Top 10 Songs of July 2013

Just a Guy’s monthly music article includes the top songs of July. The restrictions are simple, the album or the song must have been released during the month in review and to encourage diversification, we only select one song per album. Ryan and Steve take you through the tracks that they’ve been listening to. With the rules out of the way, let’s get started with the best songs from October!

Skylar Grey – C’mon Let Me RideSkylar Grey at the 2013 Grammy Awards

Skylar Grey came to the public eye when she was featured on Fort Minor’s, “Where’d You Go?”, Diddy’s “Coming Home”, Lupe Fiasco’s “Words I Never Said” and on “I Need A Doctor” by Dr. Dre and Eminem. Quite an impressive resume of artists and songs for an artist, who had yet to put an album as Skylar Grey. She did put out an album as Holly Brook in 2006 though.  She again meets up with Eminem in her very own single from her album, Don’t Look Down. The track starts out as most sexually themed pop songs, as she parades along making many a innuendo. She turns this all on it’s end with her third verse where she says she’s just messing with you and she’s, “not like the sluts in this town”. It’s an amusing change of pace to the typical radio play and with a verse from, arguably the greatest rapper of all-time, it’s a nice departure from the norm.

Franz Ferdinand – Right Action

Franz Ferdinand is back this fall and “Right Action” is the first single off of their upcoming album Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action. Clearly a Franz Ferdinand track, it features a bass line that will have you ready to dance in no time. In a lot of ways, Franz Ferdinand is a band that with a throwback sound of the sixties, and “Right Action” is a perfect example of that.

Jay-Z – Holy Grail

The lead song off Jay-Z’s latest, Magna Carta Holy Grail, is potentially the best song on the album. The intro and chorus are sung melodically by the prince of pop, Mr. Justin Timberlake. Jay’s verse revolve around dealing with fame and he embraces it, but it drives him crazy simultaneously.  An interesting parallel to enjoy something that causes numerous annoyances. He knows how quickly it could all end like it has with many others, but he’s determined to stay on top. It’s a message he projects throughout the album and seems appropriate that he leads with it on the opening track.

Kings of Leon – Supersoaker

A few years back, Kings of Leon were the biggest band in rock music. After taking sometime off the band is with “Supersoaker” off of the upcoming album Mechanical Bull. This track is a mix of their early sound as well as the sound that made them arena rock gods. Fans of Kings of Leon will be happy to see them back with new songs and a promising album coming out this fall.

Sick Puppies – There’s No Going Back

Sick Puppies newest album is Connect and they picked “There’s No Going Back” as the lead single.  It’s an emotionally charged song, yet it has a strong ballad-esque chorus that brings the mood up. Seemingly an anthem of distraught thoughts of youth that is filled with regret, but maintaining that “There’s no going back” and “The past is in the past”. The song seems to fight itself lyrically, battling the urge to wallow in self pity or to learn from life’s experiences and move on. It is a song of reflection of previous years, but the refrain keeps pushing it forward. This track can easily be related to for most any person and is easily identifiable with anyone who’s contemplated their younger years.

Tech N9ne – See Me

Tech N9ne is a different artist. Always has been, always will be. This makes for some really good tracks most of the time and other times it gets a little strange. This might be why he founded Strange Music Inc. nearly 15 years ago in 1999. “See Me” is from his latest album, Something Else. It features B.o.B. on the hook and a verse from Wiz Khalifa, which seems to make Tech slow his usually upbeat style down a bit. This doesn’t affect the overall quality of the track, but it is a little different. The song might have more mass appeal because of the slowed effect, but don’t take that to mean he has changed up at all. That’s the thing with Tech N9ne though, you should expected the unexpected in terms of style, pace, beat, and lyrics.

Robin Thicke – Give It 2 U

The song of the summer has been “Blurred Lines” so it’s understandable that Robin Thicke has a lot to live up to with his next single. “Give It 2 U” is made straight for the clubs (Thanks Dr. Luke) with a thumping base line and Thicke doing his best Prince impersonation with the lyrics. A guest spot from Kendrick Lamar is nice, definitely a song you’ll be hearing as you’re out on the town in the coming weeks.

Michael Franti & Spearhead – I’m Alive (Life Sounds Like)

A pop jam that is catching steam in recent weeks I’m Alive” comes to us courtesy of Michael Franti & Spearhead. While the band has been around since the mid-90’s, “I’m Alive” has the potential to be one of their biggest songs to date. You’re just as likely to hear it on your local pop radio station as well as your parent’s light rock station. A catchy summertime song that you can throw on at any outing without complaints.

Five Finger Death Punch – Lift Me Up

The Death Punch guys are known for their heavy musical style and angry lyrics. “Lift Me Up” is no different from this traditional 5FDP sound. It’s the first single off their album, The Wrong Side of Heaven and the Righteous Side Hell, Volume 1. With a feature from Rob Halford of heavy metal fame and lead vocalist of Judas Priest, this is a track that definitely rocks. This is a song that will get you amped up for a quick workout or a challenging run. The lyrics are constantly confrontational and empowers the listener with near fearlessness.

Yellowcard – Ocean Avenue (Acoustic)

This is not a new song, in fact, it’s ten years old. Yellowcard has decided to re-record their platinum smash Ocean Avenue to celebrate the album’s ten year anniversary. The entire album will be recorded acoustically and the band (re?)released “Ocean Avenue” to get people talking again. When done acoustically, the song sounds more mature, which is probably what the band is going for. Amazing how the albums of our youth are growing up with us.  

Honorable Mentions

We Came As Romans – Fade Away
Ace Hood – Bugatti (Remix)
Relient K – Don’t Blink

Did your favorite artist, album, or song not make the cut? Let us know in the comments below. Got a song that you think deserves to make in next month’s list? Hit us up on FacebookTwitter, or Google+.

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A certified personal trainer and graduate of Northwestern University (M.A. in Sport Adminstration), Steve is resident fitness expert and music snob of JustAGuy. In addition to fitness and music, Steve also enjoys sports. Feel free to trash talk him at steve@justaguy.us.

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