The school year is progressing and autumn is beginning, yet some are still clinging to summertime. In addition to the warm weather and three-month break from school, what many people will miss about the summer are the addictive songs that dominated the radio and Billboard charts. There was Selena Gomez’s Bollywood-influenced pop anthem “Come & Get It,” Bruno Mars’ 70s disco throwback “Treasure,” Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ foot stomper “Can’t Hold Us,” and Miley Cyrus’s raunchy “We Can’t Stop.” However, there are two summer songs that seem to stand out among the rest: Robin Thicke’s infectious “Blurred Lines” and Daft Punk’s electro-funk jam “Get Lucky.”
Prior to the success of these songs, Thicke’s popularity was mostly with some hip-hop and pop fans, while Daft Punk’s recognition was limited to the electronic dance music crowd. “Blurred Lines” and “Get Lucky” have made them among some of the most recognizable and in-demand artists in mainstream pop music. It has been two years since Thicke’s record “Love After War” and eight years since Daft Punk’s previous album “Human After All.” No one would have believed these somewhat obscure musicians would have two of the biggest songs in the summer of 2013.
Through their countless advertisements, commercial successes, and millions of Youtube views, both “Blurred Lines” and “Get Lucky” have become cultural phenomenons. They have demonstrated that obscure artists are not only becoming increasingly mainstream, but that music is becoming both a listening and social experience in our culture. Despite their similar success, each tune is distinctive in its own way — from their sound to critical reception to their growth in popularity. But, the question remains: Which one is really the top summer song? Here are some numbers behind the songs that may help to answer those questions:
“Blurred Lines” has stayed at #1 on the charts longer and has sold more copies than “Get Lucky.”
One of the many reasons why these are the biggest songs of the summer is primarily the commercial element. Although “Blurred Lines” and “Get Lucky” are the most successful songs for each artist respectively, they did not acquire the same financial outcome. According to Billboard, “Blurred Lines” spent 12 weeks since the week of June 22nd at No. 1. In contrast, “Get Lucky” was only able to peak at No. 2 on the Hot 100 for five weeks, always behind “Blurred Lines.” However, it was No. 1 on the Dance/Electronic Songs chart for 13 weeks and reached top 10 status in over 32 countries worldwide. Also, according to NME, “Lines” has sold more than 1.36 million copies to date in the UK and 7.8 million copies in the US since its release in March. “Lucky” has sold only 1.24 million copies in the UK and 7.3 million in the US since April.
Although “Blurred Lines” achieved 16,000 covers, “Get Lucky” has a record of 40,000 covers, according to Youtube.
Cover-song homages are a growing marker of a hit song’s popularity: the bigger the hit, the faster the cover is a hit on the Internet. As a result, the covers and parodies of “Blurred Lines” and “Get Lucky” have also made each of the songs more popular, but in various ways. Though “Blurred Lines” has been covered by hundreds of people and other popular musicians, including Fun., Vampire Weekend, and Queens of the Stone Age, “Get Lucky” has the most covers, with a record of 40,000 covers on Youtube. Additionally, “Lucky” has spawned numerous parodies from Daft Punk fans and celebrities, such as talk show host Stephen Colbert. Unlike the humorous parodies of “Get Lucky”, most of the “Blurred Lines” parodies are deprecations of the song’s risqué and allegedly misogynistic subject matter. For instance, they use female singers and male dancers to portray the song in a much more feministic light.
“Get Lucky” has received acclaim from music critics, while “Blurred Lines” has received mixed to positive reviews.
One of the most imperative elements of the “song of the summer” is also the song’s critical reception. Since its April release, “Get Lucky” has been praised by critics and music listeners alike for its invigorating sound, alluring disco instrumental, and memorable lyrics. On the other hand, “Blurred Lines” has received mixed reception. Its R&B groove and the song’s catchiness were commended by most critics, but it was criticized heavily because of its ribald lyrics and controversial music video. The video, which features Thicke, Pharrell Williams and rapper T.I., has the three artists surrounded by nude models, who they glare at suggestively. The lyrics also entail a rather provocative essence, when Thicke hums, “And that’s why I’m gon’ take a good girl/I know you want it.” Although Thicke stated that he believes “Blurred Lines” glorifies feminism, when he references the line “That man is not your maker,” the song has caused public uproar and posed Thicke as a misogynist. Interestingly, “Get Lucky” also has somewhat sexually perverse themes. However, unlike “Lines,” it’s not only about finding sexual chemistry with someone, but hoping to have a sincere connection with that person, according to featured R&B singer/producer Pharrell Williams.
Both songs feature Pharrell Williams.
Coincidentally, Pharrell Williams starred on both “Get Lucky” and “Blurred Lines.” The 40-year-old musician became the first artist to simultaneously occupy the top two slots of the Billboard Hot 100 chart since 2009. Additionally, the success of “Get Lucky” and “Blurred Lines” has given Pharrell his first two UK million-selling singles. On June 29, 2013, Pharrell became the 12th artist in the chart’s history to simultaneously hold the number one and two positions with “Blurred Lines” and “Get Lucky” respectively. Moreover, these songs have not only created a cultural, critical, and commercial impact on the public, but have transformed Pharrell as one of the music industry’s most reliable and effective musicians.
Do you think “Get Lucky” or “Blurred Lines” deserve to be the top summer songs? If not, what do you think is the song of the summer? Post your comments below!
In the meantime, here is Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines”:
Listen to Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky”:
Also, here’s a fantastic cover of “Get Lucky” by UK artist George Barnett:
Watch a cover of “Blurred Lines” by indie rock group Vampire Weekend: