Ah, summertime. The time for swimming, lounging at the beach, volleyball, cruising with the windows down and the music up. Of course, there’s the dancing, too. Unfortunately, dancing does require something that most people lack — a good summer set list! Summer music is in a genre of its own; it’s entirely separate from Hip Hop, Rock, or Techno. Summer music is a mash-up of cheerfulness, free will and good old fun.
How are you supposed to sift through the multitude of songs that are boring, depressing, or all-around terrible to find those rare gems that make for great impromptu summertime dance parties? I did my best to help you with that, my friends.
Okay, okay, let me just say before you read my choices for 10 ten albums for this summer that some are, well, not so new. That being said, they’re classic summertime jams. So while you might be sick of hearing “Teenage Dream” or “California Gurls” over and over, hear me out about the albums I’ve chosen. ;)
10. Glee: The Music, Vol. 6 — The Cast of Glee
For you Gleeks out there, this album is probably already pre-ordered & the release date is probably written on your calender. I love Glee, but I can see why some don’t care for it; that being said, I think this should definitely be on your list of albums to pick up this summer. It releases May 23 (that’s next Monday, people!) so you’ve got plenty of time to catch up on a few episodes before it’s out. (Trust me, singing along with them is almost as fun as being in the real Glee club — almost.)
9. Turtleneck & Chain (Deluxe Version) — The Lonely Island
Even if you’re not a fan of comedy music (who isn’t?), I guarantee you’ll fall in love with their clever lyrics, catchy beats, and their collaborations with superstars such as Justin Timberlake, Nicki Minaj, and Akon. (CAUTION: Some of these are explicit, so it’s probably not a good idea to blast ’em when there are young children or the elderly nearby.)
8. The Beginning (Deluxe Version) — The Black Eyed Peas
This album was released late last November, but summer’s the perfect time to not care if your neighbor sees you shakin’ it to Fergie’s awesome pipes. If you’ve only heard their singles from this album, I’d definitely recommend giving the entire record a listen to. There are a lot of hidden gems on here! (Psst, “Someday” and “Own It” are awesome.)
7. Party Rock — LMFAO
Again, here’s an “oldie” (it was released in 2009 — that’s ancient, right?), but I think we should all bring it back and give it another listen to. Their awesome beats and super-catchy hooks will put you in the mood — to dance, that is.
6. Born This Way — Lady GaGa
If there’s one album on my list of must-haves, it’s this album. Releasing May 23, there’s already so much hype about it! Even if you’re not a Little Monster, you’re sure to fall in love with her powerful voice and beautiful lyrics. “Judas”, “Hair”, “Born This Way”, and “The Edge of Glory”, the singles from Born This Way, are available now on iTunes.
5. Pink Friday (Deluxe Version) — Nicki Minaj
Nicki Minaj, although relatively new to the music scene, made a big impact with this record. Even if you don’t like rap, there’s still lots to love on this album. “Moment 4 Life”, “Save Me”, and lots of other tracks aren’t as rap-like as the others. Nicki’s fun and bold — she doesn’t care what people think of her and her quirky lyrics show it.
4. Man On the Moon, Vol. II: The Legend of Mr. Rager (Deluxe Version) — Kid Cudi
If you’re like me (or any other human), you need the occasional break from jammin’ out to eat, sleep, or perform maintenance personal hygiene. If your constant summer dancing has you wasting away from lack of nourishment or plagued by greasy, unwashed hair, do something about it. This album is perfect for relaxing to. If you’ve never heard Kid Cudi, I highly recommend listening to his stuff. His latest album is less rap and more of a soothing speak-talk. Almost like Ke$ha, but better.
3. Cannibal — Ke$ha
Speak of the devil. Ke$ha comes in at number 3, not because I “like” Ke$ha or because I approve of her, uh, sloppy style. But because I’m in love. With. This. Album. Seriously, I never thought I’d say the words, but I adore each and every one of these songs. Please, please, please, just give it a quick listen. It’s undoubtedly catchy, hypnotic, crazy, and underestimated. Ke$ha did a great job at toning down her sloppy songwriting (remember “TiK ToK”?) and added a dose of something unexpected: clever, witty lyrics with bassy beats. My favorites are “Sleazy”, “Cannibal”, “Blow”, and “Grow a Pear”. They make great girls-night dance songs.
2. Teenage Dream — Katy Perry
I call this “ideal cruisin’ music”. Play this album on repeat on a long road trip and it’ll be your new go-to jam. This record is the ideal blend of pop beats with karaoke-like lyrics (“Teenage Dream”), edgy, angry tracks (“Circle the Drain”), and powerful ballads (“Pearl”). If you’ve only heard one or two singles off of this album, you should give the whole thing a listen. Some noteworthy tracks are “E.T. (Futuristic Lover)”, “The One That Got Away”, “Takes One to Know One”, and “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)”.
1. Endless Summer — The Beach Boys
“But, Becca,” you say, “This album was released almost 40 years ago!” Yes, dear reader. But how can you not make this number 1 on a list of the top 10 albums for summer?! Everyone’s probably heard it a thousand times, but it’s perfect. With songs like “Catch a Wave”, “Surfer Girl”, “All Summer Long”, and “Girls on the Beach”, it’s pretty obvious why this is the summer must-have.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this list & I hope you find it useful! Have a great summer!