Take Back the Night
"Take Back the Night" by Justin Timberlake, which was released July 2013. (Album Cover courtesy of RCA Records)

by Mallika Rao

Our latest poll asked, “What song is currently rocking your world?” The answer surprisingly turned out to be Justin Timberlake’s “Take Back the Night,” with 43% of the votes.

Or perhaps, it’s not that surprising. JT has been culturally relevant for over a decade now. No matter what he does, whether it be acting, singing, or hosting “Saturday Night Live,” he just seems to turn it all into gold. No one in the industry matches the feats he has accomplished.

The other songs in the poll were Katy Perry’s girl-power anthem “Roar,” Lady Gaga’s ode to clapping, “Applause,” and Robin Thicke’s summer smash “Blurred Lines.” As it turns out, people are getting a little tired of Thicke, as he only got 10% of the vote. Gaga came in second with 27%, while Perry scored 18%. Both Thicke and Perry should not be complaining though; their songs were both #1 singles this year. As for Gaga, she’s got another healthy hit on her hands with “Applause.”

Personally, I have my own take on these songs. The clear winner in my opinion is Katy Perry’s “Roar.” The song is the latest in her series of women empowerment pop tunes, which have so far included “Firework” and “Part of Me.” Perry’s attitude and fierce outlook on life shine in this song, and as a college student that occasionally procrastinates, I find it rather motivating and feel that others are in the same boat as me. “Applause” is kind of a departure for Gaga. At first listen, the song is rather alienating. Gaga employs beats and vocal technology that harken back to David Bowie’s heyday. But the video alone should please Gaga fans who just want the quirky and creative Mother Monster they fell in love with.

On to the men. JT and Robin both have smooth moves and “swag.” Both of their songs have funky beats that recall the 1970s. However, the flavor on “Take Back the Night” can be too old-school at times, which is why I did not expect the song to win our poll. “Blurred Lines,” on the other hand, employs modern musical techniques such as the hip-hop/R&B collaboration between Thicke and T.I. Also, the music video’s controversy piqued everyone’s curiosity this summer. Timberlake’s video for “Take Back the Night” is rather forgettable. Amongst the men, “Blurred Lines” takes the cake in my opinion.

Stay tuned for our next poll.