Every now and then, a guilty-pleasure good time is in order. This week focuses on a fine addition to that category, Pitbull's new release "Planet Pit".
This is the rap album for all the raver kids out there. And even if you aren't a raver kid, the energy is undeniable. Pitbull spins stories of glitz, glamor, and cheeky bravado, and all with a swagger that almost makes you believe what he's saying - almost.
What sets this apart some from most of his ilk is the sounds he chooses - where others just rhyme atop whatever the latest hip hop or rap sound is, he does that, but adds a layer of club and/or basic techno synth to his mix - seriously, some of these beats, if you take away the vocal, could come from any rave in the country, or clubs where hip hop is NOT the prominent music featured. That's what sets this disc apart - a willingness to use beats as a backdrop to the words that are a step apart from the norm.
That aside, this album is very mainstream - but don't let that throw you - from the opening swagger of "Mr. Worldwide" right into the live each day like it's your last bravado of "Give Me Everything", this disc is just an album for when you want to have a good time, and that's it.
Marc Anthony provides the hook for "Rain Over Me", a fine rise-and-fall "lose yourself in the ecstasy" track. Then one of the few clunkers on this disc shows up in the form of "Hey Baby (Drop it to the floor)" - which proves that the autotune warble effect should be restricted to Cher - or just people who know how to use it sparingly for effect, not slather it on in overdose-level proportions.
The energy continues to power along, dropping off a bit for the slowed-down "battling my demons" track "Castle made of sand". Some have called this a rip of Eminem's "Love the way you lie" - not really. It has a beat that resembles an Eminem track, but it isn't really a rip. Themes may ring the same, but it can be attributed to the old "only 5 stories ever told" expression as applied to music. "Took my Love" is another where the autotune gets a touch out of hand, but doesn't stop it being one of the better tracks on the disc, and another in the never-ending list of "Gets stuck in your head for days" category of catchy tunes.
If you hate pop-oriented rap tunes, you might not be so thrilled with this album. If you forget that's what it is for a second, and just let your inner "just want to dance to the beat" self out, you may just find yourself loving it. Either way, Pitbull knows the music he is trying to make and the audience he is trying to shoot for, and pulls it off well.