BSBB Round 1: Pitbull feat. Kesha, "Timber" vs. Aloe Blacc, "The Man"

Getty Images; Courtesy Photo
Best Song Bracket Battle: View the Matchups | Critics and Rules


Pitbull feat. Kesha

The Man

Aloe Blacc

KRISTEN YOONSOO KIM: I guess that Aloe Blacc song is perfectly fine, but no matter how many times I listen to it, I still have no idea how the song goes. It’s perfectly forgettable. “Timber” is annoying, but it’s got that stuck-in-your-head quality that every pop song needs. Fine, “Timber,” I give up, you win.

My Vote: “Timber”

ERIKA RAMIREZ: I can’t bring myself to sing “Timber” in public, sober; “The Man” I can.

My Vote: “The Man”

JAMIESON COX: A year later, "Timber" remains absolutely titanic: I remember dancing to this last New Year's Eve in big shitkicker winter boots with a plate of Chinese food in hand, nearly falling on my face and howling through the last few minutes of 2013. It's a remarkably versatile piece of music, which makes sense given its pop-country-rap-EDM hybrid construction, and it still doesn't really sound like anything else. "The Man" is warm and hearty without coming off at pandering or hacky, but it's ultimately flaccid compared to "Timber.

My Vote: "Timber"

NICK WILLIAMS: Even though the shameless Beats self-promotion was a bit much on this one, I was very impressed by Aloe Blacc’s overall takeover this year. I’ve been a big fan since his 2010 LP “Good Things” (“I Need A Dollar” is just the best), and this shows hard work (and taking every opportunity thrown at you) really pays off. Plus, turning the youth onto a legendary Elton melody is never a bad thing.

My Vote: “The Man”

JEM ASWAD: You guys are killing me with this matchup. Pitbull’s song is annoying on so many levels it’s hard to know where to begin, from his corny rapping to the insipid hooks to Kesha’s twangin’ chorus (well, she did grow up in Nashville). If this were playing in a club or even a restaurant, I’d leave. Aloe Blacc’s is a better song but even more offensive, the video kicking off with not just a completely unabashed Beats Music advertisement but a hook derived from the most overplayed song by one of the five most overplayed artists in history (Elton John’s “Your Song”). There are no winners in this dark place, but, grudgingly, I’ll go with Aloe.

My Vote: “The Man”


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

The Biz premium subscriber content has moved to

To simplify subscriber access, we have temporarily disabled the password requirement.