The Hot 100 this week is giving off a level of dèjá vu that’s (sorry) off the charts. The top six songs of this week are the exact same as the top six last week, with Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy,” which has been No. 1 for seven straight weeks, joining the Billboard record books for songs by female artists that have spent the longest in that spot. Below those, Calvin Harris’s “Summer” and John Legend’s “All of Me” traded spots at No. 7 and No. 8, and the rise of Maroon 5’s “Maps” from No. 13 to No. 9–knocking DJ Snake and Lil Jon’s “Turn Down for What” down one notch to No. 10–represents one of the biggest shakeups at the chart’s upper end.
The trend continues all the way down the chart. Ariana Grande’s Zedd-produced “Break Free” debuted at No. 15 and 5 Seconds of Summer’s “Amnesia” entered the chart one slot below, but below them a significant amount the change from last week was in increments of one or two places. The only drastic movement on the entire Hot 100 was Shawn Mendes’s “Life of the Party,” which dove from No. 24 to No. 82 in its second week on the chart.
This stagnation comes down to the fact that there’s no real earth-shaking single dominating the summer. “Fancy” may be ubiquitous, but Fallon covers aside, it lacks the virality of something like “Get Lucky,” “Royals,” or “Blurred Lines” that made last summer’s pop charts seem like a kaiju battle between hit songs. A lot of people seem to like “Fancy,” but not enough of them love it enough to make it another “Call Me Maybe” or “Single Ladies.” Its only real competition right now is Ariana Grande’s Iggy-featuring “Problem,” which has similarly failed to light a fire under the general populace, despite its addictively skronky sax hook, and Magic!’s Sublime-lite faux-reggae hit “Rude,” which overall seems to inspire more hate than it does affection.
We’re living in an age where the biggest pop stars—the ones with the greatest power to unite listeners across genre lines—like to release new music from out of the blue, so it’s possible that something like that could knock “Fancy” out of the top spot and give us the populace-unifying summer jam that this year lacks so far. But the superstars that are best at that—Beyonce, Jay Z, and Kanye—all did surprise albums last year, and it doesn’t seem likely that they’ll do it again so soon.
That pretty much leaves it to some upstart act to save the day and give us the summer jam that 2014’s lacking. Right now it seems like the best bet would be either Sia’s “Chandelier” or Charli XCX’s “Boom Clap,” both of which have big, unshakeable choruses that could prove to be infectious enough to cross the tipping point. Or maybe DJ Mustard is going to unleash the massive, chart-destroying track that a lot of us have been waiting for. Until something shakes things up, it seems like the summer forecast calls for stasis.