Thursday, January 9, 2014

What Pitbull and Ke$ha's "Timber" Hitting Number One Means For Music (and The Rest of Us)

It's official: Pitbull and Ke$ha have completed their inevitable climb up the US singles chart, as "Timber" reaches the top of the Billboard Hot 100 for the January 18 edition, announced today. In an odd coincidence of timing, "Timber" also tops this week's UK Singles Chart, which unlike the Hot 100 is based solely on sales (the single was just released in the UK last week); it's also the number one song in Canada and Germany, among others. And all this despite the fact that no matter how much you might like one or both artists behind it (as we do), "Timber" is, well, pretty much dreadful.

Don't get me wrong: I was rooting for it. I'm thrilled that it knocked Rihanna and Eminem off the throne, and I hope it stays up there long enough to cockblock OneRepublic, Passenger, and/or Katy Perry and their even worse respective singles from scaling the peak, although I know the last one at least is doubtful. And I'm stoked that Ke$ha is number one on both sides of the globe. But I know full well that I'm just making the best of a momentary low point in pop music here, and you should too!

It's tempting to speculate, what does the ascension of "Timber" mean for music? For the rest of us? Don't think too hard - it probably doesn't mean all that much in the grand scheme of things. But here are at least some things that it does mean. Make of them, and their seriousness, what you will.

  • No more Rihanna at #1 for a minute (she'll be back, don't worry).
  • People still dig Ke$ha when they're actually able to hear her on the radio.
  • Pitbull has officially become the pop equivalent of Jon Taffer from "Bar Rescue" (so look for him on a remix with Britney Spears).
  • The jury is still out on which direction mainstream pop music is headed in the wake of the fall of EDM.
  • We are entering a period in which America recompenses for the admirable nine week reign of "Royals" with a comparable period of embracing poor taste.
  • "Dark Horse" will probably reach #1 as well. (See previous)
  • We should probably be prepared for an onslaught of folktronica (thanks Avicii) so gird your loins and break out the chaps (or earplugs).

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