Song of the Summer: I Need Your Love by Ellie Goulding and Calvin Harris

While other pop music fans may choose "Blurred Lines" or "Get Lucky" as the song of summer, for me that title goes to the excellent Ellie Goulding and Calvin Harris collab, "I Need Your Love." I praised the track early in the summer and claimed it deserved more radio play. Eventually, it got some chart traction, peaking at 16 on the Billboard Hot 100 (where it still hovers in the top 30). The song broke its way through because it is the right mix of Harris' strong production choices and Goudling's excellent vocals. Though her voice is as smoky and emotional as ever, "I Need Your Love" takes the subject matter from her brooding Halcyon LP and lightens the material. This lightness is a credit to Harris, who adds a shimmering and fun hopefulness not all that different from the magic he worked on Rihanna's "We Found Love." Goulding and Harris are ideal co-writers and sonic collaborators because there is just enough contrast in their aesthetics to create an interesting emotional tension in their work together. "I Need Your Love" pulses forward with a good beat, and the vocal coupled with the electronics sound like a good night out full of warm weather and dancing, dimly lit by neon signs and stars. It's this quality--darkness peppered with just enough light--that made the song such a quintessential listen and the soundtrack to wonderful summer evenings.

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