Single Review: DJ Sammy “Boys of Summer”

Boys of Summer
Album: Heaven
Year: 2002

After turning Bryan Adams’ soppy ballad, “Heaven” into a successful dance song, DJ Sammy tapped the 80s again for another hit — Don Henley’s “Boys of Summer.”

The cover, sung from a female’s point of view, is immediate and practical. In it, she has seen her beach town shut down once the summer is over for years. It’s nothing new for her. (“nobody on the road/nobody on the beach/I feel it in the air: the summer’s out of reach/empty lake/empty streets/the sun goes down alone”). However, this summer was a bit different. She fell in love (“I’m driving by your house/though I know you’re not home”).

He is her first real summer romance and she’s had many. However he’s the one who mattered the most to her (“but I can see you/your brown skin shining in the sun/you got your hair combed back and sunglasses on, baby/and I can tell you my love for you will still be strong after the boys of summer have gone”).

She recalls the memories in a breathless, idealized way, despite them happening not too long ago: “I never will forget those nights/I wonder if it was a dream/remember how you made me crazy/remember how I made you scream”). The physical intimacy is implied. However, LOONA’s matter-of-the-fact vocals give the lyric a different intrepretation from the original. She’s the modern young woman: comfortable with sexuality, strong, and in control. Love is not something she wanted simply for her, it wasn’t realistic. The boys she would meet would be gone by August, never to be seen again. A long-term relationship wasn’t even a discussion. But maybe, she wishes she would’ve brought it up: “And I don’t understand what happened to our love/but baby, I’m gonna get you back/I’m going to show you what I’m made of”). She feels like she has a chance. Either through e-mail or telephone, she is going to try.

Like any break up, any reminder is bound to set her off: “out on the road today/I saw a Deadhead sticker on a Cadillac.” She doubts herself, thinking maybe he has forgotten her like she has forgotten the other boys in the past. “a little voice inside my head said ‘don’t look back you can never look back’ “). She knows she shouldn’t contact him and ultimately decides not take the chance. For her, love was just casually dating the guys she met but not actually feeling anything. She now sees her idea of love was a fallacy. (“I thought I knew what love was/what did I know/those days are gone forever/I should let them go”) However, she finds herself still protesting with herself about contacting him (“but but but”). DJ Sammy repeats the word, giving LOONA some desperation in her vocals.

The acoustic guitar remains in the opening but leads into a pulsating trance beat. The lyrics are unchanged. With a female singer, the idea of the single went from nostalgia to realizing to what a person has and not letting it go easily.

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