At Idolator, the editors share a passion for high-quality pop. Occasionally, our tastes align. Other times, not so much! So, in the spirit of debate, we’ve developed a recurring feature called Pop Perspective. Basically, all 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 Demi Lovato’s new single “Cool For The Summer.” Does the Max Martin-produced bop succeed at reinventing the pop princess or is it a complete misfire? See our thoughts below.
Bianca Gracie — 6/10
It seems like everyone is vying for the Song Of The Summer title nowadays, and the latest possible contender is Demi Lovato’s new tune – fittingly titled “Cool For The Summer.” It’s a glossy uptempo that has Max Martin written all over it (he is one of the contributors) — thanks to the buzzing synths that crash through the chorus and the cheeky lyrics that discuss dipping into the lady pond. It is also nice to hear Demi straying away from her expected pop/rock fusion and dig into a more commanding dance sound.
“Cool For The Summer” is by no means a bad song, but it is definitely has a “been there, done that” vibe. From the massive electronic lead-up to the chorus to Demi’s rollercoaster ride of vocal inflections that mimic Kesha’s distinct voice, the track is nothing groundbreaking. But it is geared for the upcoming steamy, “let’s f*ck in my dad’s garage by the pool” season — so who really cares about all of that?
Carl Williott — 8/10
First, there’s the cutesy Carly Rae Jepsen confidence. Then the song explodes into a hybrid of Katy Perry‘s stadium strut, Kesha’s YOLO sneer and Kelly Clarkson‘s flair for finales. And it’s fueled by, of all things, a sleazy synth churn not heard since the last Justice album.
“Cool For The Summer” is a hydra-headed beast of so many modern pop influences that it ends up being faceless in the end. Yet I love it. As strikingly defined as Selena Gomez‘s “Good For You” vision was, that’s how muddled and anonymous this is — but Demi’s mechanistic mishmash is a lot more fun.
Mike Wass — 8.5/10
Demi is coming for that summer smash! From the hook-filled production to the tongue-in-cheek lyrics, it only takes one listen to know that “Cool For The Summer” is going to be huge. Sure, the track borrows liberally from all the artists Carl mentioned above — but that doesn’t really bother me. There’s enough originality (I’m obsessed with the chunky synth that terrorizes the chorus) and quirky flourishes (the random breakdown at the end kills me) to set it apart from the source material.
It’s also nice to hear the 22-year-old sing something frivolous and fun. As much as I love her power ballads and inspiring anthems, the earnestness of Demi was a little overwhelming at times. My only real criticism is that “Cool For The Summer” could have been sung by anyone with enough cash to pay the A-List collaborators. Hopefully, the next taste of D5 tells us a little bit more about where Demi’s coming from as an artist.
AVERAGE SCORE: 7.5/10