Timebomb (Kylie Minogue song)

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Single by Kylie Minogue
Released 25 May 2012 (2012-05-25)
Recorded 2012; Destined Studios
(London, England)
Length 2:57 (single version)
4:31 (extended version)
Label Parlophone
  • Matt Schwartz
  • Paul Harris
Kylie Minogue singles chronology
"Put Your Hands Up (If You Feel Love)"
Music video
"Timebomb" on YouTube

"Timebomb" is a song by Australian recording artist Kylie Minogue. It was released as a non-album single on 25 May 2012 by Parlophone, three days before her 44th birthday, as part of Minogue's K25 celebrations, commemorating 25 years in the music industry. The song was written by Karen Poole, Matt Schwartz and Paul Harris, while production was handled by Schwartz and Harris, who helped produce her previous album Aphrodite (2010). The song was expected to be released on Minogue's third greatest hits album The Best of Kylie Minogue (2012); however, it was instead included on her box set K25 Time Capsule (2012).[1]

The song was recorded and mixed at Destined Studio's in London, England by Schwartz. In early announcements, fans alike had thought it was the song which was written by American singer and songwriter Michael Jackson, however this was proven not to be. An uptempo dance song which features strong elements of disco and electro, the song features instrumentation of guitars, synthesizer and keyboards. Lyrically, the song talks about Minogue telling people to dance before a "timebomb" goes off, hence the title of the song.

"Timebomb" received critical acclaim from most music critics, who praised Minogue for getting back to her signature dance music. Critics also praised composition and hook and noting it as one of Minogue's best, and was even listed by PopCrush the "Best Dance Song of 2012". The song has achieved moderate chart success in Europe and Australasia, charting within the Top forty in Australia, Spain, Ireland, New Zealand, Scotland and the United Kingdom. It sold 10,044 copies in its first two days in the United Kingdom. It became Minogue's first number one on the ARIA Dance Chart. Despite modest success in those regions, the song was eventually released in North America, and received quite better peaking success, reaching the number-one spot on the US Hot Dance Club Songs, as well as appearing on the Canadian chart.

Directed and edited by Christian Larson, the accompanying music video for the single was shot in Soho, London. The video shows Minogue dancing in a white room, as well as walking and driving through the streets of London. At the end, it shows Minogue dancing and eventually driving away with a biker. The video also received positive reviews from critics, who noted Minogue's re-invention of her previous singles "Spinning Around" (2000) and "Can't Get You Out of My Head" (2001), as well as praising her fashion imagery. Minogue performed the song on The Voice UK series 1 semi-final.

Background and release[edit]

"It's done as part of K25 [...] Catch tag K25 because it's my 25th year in the music industry. So I'm doing lots of different things, but most notably on the 25th of each month we upload a surprise on my website. So its tweet to unlocken fans after really being engaged, and get busy on the laptops and phones, and whatever to unlock."[2]

—Kylie Minogue talking to Perez Hilton about why "Timebomb" was not included on her upcoming twelfth studio album.

At the end of 2011, Minogue stated that she would be celebrating "K25", the anniversary of Minogue having spent twenty-five years in the music business. Minogue was also inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame. In March 2012, she announced she would be beginning her K25 Anti Tour, a series of concerts showcasing Minogue's B-sides, demos and rarities. In early 2012, it was announced that Minogue would be releasing a compilation album which she would record acoustically for the anniversary. Following this, Minogue announced the release of her compilation album The Best of Kylie Minogue.[3]

In May 2012, the Herald Sun announced Minogue would be releasing a single called "Timebomb". Her website ran a countdown until the song's premiere, with fans required to tweet to unlock the song. During the countdown to the single, Parlophone announced it was in the top ten trending topics worldwide on Twitter.[4] Originally, while Minogue was interviewed by Perez Hilton, she intended to release "Timebomb" on her upcoming twelfth studio album, but scrapped the idea.

"Timebomb" was released on 25 May 2012, three days before Minogue's birthday. Digital Spy also displayed a 90-second preview of the single on their website.[5] The song was written by Karen Poole, Matt Schwartz and Paul Harris and produced by Schwartz and Harris. The song was sent to radio stations in New Zealand on 29 May 2012.[6] The song was released in the United States and Canada on 30 May 2012 by Minogue's American record label Astralwerks.[7]

On 26 June 2012, it was announced by EMI that due to the heavy promotion of "Timebomb", the song would be released on CD. There are only a total of 5,000 copies released worldwide which are only available via her website. The song was sent to radio stations in the United States on the same date. The single was then featured on her K25 Time Capsule box set. This is the only Minogue-related album or compilation to feature the single.


Musically, "Timebomb" is a midtempo dance-oriented song, which also incorporates elements of synthpop, house and nu-disco music, written by Poole, Schwartz and Harris, while production was handled by Schwartz and Harris. According to the sheet music at MusicNotes.com, which was published by Hal Leonard Corporation, the song is set in common time in a moderate speed and has a tempo of 128 beats per minute and is set in the key of G major.[8] According to Popdust, the some talks about "how it's really, really necessary to get all your dancing done before impending disaster/apocalypse/time-bomb explosions."[9] Popdust continued saying that "Kylie’s vocals are chopped and quantized and slicked with syrup and backing vocals, and the synths either burble or strobe depending on whether it’s a verse or a chorus [...] the bridge, with “wait. wait. please don’t make me wait” set to radar pings and snippets of Kylie’s voice so short they sound like hiccups [...]"

Idolator compared the song to Britney Spears' "Till the World Ends" and Jay Sean's "2012 (It Ain't the End)", saying, "In any case, it's a nice return to the seductive minimalism that made 'Can't Get You Out of My Head' such disco-ball dynamite. [...] It's a particularly fun addition to the dance-through-the-apocalypse canon previously established by Britney Spears ('Till the World Ends') and Jay Sean ('2012')."[10] Popdust wrote it is "actually energetic and quite great."[9] The Huffington Post enjoyed the song for being a "hot dance track".[11] The Herald Sun described the song as "an upbeat pop track with a dark and dirty electro feel".[12] AOL Music stated it "showcases a club-bumping beat".[13] Melina Newman of HitFix compared the beat to the early years of Madonna, commenting, "The dance tune has an early Madonna flair to it with a catchy, fuzzy synth beat line holding much of it together."[14]

During production of her eighth studio album Fever, a song also called "Timebomb" written by American recording artist Michael Jackson was to be recorded along with another Jackson composition "I'll Try Anything Once". Neither songs were ever released and it has been confirmed that the 2012 "Timebomb" is not the song written by Jackson.[15] Minogue released the single's cover artwork via Twitter on 25 May 2012.[16]


Critical response[edit]

"Timebomb" received general acclaim from most music critics. Popjustice described "Timebomb" as "amazing".[17] Critics at directlyrics.com were appreciative of the song, commenting that '"Timebomb" is a funky electro-pop number in which Kylie gets her soft vocals going for the verses, while everything turns into pop paradise in the chorus. "Timebomb" is so fresh, so seductive, so Kylie and the amazingness of the chorus catches you completely off-guard.' Robert Copsey from Digital Spy gave it a positive review, awarding it four stars out of five. He praised the single for getting back to basics, saying "In that time she has rarely strayed from the very centre of the dancefloor, so it's hardly surprisingly that 'Timebomb' feels like a gentle jog in the park for her". He also compared the song to her previous singles "Come into My World" and "Love at First Sight" and labelled it as an "instant disco-pop perfection".[18]

Perez Hilton gave it a very positive review, calling it a "fast-paced, electrified, club track dropped into our laps!".[19] Ann Oldenburg from USA Today described the song as a "dance-ready single".[20] Newsday described it as a "pure fizzy dance pop about seizing the day, complete [...] and a chorus you can't get outta your head.", referring to her single "Can't Get You Out Of My Head".[21] Popdust gave it a positive review, giving it three-and-a-half out of five, saying "it's actually energetic and quite great".[9] Bradley Stern from MuuMuse gave it four-and-a-half out of five stars, labelling Kylie "Bad bitch Kylie", throughout the years which Minogue was known as "Indie/Sex/Cute/Dance Kylie" from her song "Did It Again" (1998). He continued, saying that "Timebomb" is "a ferocious pop smash. It's very signature Kylie too".[22] Cameron Matthews from AOL Music said the song "is sure to be an instant hit!".[13]

Amy Sciarretto of PopCrush named "Timebomb" one of the best dance songs of 2012 and concluded, "The 'Timebomb' may be ticking, but the remaining minutes of Minogue's career are not."[23] Cameron Adams from the Herald Sun stated that "[w]hile it is not instant as most Kylie singles, repeated listens implant the 'woooh' hook firmly."[12] Despite listing Carly Rae Jepsen's song "Call Me Maybe" on AfterElton.com's "The 10 Best 'Songs of the Summer' of the Past 20 Years", Louis Virtel stated he was not "thrilled" adding it to the list, stating, "I firmly believe the song of the summer—quality-wise, funk-wise, sass-wise—is Kylie Minogue's 'Timebomb,' but Billboard has other ideas."[24]

Commercial performance[edit]

In the United Kingdom "Timebomb" debuted at number thirty-one on UK Singles Chart after two days of sale, selling 10,044 copies.[25] The song stalled at number thirty-one in its second week, before it dropped to number fifty-six with sales of 6,770.[26] The song rose to fifty-one in its fourth week, before dropping to number fifty-eight in its fifth week, and falling to number ninety-seven in its sixth week. On the UK Airplay Chart, the song debuted at number eighty-two and peaked at number thirty-eight.[27] On 28 July 2012, the song re-entered at number forty-two. With the combined sales reported by Music Week, the song has sold 43,504 copies. As a result, "Timebomb" is known as one of Minogue's lowest charting singles to date, though it didn't have the same fate as her previous singles "The One" and "Better than Today" which peaked at numbers 36 and 32 respectively.[28] In the European markets, the song reached number twenty-six on the Irish Singles Chart and number forty-four on the Dutch Single Top 100.[29][30]

"Timebomb" debuted at number sixty-one in Austria, and then rose to fifty-eight the following week.[31] In Belgium, the song debuted at numbers forty-three and forty-nine on the Belgian Singles Chart (Flanders and Wallonia respectively) and charted for a lone week. The song peaked at numbers twenty-two and four (Wallonia and Flanders respectively) on the Belgian Dance Chart.[32] The song had its debut at number twenty in Spain but fell to twenty-four the next week, and re-entered the Top 50 for a third and final week at number 46 later that year. The song debuted at number forty-six on the French Singles Chart, but the following week fell to number fifty-three. In its third week, its dramatic fall to number 113 marked the biggest drop that week. It charted at number 116 in its fourth week, and re-entered for a fifth and final week at number 172 later that year.[33]

In the Oceania region the song debuted at number twelve on the Australian Singles Chart, making it the third highest-debuting single in that country.[34] It fell out of the Top 40 the following week, peaking at number forty-four, making the song Minogue's quickest/lowest performance since "In My Arms" (2007). However, "Timebomb" became Minogue's first number one on the ARIA Dance Chart, but the following week it descended to number four. On its third week, it descended to number seven. In New Zealand, the song debuted at number thirty-three, making it the second highest debut of the week.[35] This is Minogue's first charting solo single in New Zealand since "2 Hearts".[36] However, the song fell out the top forty the next week. This has also resulted as Minogue's lowest performance since "Some Kind Of Bliss" (1998).

The song was initially released in the United States on 25 May 2012. However, on 20 June 2012, Minogue was in the United States to start promotion on "Timebomb" and her greatest hits album The Best of Kylie Minogue (2012). After the promotion in North America, "Timebomb" debuted at number thirty-one on the US Hot Dance Club Songs.[37] In its fourth week, it rose to number four, becoming Minogue's ninth top ten single on that chart. It was also labeled that week's "Greatest Gainer". The week of 4 August 2012, "Timebomb" became Minogue's ninth overall number one on the dance chart and her sixth consecutive number one. "Timebomb" is Minogue's fastest-selling US single since "Can't Get You Out Of My Head" (2002).[38] The song only peaked at number seventy-three on the Canadian Singles Chart, only because it managed to chart within four days of sales.[39]

Music video[edit]


In early 2012, pictures surfaced of Minogue in London, England for the filming of her music video.[40] The pictures featured Minogue with denim hot pants, a heart-shaped jacket and heels on a rainy day in London. It was then announced on her website that when the countdown on her website was unlocked, it would reveal the music video of the single. The video was directed and edited by Christian Larson, and produced by Black Dog Films. The Chimney Pot Stockholm and Uncle Berlin were in charge of visual effects.[41] Visually, the story is presented from various perspectives, such as security cameras, stares of passers-by, smartphones, etc. The video also makes prominent use of black and white, and sepia tone, with the beginning filmed almost entirely in grayscale, although colour eventually gains preeminence. For the Twitter contest, fans had to unlock the video. In total, 25,000 fans unlocked the video in less than 43 minutes, setting a new Twitter record for having the fastest hashtag time by anyone.[42] Minogue then tweeted, "You did it!!! I wanna wanna whoop."

In an interview with Vevo, Minogue said, "When we were shooting down the busiest street in Soho, I worked with an in-ear monitor. I must have looked like a complete idiot because I'm strutting down the street singing to absolutely nothing!" She also expressed discomfort wearing the black mini dress, saying, "That was a very cheeky little outfit. People don't believe it, but I do get very shy and timid. I was like, 'Oh god please, can't there be more to this?'"[43]

After the video was released, on 1 June 2012, Minogue posted a Facebook application off the music video, where you are able to feature you and six other people to feature in a still of Minogue and her glasses, where you are inset in.[44][45]


The video begins with Minogue filming her music video, on 15 May 2012.[41] After the shoot, she leaves the studio, wearing the leather jacket with a red heart featured on the single's artwork, and starts singing the song. She then strides confidently through various London back-alleys, bumping into a man carrying a boombox, and taking a phone off a café table—showcasing a camera angle inspired by Instagram—, and arrives at a nightclub. She stays there, dancing to the song's chorus, before leaving and continuing her walk down Old Compton Street, Soho. The street scenes are interspersed with distorted shots of Minogue dancing in a brightly lit, white room. She then climbs into a car, ordering the driver to "drive". The pair travel through London, along busy streets, where Minogue greets one of her fans in a nearby car.

Night falls, and she exits the car in Chinatown, London, pursued by an unknown man. She runs through an alley, and kisses a man, dragging him into a nearby building. She removes her jacket, revealing a provocative dress, and dances seductively next to a motorcycle. They then both leave the building, with the man driving the motorcycle, and stop in a crowded street. Minogue dances on the back of the motorcycle, and in the middle of the street, while the man circles her, performing a wheelie. The video ends with the crowd looking on, as the pair perform a burnout, and leave the alley.


Critics gave the video very positive reviews. WhatCulture.com gave it a positive review for the song itself, but noted the lack of promotion on the single, stating; "Maybe Kylie’s management are more bothered about the K25 Antitour and upcoming Greatest Hits collection, which isn’t a bad thing at all, but it’s a shame a song and video as great as Timebomb will probably be long forgotten in the pop aftermath a few months later."

Critics also praised the re-invention of Minogue bringing back her signature hot pants, which was originally presented and noticed in her single "Spinning Around" (2000), and some even discussed about the "raunchy" dress in the video. Metro.co.uk titled their article "Kylie Minogue brings back the hotpants in new Timebomb video".[46] The Huffington Post wrote that "[t]he pop princess [...] looks flawless in the new clip, strutting along busy thoroughfares in London's SoHo neighborhood in a pair of hot pants, before ducking into an alley and stripping down to a barely-there webbed dress."[11] Jenna Rubenstein of MTV said positively, "There may not be much of a plot, but there's a ton of almost-naked Kylie, which is really all we were hoping for anyway."[47] Keith Caulfield from Billboard described the video as "sexy".[48]

Live performance[edit]

Minogue performed "Timebomb" for the first time at the semi-finals of The Voice in the United Kingdom.[49] She wore a jacket similar to the one featured in the music video, and the same hotpants as worn in the music video. She danced in front of graffiti walls, and in front of a giant heart on a video screen. The song made a debut on tour when it was used as the third song in Minogue's 2014 Kiss Me Once Tour, following performances of "Les Sex" and "In My Arms".

Formats and track listings[edit]

These are the formats and track listings of major single releases of "Timebomb".

  • Digital download[50]
  1. "Timebomb" – 2:57
  2. "Timebomb" (video) – 3:36
  1. "Timebomb" – 2:57
  2. "Timebomb" (Extended version) – 4:30
  3. "Timebomb" (video) – 3:36
  • Digital remix EP[52]
  1. "Timebomb" (Extended Version) – 4:30
  2. "Timebomb" (Peter Rauhofer Remix) – 8:00
  3. "Timebomb" (DADA Remix) – 6:30
  4. "Timebomb" (Steve Redant & Phil Romano Remix) – 7:04
  5. "Timebomb" (Style of Eye Remix) – 6:31
  6. "Timebomb" (Italia3 Remix) – 6:00
  • Other versions
  1. "Timebomb (7th Heaven Radio Edit) - 3:21[53]
  2. "Timebomb (WaWa Extended Mix) - 5:06

Credits and personnel[edit]

  • Mixed and recorded at Destined Studios, London, England
  • Karen Poole – songwriter, vocal production, backing vocals
  • Paul Harris – songwriter, producer, instruments, arrangement, vocal production, programming, mixing assistant, recording assistant
  • Matt Schwartz – songwriter, producer, instruments, arrangement, vocal production, programming, guitar, mixing, recording