Pop Perspective: Major Lazer, Justin Bieber & MØ’s “Cold Water” Rated & Reviewed

Mike Wass | July 22, 2016 5:03 pm
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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 (and online drama), we’ve developed a recurring feature called Pop Perspective. In a nutshell, our editors dissect a particularly noteworthy pop-happening, 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 event to be dragged under the Idolator microscope is Major Lazer, Justin Bieber and MØ’s “Cold Water,” which is already perched at number one on iTunes. Is the star-studded collaboration a Song Of The Summer contender or a bit of a snooze? Read our thoughts below.

Robbie Daw — 7/10

Last summer Diplo had his hands all over the mega-hit that was “Bitch I’m Madonna.” Ha ha ha. Just kidding. His big radio mainstays were “Where Are Ü Now,” as one-half of Jack Ü (with Skrillex) featuring Justin Bieber, and “Lean On,” as Major Lazer featuring MØ. Vocalist-wise, things have now inevitably come full circle with “Cold Water,” Major Lazer’s new electro-reggae number that finds Bieber and MØ in tow.

Let’s get down to brass tacks: Summertime + a Bieber feature + a dance beat (mid-tempo though this one is) = good stuff. “Cold Water” isn’t jumping out as an immediate jam, a la “Where Are Ü Now.” But it feels like a grower. Let’s see how we all feel in August.

Rachel Sonis — 8/10

This track makes me believe in the possibility of maybe one day living out my twee Tumblr-girl dreams — beach-tousled hair, scenic cliff-side highways, vintage green convertibles, etc.

But in all seriousness, if this is the only song that survives past this lackluster summer in pop, I’ll be totally satisfied. Major Lazer delivers a brassy dancehall-light melody that’s so airy it floats while Justin and MØ’s wistful coos only elevate. This also feels like a triumphant step forward for the Biebs. Because for the first time in eons, he’s not repenting or asking to be saved. He’ll do that himself from now on.

Carl Williott — 7/10

Collectively, these three are responsible for two smashes, setting an unfair standard for what is essentially a pleasant number meant for blurry summer afternoons. But it’ll still be a hit. It’ll be a hit for the same reason “One Dance” is a hit: It’s background dance music, that dominant strain of pop that seemed to come out of nowhere until you remember we’ve been under its spell since the RAM days.

It hangs back in the scenery, but those synth horns grab me each time I play this. Bieber convincingly delivers the chivalrous lyrics supplied by Ed Sheeran, and the acoustic strums give it a nice cross-genre anchor. It’s such an economical offering, which is why MØ feels extraneous.

Mike Wass — 6/10

When did Major Lazer start making elevator music? “Cold Water” is inescapable radio fodder — complete with a painfully polite drop — that is destined to have soccer moms tapping their toes on the way to practice. It’s not exactly offensive to the ears, but I can’t help but think everyone involved would have saved a lot of time by simply remixing “Love Yourself.”


What would you rate the song out of 10? Let us know below, or by hitting us up on Facebook and Twitter!