Katy Perry, "California Gurls"
With their tongue-in-cheek lyrics and forceful vocals, "I Kissed a Girl" and "Hot N Cold" established Katy Perry as a distinctive pop starlet upon their successful chart runs in 2008. While "California Gurls," the lead single off Perry's upcoming album, "Teenage Dream," sticks to more conventional subject matter, the results are no less winning. The bouncy production rests upon a shimmering set of synths, and Snoop Dogg slinks in to give a deliciously laid-back salute to the West Coast. Perry remains the star of the show, however, adding a nice mix of bravado and restraint to lines like "You could travel the world/But nothing comes close, to the golden coast." With its sun-kissed vibe and No. 2 debut on the Billboard Hot 100, Perry's sparkling new track seems primed to become a ubiquitous summer jam.-Jason Lipshutz