Summer Jams Flashback: Rihanna’s ‘Umbrella’ Reigns Over Us

All this week, MTV News will be going through the nominees for this year’s official summer jam. You’ll be able to vote all week on the official 2010 summer song poll for one of our five nominees, which include Usher’s “OMG,” Katy Perry’s “California Gurls,” B.o.B’s “Airplanes,” 3OH!3′s “First Kiss” and Lady Gaga’s “Alejandro.” You can also endorse your own pick for the official 2010 summer song on our poll.

In addition to the new songs, we’re going to take a look back at some classic summer songs from the past 10 years. Today’s flashback takes us to 2006 and 2007, when that terrible “Superman” movie came out, Spin magazine got kind of weird, the final “Harry Potter” book came out and Live Earth happened.

2006: Like 2005, 2006 absolutely ruled as far as summer jams go. Nelly Furtado reinvented herself as a sexy R&B vixen with the Timbaland-produced “Promiscuous,” Yung Joc delivered the incredibly dopey (but still phenomenally sticky) “It’s Goin’ Down,” Chamillionaire made his debut with “Ridin’” and Shakira teamed up with Wyclef for the delightfully wacky “Hips Don’t Lie.” But the official summer jam was Gnarls Barkley‘s “Crazy,” a trippy collaboration between DJ Danger Mouse and Cee-Lo Green from Goodie Mob. It was catchy, breezy, just funky enough to dance to and never really got old even though it may have peaked a little early. Other Contenders: The Fray’s “Over My Head (Cable Car)” (too sleepy); Beyoncé’s “Check On It” (too associated with “The Pink Panther”); Justin Timberlake’s “SexyBack” (didn’t really peak until the end of the summer).

2007: For a while, it looked like it was going to be something of a raw summer, but then Rihanna dropped “Umbrella” and everything changed. As James Montgomery pointed out, it’s sort of strange that a song about rain could become a huge summer jam, but that’s the power of “Umbrella.” There weren’t really any other contenders. In 2007, it was Rihanna’s world, and we were just getting rained on. Other Contenders: Lil Mama’s “Lip Gloss” (too fresh and poppin’); Avril Lavigne’s “Girlfriend” (too spastic and peaked too early); Shop Boyz’ “Party Like a Rockstar” (not “Umbrella” enough).

What were your summer jams of 2006 and 2007? Let us know in the comments!