Pop Perspective: Ke$ha And Pitbull’s “Timber” Reviewed By All Four Idolator Editors

Oct 11th, 2013 // 7 Comments
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At Idolator, the editors share a passion for high quality pop. Occasionally, our tastes align completely. Other times, not so much! So, in the spirit of debate, we’ve developed a feature called Pop Perspective. Basically, all four of us dissect a particularly noteworthy pop event, and give it a rating out of 10.

That way you’re getting a full spectrum of views and we can all vent. (It’s cheaper than therapy!) The latest pop milestone to be dragged under the Idolator microscope is Pitbull collaboration with glitter princess Ke$ha. Is “Timber” an epoch-defining duet or lifeless marketing exercise?

Head below to see what we all have to say!

Robbie Daw — 4/10

I miss the days when Ke$ha was the girl who should by all rights have been a flop, but somehow made it to the top by being smartest one in the room. Now she’s dumpster-diving for collaborations with people like will.i.am and Pitbull like her career depended on it. The only thing missing is “produced by Scott Storch.”

Sam Lansky — 4/10

The last thing any of us wanted from Ke$ha was more work with Pitbull, but after the Warrior massacre, here we are — the smartest move poor K$ can make at this point is to team up with her erstwhile tour partner for a big Dr. Luke-produced paint-by-numbers hit that’s all but guaranteed to result in radio play.

The resultant song, “Timber,” is maddeningly catchy (duh) but utterly soulless (also duh), with faux-country-dance-funk production and an infectious hook that’s as irresistible as it is infuriating. I’ll sing along when it comes on the radio, but make no mistake: “Timber” is why people hate pop music.

Mike Wass — 10/10

“Timber” is basically a niftily-produced update of Rednex‘s 1994 techno classic “Cotton Eye Joe”. That warrants at least 8/10, in and of itself, but when you throw in the heavenly vocals of God$ha and the fact that Pitbull actually refrains from randomly listing cities — the duet of the decade is beyond reproach.

In a perfect world, Ke$ha would currently be releasing the 4th single (preferably “Last Goodbye”) from multi-platinum LP Warrior but the world clearly wasn’t ready for cock-pop. This infectious collab will hopefully remind radio programmers that nobody writes a pop hook better than Ms. Sebert or gets the party started with more authority.

Carl Williott — 6/10 (8 for K$, -2 for Pit)

I sincerely do not understand how Pitbull is so successful. Who is buying his music? Where are these people? Do you know anyone who voluntarily queues him up on Spotify? I don’t. I don’t know why anyone would think Bud Light is cool because his cheesy-suited ass is hawking it. I don’t know why Ke$ha must keep stooping to his level. Mysteries!

But I like to think that Lady Dolla is self aware and knows the difference between engaging, deceptively smart pop like hers and the mouth-breathing mookery peddled by Pitbull. This song splits the difference, mainly because the chorus is so sweetly tossed off and likable. Ke$ha sounds so nice, doesn’t she? Sure, Pit’s verses instantly induce catatonia, but whenever that chorus comes back it knocks me into reality like a whiff of smelling salts.

Also, pairing that Perfect Strangers-inspired harmonica with club-pop? That’s a stroke of genius.

IDOLATOR SCORE: 24/40

  1. Only listening, and loving this song, because of K$. Pitbull could be replaced by anyone, preferably Macklemore.

  2. GC

    I was worried that I wouldn’t like a song with Pitbull but since Ke$ha sings more than half, I really love it. I do zone out a little during his verses but Ke$ha is so fantastic on this, she pulls me back in again. She makes the song hers. This song has some of her best vocals as well. It’s 10/10 for me even though I would have preferred Last Goodbye or Love Into the Light as a single, or even Timber as a solo Ke$ha single. Hopefully, this will make her big enough again that her boss Dr. Luke will be willing to take some risks with her. Since “playing it safe” with Warrior’s singles proved to be such a disaster.

  3. jdolator

    if kesha did a song with macklemore, she would instantaneously get right on track

  4. Mike you are delusional. Girlllll.

  5. Zach

    I don’t understand. Didn’t Die Young peak at #2? Why would she need to get back on track?

    • #1 Ke$ha Stan

      because, even though Die Young was successful, her singles after that (C’mon & Crazy Kids) were not successful & the underwhelming sales of Warrior also play a part. Those who root and are fans of Ke$ha now cringe in the Warrior era when she collabs with the likes of will.i.am or Pitbull, but we know her label is blind and dumb.

      • GC

        Kesha seems really excited about Timber though. She clearly didn’t give a damn about CrazyKids but look at her Twitter. She`s really pushing Timber. It`s the kind of sound she wanted on Warrior where she wanted to mix rock and country with dance and pop. She`s probably hoping her label will let her go more in that direction if Timber smashes.

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