Pop Shop Picks: Robin Thicke, Drop City Yacht Club & More

Hootan Vahidi
Robin Thicke

Each Friday, Pop Shop will showcase a handful of tracks that have been burning up its speakers over the past week. These can include a brand-new song or a track that's been simmering for a minute; the only rule is that it's worth space in the Pop Shop!

Blurred Lines (4:23)
Producer: Pharrell WIlliams
Writers: Robin Thicke, Pharrell WIlliams
Star Trak/Interscope

Justin Timberlake’s “Suit & Tie” was the year’s best lead single from a handsome, blue-eyed R&B singer, until “Blurred Lines” entered the conversation. Robin Thicke's latest offering has already drawn online attention for its not-safe-for-work musicvideo, which features enough female nudity to get banned from YouTube. Still, there's enough artistic merit in this bubbly bit of disco-shuffling R&B to stir up some much-deserved anticipation for Thicke's sixth studio effort. “Blurred Lines” is an absolute win for all parties involved, especially Thicke, who loosens up his tie after a string of overly sincere singles from 2011's"Love After War." Come-ons like "You wanna hug me, what rhymes with hug me?" could get eyerolls on a lesser track, but Pharrell Williams’ production – heavily reminiscent of the Neptunes’ early 2000s heyday -- knows what tricks to conjure. Over a waddling bassline and rhythmic “hey hey”s, Thicke’s octave-leaping croon makes a successful leap from the bedroom to the dance floor. – CHRIS PAYNE
Crickets (4:08)
Producer: Drop City Yacht Club
Writers: various
Exit 8/A&M/Octone/Interscope

Drop City Yacht Club is destined to establish a cult following with this breezy debut single. The hip-hop troupe attempts to woo a girl who doesn’t want to give them the time of day, hence the tongue-in-cheek hook from featured singer Jeremih, “I told her we should kick it, but all I heard was crickets.” – KATHY IANDOLI
The Way (3:46)
Producer: H-Money
Writers: various

Nickelodeon star Ariana Grande channels early Mariah Carey while nicking the arrangement of Big Pun’s “Still Not a Player” on this bubbly love jingle. With Mac Miller playing the part of the feisty boyfriend, Grande crafts a tale of young romance over a bouncy beat from H-Money. “The Way” has already notched a Top 10 debut on the Hot 100 chart, affirming the breakout potential of this Cupid-kissed single. – KATHY IANDOLI
WOP (3:51)
Producer: Matthew Wiese, Sr.
Writer: J. Dash

“I made a lot of money, I paid my bills,” raps Florida-based hip hop artist J. Dash in his single “WOP,” which was originally released bain 2011. Whether that statement was true then, it certainly holds true today, after the synth-dominated track inspired Miley Cyrus to “twerk” in a widely disseminated viral video. A Hot 100 debut followed, and the likable dance track could continue to grow over a year after its release. – WILLIAM GRUGER

Young Volcanoes (3:25)
Producer: Butch Walker
Writers: Fall Out Boy

Ignore that self-satisfied chuckle in the middle of "Young Volcanoes" and bask in the stunning rock anthem that blooms around it: synthesizing U2, neo-folk and, yes, Train's "Hey Soul Sister," the song is the Frankenstein high point of Fall Out Boy's new album, and a glaring choice for single number two. - JASON LIPSHUTZ