Rooting for Kelly Rowland

More

Unless a particular song comes racing out of the gates and absolutely defines a musical moment, I've always thought it was a little silly to scramble to identify a Song of the Summer. Pop songs aren't genuinely huge, they don't instantly transport you back to a three-month slice of your life just because critics say they do. Unless it's something like Rihanna's "Umbrella," with its sweet allusions to the Hollies' "Bus Stop," its Silver Surfer-like role as the Herald of Auto-Tune, and its status as the marker its singer planted to stake her claim to superstardom, Songs of the Summer are merely going to be successful, rather than iconic.


That said, if a pick's got to be made for 2010, I kind of hope it's Kelly Rowland's "Commander."

The video itself is relatively dopey, dancing from the Matrix reloaded with guys who forgot to wash the home dye out of their hair:



That nonsense aside, it's a pretty decent slice of pop. The chorus is absolutely gigantic, way bigger than any of the verses, and more important than David Guetta's minor lyrical interventions. It's a high-concept understanding of the dance floor, even if it's not my preferred interpretation of that space. If love and shaking it are war, Kelly seems like she'd be a pretty decent person to have boss you around in both.

And the truth is, I'd really like to see Rowland succeed on her own, much in the same way I root for Solange Knowles. I genuinely don't have anything against Beyonce, I just think that she shines so bright and hot that sometimes I want to see what's obscured by that stardom. And other than "Dilemma," Rowland's extremely amiable 2002 duet with Nelly (speaking of folks I'd like to make a compelling return), she hasn't really had a significant hit on her own:


 

 And if "Commander" doesn't get the job done, maybe "Rose Colored Glasses" will. It's a sadder song, but it's still got some serious lift to it:
 
Jump to comments
Presented by

Alyssa Rosenberg is a culture writer with The Washington Post.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

A Delightful, Pixar-Inspired Cartoon About the Toys in Your Cereal Box

The story of an action figure and his reluctant sidekick, who trek across a kitchen in search of treasure.


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Juice Cleanses: The Worst Diet

A doctor tries the ever-popular Master Cleanse. Sort of.

Video

Why Did I Study Physics?

Using hand-drawn cartoons to explain an academic passion

Video

What If Emoji Lived Among Us?

A whimsical ad imagines what life would be like if emoji were real.

Video

Living Alone on a Sailboat

"If you think I'm a dirtbag, then you don't understand the lifestyle."

Feature

The Future of Iced Coffee

Are artisan businesses like Blue Bottle doomed to fail when they go mainstream?

Writers

Up
Down

More in Entertainment

Just In