BSBB Round 3: Iggy Azalea feat. Charli XCX, "Fancy" vs. Michael Jackson feat. Justin Timberlake, "Love Never Felt So Good"
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Best Song Bracket Battle: View the Matchups | Critics and Rules

Fancy

Iggy Azalea feat. Charli XCX

Love Never Felt So Good

Michael Jackson feat. Justin Timberlake



CAITLIN WHITE: It speaks to how cheesy the posthumous Michael Jackson song was that I'm going to argue for "Fancy" because I, along with most of us with ears, can barely stand that song. But on a certain level, Iggy Azalea and her monster hit function as a product of 2014 — brazen, brassy women declaring their power to the point that it's almost unbearable. Like it or not, a white chick with blonde hair from Australia can now dip her toes into hip-hop and make waves larger than most of her contemporaries. Is this song a rap song? Hell no, it's obviously pop — but that's the thing about the JT/MJ joint — it obviously isn't pop. "Love Never Felt So Good" sounds like smooth jazz thrown in a blender with a broken drum machine and an after-school PSA. This song is definitive proof that Daft Punk's last album was actually good, because Timberlake and co. took the same ingredients and couldn't make anything cohesive out of the parts.
My Vote: “Fancy”

JILLIAN MAPES: Even hundreds of listens in, the “Fancy” beat remains one of the year’s best. But “Love Never Felt So Good” achieves a tall order: framing Michael Jackson’s music in a fresh new way. At times JT junks up the MJ-Paul Anka co-write from 1983, but his idol saves his labored verses with an effortless touch, even posthumously.
My Vote: “Love Never Felt So Good”

MYLES TANZER: Picking Iggy Azelea over Michael Jackson and Justin Timberlake feels like an unforgivable sin, but if we're being honest "Fancy" is a much better song than "Love Never Felt So Good" and Charli XCX is the reason why. That schoolyard chant chorus is just too powerful. It defeated all of the other songs this summer for the crown and there's nothing Michael and Justin could do about it. Not even Timbaland could save them now.
My Vote: "Fancy"

ERIN STRECKER: If you had said 10 years ago that Michael Jackson would have passed and they were taking old tapes and turning them into new music that was actually good, well, no one would have believed you. But this single with Justin Timberlake was a funky, catchy track that embodied the sensibilities of Michael and gave it a perfect Timberlake mix.
My Vote: “Love Never Felt So Good”

CHRIS PAYNE: Seeing Charli perform “Fancy” solo this year made me realize how much she carried the song, but hey, Iggy’s verses and presence in the priceless “Clueless” parody video didn’t hurt. That video’s mere existence proves how badly we need TRL (or a suitable TRL stand-in) back in our lives. What I didn’t need in my life, though, was JT singing karaoke on an unnecessary and very awkward posthumous Michael Jackson album.
My Vote: “Fancy”

CRAIG JENKINS: It isn’t easy pairing the unbeatable song of summer 2014 against a refinished gem from the undisputed King of Pop that carried one of his most successful pupils’ hero worship straight to sensei’s doorstep. Iggy and Charli’s pseudo-ratchet simplicity is oranges to Mike’s maximalist apples, but “Love Never Felt So Good” is every bit as enticing in 2014 as it was in 1983, while “Fancy” is showing signs of wear after just six months. Hate it had to be you, Charli.
My Vote: “Love Never Felt So Good”

JEREMY LARSON: It goes: "Love Never Felt So Good (Original Version)" > "Love Never Felt So Good" >>>> "Love Never Felt So Good (feat. Justin Timberlake). This is taught in schools now, right? Posthumous cash-grabs that pair the King of Pop with the Joffrey of Pop feel somehow more insidious than "First thing's first: I'm the realest." Plus, the beat to "Fancy" is undeniable.
My Vote: “Fancy”


OVERALL WINNER: “Fancy”

Best Song Bracket Battle: View the Matchups | Critics and Rules