Pitbull: Planet Pit (J Records)
Trying to follow Miami’s Pitbull releases is somewhat confusing as he has been listed on several so called mixed tapes and he has guested on many sessions.
Pitbull has also released product on a few different labels and, not to forget, Pitbull is a stage name that has been used by more than just a few artists over the years. So good luck hunting down all the back catalogue if you are a serious fan.
Pitbull also releases some albums strictly in Spanish like last years Armando that sold at the No. 2 spot on the Latin charts yet only hit Billboard sales at No. 65 overall.
Anyway, this new album is Pitbull’s most successful pop, mainstream crossover album and Planet Pit has made its mark debuting at four in Canada and seven in the USA on the album charts.
Right now radio and club DJs have been playing the new dance-pop/hip hop song Give Me Everything on maximum rotation but really just about any song on this perky and radio friendly album could be released as a single.
The other feature tracks include the retro disco of Rain Over Me that has a soulful groove from singer Marc Anthony, while the other stickered feature song Hey Baby, Drop It To The Floor is a full-on dance club song with lyrics no more complex than “I want you tonight, ooh baby, la la la” (no kidding).
That last song brings up most of the shortcomings of Planet Pit. It may be brain dead but it is wholly crotch alive where just about every track here is a no nonsense party revelry.
And Pitbull could have a sizeable party if he only invited the nearly 20 guests he employs on this new album along with the people he name drops such as Lindsay Lohan—which is bound to reap tons of street cred from this party master rapper.
Planet Pit may be lightweight thematically but it makes for a solid party record where my fave track is the heavy facsimile remake of Harry Belafonte’s Work Senora (here as Shake Senora) which is basically a booty showdown with a calypso, Carib patois with Sean Paul providing the manic MC.
Other marquee guests include T-Pain, Vein, Nelly, Ne-Yo, Enrique Iglesias, Kelly Rowland, Akon and too many more to mention.
Note too that there is a Deluxe Edition of this 12-track CD that offers four more tunes including the carnival-styled Oye Baby and a cool remix of Shake Senora that has even more Caribbean influences. The other two tunes are again full on party songs—no ballads.
David Cook: This Loud Morning (RCA)
When David Cook beat out David Archuleta back in 2008 on American Idol it was a minor shock as the latter was considered a shoe-in with what was called the ‘battle of the Davids.’
It is too bad that Cook didn’t release this new album back then when post grunge and emo rock had a little life left in its cycle. Songs that get loud/quiet and soft/hard are now so passé and old hat that This Loud Morning sounds like a throwback, retro album, but what is even worse is that these are almost all uniformly bad post grunge, semi high compression (meaning too loud at any volume) songs. Nothing here requires or even hints at a repeated listen which is somewhat surprising as Cook had help from past successful musicians like Ryan Tedder of OneRepublic and Johnny Rzeznik of Goo Goo Dolls (although it should be noted that The Goo Goo Dolls’ last album, Something For The Rest Of Us, went hitless as ears for post grunge, complaint rock are just plain played out).
This album also comes as a deluxe two-disc set with a couple of additional songs—the post-grunge, paint-by-numbers This Is Not The Last Time (say it isn’t so) plus Let Me Fall For You and a DVD on the making of the album.
Plodding and dreary.
Chris Young: Neon (RCA)
Like David Cook, Chris Young came by his fame through reality TV with a winning spot on 2006 Nashville Star. Neon is his third major label release and finds the country singer in solid, if not overly innovative, form.
You get the sense Young just wants to be liked and so Neon plays it very safe for a country audience that really doesn’t want to be challenged all that much in the first place.
There are likeable ballads such as the honeyed twang of the title song and the handsome strings that accentuate the romantic She’s Got This Thing About Her.
Young proves he can also swing a novelty honky tonk rocker Save Water, Drink Beer (which maybe has a bit of topicality given the severe droughts in Texas) while Young is smart enough to reference the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and ‘radio’ (where most of the sales of C&W disc sales are generated) within the same song with the future hit titled Lost.
A solid if unspectacular release.
Harry Potter & The Deathly Hollows Pt.2: (Sony Classical)
Harry Potter mania abounds with this last film in the series that has recently hit the box offices and promises to be one of if not the number one grossing movies of this summer.
I know that hard core fans collect everything Potter which brings us to this Original Motion Picture Soundtrack with music composed and conducted by Alexandre Desplat, who is also renowned for his music for other blockbuster films such as The King’s Speech, Twilight Saga: New Moon, The Hostage, The Golden Compass, Syriana, Firewall and several more.
Desplat sets the score appropriately for scenes that are dark, less dark, sinister, frolicking, less frolicking, apocalyptic, triumphant, sweeping etc., over a lengthy 25-track CD.
As a non Potterite I don’t quite get what fans would want from this cinematic instrumental, orchestral album released on Sony’s ‘classical’ label. But Harry Potter completists may also want this soundtrack as the disc is an enhanced CD where you can download the music in 5.1 surround sound PLUS “behind the scenes footage from the scoring sessions.”