Ke$ha delivers a fun new single with 'Timber.' (Ethan Miller / Getty Images)
Short reviews of five new or otherwise noteworthy singles:
Ke$ha and Pitbull, “Timber” (single)
These two party animals teamed up for a summer tour, and now they’ve collaborated on a new single that takes the bluegrass dance vibe of Avicii’s “Wake Me Up” and mixes it with ’80s sitcom theme-song cheesiness. The result is the kind of thing people might call a guilty pleasure, but if you experience guilt for enjoying pop music, you’re totally missing the point.
Paris Hilton featuring Lil Wayne, “Good Time” (single)
There isn’t anything original about taking shots at or unnecessarily ganging up on Paris Hilton. But in the case of her wholly vapid new single “Good Time,” she brings it on herself. This profoundly empty exercise in pop bottom-feeding represents the nadir of dance culture and EDM’s influence on pop music, and it is hands down the worst single of the year. That goes for Lil Wayne, too, who has been on a downward spiral for years but hits a new low here. Take it in: This is what rock bottom looks like.
Justin Bieber, “Heartbreaker” (single)
Bieber migrates to full-grown R&B with his new single, the first offering in his “Music Mondays” series, which will see him releasing a new song every week for the next 10 weeks. “Heartbreaker” is a rainy day breakup ballad with a spoken-word breakdown in the middle and a hook that was lopped off and left on the cutting room floor. It’s a middling offering that shows Bieber’s bridge to adulthood could be rocky.
Rick Ross featuring Future, “No Games” (from “Mastermind”)
Rick Ross is always changing up his style. Just kidding. A Rick Ross song is a Rick Ross song is a Rick Ross song. But as Rick Ross songs go, “No Games” is pretty effective, with a claustrophobic beat that sounds as if Ross’ world is collapsing in around him. And the “bang bang bang bang bang” bit in the third verse has more urgency than Ross’ entire last album. So things are looking up for the bawse.
Katy Perry, “Walking on Air” (from “Prism”)
For her latest “Prism” offering, Katy Perry draws heavily from ’90s dance music and serves up something that would make Cece Peniston proud. But making Cece Peniston proud isn’t the aim of modern pop, so the house-inspired “Walking on Air” misses the mark in terms of properly following up the behemoth that was “Roar.”