Jason Mraz-meets-Jack Johnson vibe just right.... with the perfect accompanying music video to boot.
6-"The Lazy Song" by Bruno Mars
This song should be the agenda for everyone's summer -- kick back and do nothing. And boy does Bruno Mars capture that light-hearted fun just the way summer should be lived.
7-"On My Mind" by Cody Simpson
There's no love like summer love -- and Cody Simpson's emotional plea professing his feelings to his crush is just the kind of song that everyone can relate to... wanting to spill all your feelings to the guy that you just can't get out of our head. Oh Cody, you just so get us.
8-"Rolling in the Deep" by Adele
Adele's album 21 has topped every chart -- and it's this single that shows us why she's one of those artists that pulls in fans of all ages.
9-"Party Rock Anthem" by LMFAO
Boy do these guys know how to throw a party! No summer playlist is complete without this chart-topping dance hit.
10-"The Story of Us" by Taylor Swift
Summer love wouldn't be so magical if it weren't for the often inevitable breakup -- which Taylor Swift puts into perfect words in her summer single. Getting your heartbroken is, for better or worse, part of life -- and those sleepless nights thinking about what went wrong ultimately result in realizing that the "story" is better off ending without the guy! Blast this on repeat and I guarantee you'll patch up that broken heart swiftly (pun intended!).
11-"Misery" by Maroon 5
What's a relationship without a little roller coaster of emotions? And the smooth pop-soul sounds of this Maroon 5 hit put all those complicated feelings into song. Sigh.
12-"Best Friend's Brother" by Victoria Justice
Dare I admit I've woken up in the morning singing this song outloud? The super catchy chorus will start making you crush on that 6'3" brother of your BFF's too. Okay, maybe not, but it does show that sometimes you simply can't control who you crush on.
13-"Run the World (Girls)" by Beyoncé
The ultimate girl power anthem of the summer. How can you not feel more empowered after hearing this?
14-"Darling Buds of May" by Viva Brother
This is one of those rare songs I fell in love with on first listen -- but that's all it takes to understand why this new British band is getting so much buzz at musical festivals like SXSW.
15-"Who Says" by Selena Gomez & The Scene
Summer days are perfect for thinking about life -- who you are now and who you want to be. And in those introspective moments, it's powerful messages like Selena Gomez's "Who Says" that put everything into perspective. After all, who knows you better than yourself -- and why should anyone take that away from you? You are worth it!
16-"Don't Let Me Go" by The Click Five
The power-pop band shows their sensitive side with this emotional ballad that captures the fearful feeling of being left behind. And if lead singer Kyle Patrick's vocals don't yank on your heartstrings, then their video for the song with a powerful message about human trafficking will definitely cinch the deal.
17-"Someone Like You" by The Summer Set
The Arizona band's carefree love song is the epitome of what summer love should be. And the chorus' "Oh oh"s are sure to have you singing about it all summer long.
18-"Not Your Birthday" by Allstar Weekend
This isn't your typical birthday song -- which is what makes it such a fun track to rock out to! Forget all the pressures that come with turning another year older... and just party the summer away!
19-"Worldwide" by Big Time Rush
This song premiered on the "Big Time Break Up" episode of the Nickelodeon show, but whether or not you saw it, you'll totally get that feeling the guys are singing about... that sometimes love is so far away that it hurts.
20-"Never Say Never" by Justin Bieber and Jaden Smith
And what would a summer song playlist be without some Justin Bieber? JB's latest single with his "little bro" Jaden Smith not only shows how far he's come by living his mantra, but also shows why we should all live by the three words and never give up on anything.
So those are my Top 20 Songs of Summer in no particular order... but now I'm dying to know what yours are!
Comment below and share your favorite hits that you're blasting these summer days.
Can't wait to hear from you!