And, yes, right there on top of the list is the song that, as of early July anyway, would have to be the leading candidate, in terms of sheer catchiness, accuracy in depicting teenage courtship awkwardness, and digital-age adaptability.
That would be Carly Rae Jepsen's ubiquitous hit "Call Me Maybe," a pop song so malleable that it's the subject of a 43-track cover album available on the Bandcamp website, including an a cappella remix by indie DJ Dan Deacon that layers Jepsen's vocal track 147 times. Go there with caution — I'll stick with the original.
1. "Call Me Maybe," Carly Rae Jepsen. Everybody from the Roots to indie DJ Dan Deacon to President Obama (Google it) has had their way with the 26-year-old Canadian Idol alumni's cannily crafted, super-catchy pure pop hit, which is nearly as good as it is ubiquitous.
2. "Blow Me (One Last Kiss)," Pink. Would it be summer without an eyebrow-raising assault on the pop charts by the Doylestown native born Alecia Moore? The auteur behind "U + Ur Hand" returns with the help of Kelly Clarkson to not-so-subtly tell a sorry chump he's history.
3. "All Around the World," Justin Bieber feat. Ludacris. The Canadian boy wonder with the million-dollar coif is a pop-culture space hog. And at 18, he might well be, as Jimmy Kimmel recently quipped, "too old to listen to his own music." This spin around a globe where "people just want to be loved" suggests that Bieber may still be around when he's old enough to not only vote, but also drink.
4. "JUSTIN BIEBER!!!!!," Kitty Pryde. "I keep his picture on my home screen (Kitty you need a life) /?I'm not kidding when I say I'm gonna be his damn wife." DIY teenage Tumblr rapper Kitty Pryde (real name: Kathryn Beckwith) vows to run over Selena Gomez, twice if need be.
5. "Express Yourself," Diplo feat. Nicky Da B. The former Philadelphian DJ-producer who's now working with Usher (and Bieber) keeps it underground on this electro-banger.
6. "Mercy," Kanye West feat. Big Sean, Pusha T, and 2 Chainz. It's a toss-up between this and West's "New God Flow," in which he rhymes "went from most hated to champion god flow?/?I guess that's a feeling only me and LeBron know." But that track from the G.O.O.D. Music compilation Cruel Summer, due Aug. 7, isn't available on iTunes. The equally impressive "Mercy" is.
7. "Nathan," Azealia Banks feat. Styles P. Fast-talking New York "212" MC Banks seems set to out-rhyme all competitors should her debut album ever come out. From her Fantasea mixtape, due Wednesday.
8. "Night and Day," Hot Chip. English electro-geeks make a round-the-clock move on the dance floor. Playing the Electric Factory July 21.
9. "Thinking About You," Frank Ocean. "Pyramids," the 10-minute meisterwerk from this bewitchingly glitchy soul man — who made almost Anderson Cooper-size headlines last week by coming out — is too long to fit on this mix. Instead, I'm going with "Thinking About You," also from his album Planet Orange, due out July 17. He plays a sold-out Union Transfer on July 25.
10. "La La (Means I Love You)," Market East. Superbly sung cover of the 1968 William Hart-Thom Bell cowritten Delfonics classic by the Philadelphia trio Market East. Comes on like a cool breeze on a sweltering afternoon.
11. "Greatest Hits," the Mystery Jets. Winsome acoustic pop from Brit-pop band heartsick over divvying up a mutual record collection. Extra points for mentioning the Minutemen's Double Nickels on the Dime. Only vinyl can break your heart.
12. "Springsteen," Eric Church. Country bad boy Eric Church is at least as slick as he is tough, and smart enough to keep this name-dropping No. 1 hit relatively understated as it mentions song titles by a guy from New Jersey whose melodies bring back memories of bygone glory days.
13. "Sixpack," Jeff the Brotherhood. Speaking of Nashville, these southern garage rockers are loaded up with ice, brewskis, and fuzz guitar hooks.
14. "Ruin," Cat Power. Chan Marshall, aka Cat Power, is coolness incarnate on this keyboard-driven departure from the old-school soul moves of her last proper album, 2006's The Greatest. From Sun, due Sept. 4.
15. "No One Like You," Best Coast. Classic girl-group yearning from songwriter Bethany Cosentino, whose band is often mischaracterized as "surf-rock." Summery, but not conducive to hanging ten. At Union Transfer July 16.
16. "Under the Westway," Blur. Lovely and languorous piano rumination by the much-loved, reunited '90s Brit-pop band fronted by Damon Albarn. It's one of two new songs debuted Beatles-style on a London rooftop earlier this month. Please, sirs, can we have some more?
17. "Next to Me," Emeli Sandé. Black Scotswoman Emeli Sandé's first name is Adele. Fitting, since the big-voiced belter seems well suited to step into the void left by the Grammy-dominating singer's forthcoming maternity leave.
18. "Come Into My Head," Kimbra. Angular funk from New Zealand singer who's also heard on her Belgo-Australian buddy Gotye's megahit "Somebody That I Used to Know."
19. "Heaven," the Walkmen. Hortatory title track to the excellent sixth album by the three-fifths Philadelphian indie band fronted by Hamilton Leithauser.
20. "Psychotic Episode," Royal Headache. One among many two-minute doses of friendly fury from this Aussie quartet's winningly aggressive debut album.
21. "Younger Us," Japandroids. "Remember saying thing like ‘We'll sleep when we're dead'?/?And thinking this feeling was never going to end?" Young Vancouver duo remembers what it was like to be younger still. From the aptly titled Celebration Rock.
22. "Tallulah," Allo Darlin'. A ukulele-plucked song references the Go-Betweens' "Tallulah," in which Elizabeth Morris thinks about how much she loves pop music and worries that she's already heard all the songs that will tell her who she is. From the altogether fab sophomore release Europe.
23. "Sweet Dreams," Rhett Miller. Roots-pop songwriter nods to Patsy Cline, and kisses a could-have-been love affair goodbye as it strolls off into the summer sunset.
Contact Dan DeLuca at 215-854-5628 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow on Twitter @delucadan. Read his blog, "In the Mix," at www.philly.com/inthemix.