“California Gurls”

Best Summer Dance Anthem, August 2010

When we set out to find the track that will blare out of car windows this summer, we didn’t have to look far. Katy Perry’s “California Gurls” is being billed as the West Coast’s answer to Jay-Z’s 2009 “Empire State of Mind” (the song that made it uncool for New Yorkers to be cynical), and the comparison is apt. The first single off Perry’s latest album, Teenage Dream, features the L.A. songstress’s signature girly high notes and energetic delivery of lyrics as fluffy as cotton candy (with nods to Daisy Dukes, bikinis, and sun-kissed skin so hot it’ll “melt your Popsicle”). Street cred comes from guest vocals by Snoop Dogg—in a characteristically ladycentric verse—but the heart of the song is the buoyant pop beat.