Good MusicNote 10.2 timber PITBULL FEAT. KE$HA

Because “It’s going down” is becoming passé.

single: “Timber”

artist: Pitbull featuring Kesha

So… if Eminem and Rihanna are like the Halloween version of Jay Z and Beyonce, these two are like the high school talent show version.

“Timber” is much, much greater than the sum of its parts.

First, there’s Pitbull, who has made riding the coattails of hooks practically a science. His flows are just barely cohesive, remarkably similar to each other, and bereft of meaning. The most interesting thing he has to say here is an awful, awful gaffe: he opens the first verse by name-checking Miley Cyrus, who’s not only a stronger vocalist than Ke$ha, but would have made an infinitely better guest artist, given the country slant of this record. Way to make your vocalist feel inadequate.

Then there’s Ke$ha, whose bad-girl schtick has been rendered practically impotent by Miley’s 2013 antics. But she’s quite good at delivering hooks, whatever other deficiencies she may have.

Then there’s the concept: a Cuban rapper paired with a naughty pop diva, delivering an uptempo club stomp with a country-bluegrass arrangement. Unfortunately, “Cotton-Eyed Joe” beat them to the punch by about two decades and was so insanely irresistible that it is almost futile to even try to recreate.

But guess what? Many if not most contemporary pop consumers don’t even remember the Rednex dance smash (back in them days, dance songs where ghettoized and were barely heard on radio), so this track probably sounds wildly creative to them.

And even to haters like myself (and I readily admit to a bit of hate in this review), it’s a fun, catchy, danceable, accessible song. I’m just not dying to hear the unplugged version.

P.S. I apologize for briefly violating the spirit of this blog, but I’ve had a bad day. In addition, despite my love for all music, there are certain artists who push my buttons: Dionne Warwick, Jimmy Buffett, and Pitbull are right there at the top of my list. If the three of them ever get together and perform “That’s What Friends Are For” at the Grammys, I’m pretty sure I’ll snap.

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