06:00AM ET June 24th, 2011
Contributor: DeAndre Rozan
A Rocky Williform Company
Glossy. Glossy. Glossy. That's the best word to describe Planet Pit, the latest album from Miami emcee Pitbull. Marking the rapper's return to English langauge-recording after the all-Espanol Armado, Planet Pit finds Pitbull in full party mode, backed by some unrelentingly slick and accessible production. The entire album is a hook-driven paean to mainstream tastes, which isn't necessarily a bad thing.
But it doesn't make for an especially inspired album.
That doesn't mean Planet Pit is without its charms. When Pitbull's charisma and cockiness merges with the right production and a strong idea, the results can be enjoyably fun. A prime example is "Shake Senora," an electrofied take on the classic Harry Belafonte tune that features an assist from T-Pain. For all intents and purposes, a remake of a novelty island song from the 1950s should not work as well as this does, but it stands out as an album highlight. Whether or not that says more about the album than the song depends on your perspective, but there's something to be said for creating a song this good from a tune most younger fans will probably remember best as from the final scene from the ghoulish 1988 comedy Beetlejuice.
"Give Me Everything" is a song too-gaudy-to-hate, a slice of 'look at me' pomp that stands out as possibly the best song on the album. Pitbull throws out quips like “Got it locked-up, like Lindsey Lohan” while basking in his own wealth and fame. Not exactly new territory, but when its put across with a wink and a nod, it can be a fun listen. The slight Carribbean flavor just screams Miami. And "Pause," is full of cocky put-downs and sleazy come-ons like “Mommy, no you can’t go left/’Cause you look so right” and “I’m such a dirty, dirty dog/My teeth will unsnap your bra.”
But the album falters in its monotony. The songs that don't feature enough character quickly get lost in the shuffle, and if the album was a little more grounded, this might make for a cohesive listen. Instead, it just sounds like an entirely one-note LP. And the constant party atmosphere gets more than a little tedious on tracks like stilted house-influenced "Took My Love," and the unimaginative "International Love." while "Something For the DJs" ends the album with a yawn-inducing thud.
Pitbull is a champion of the Miami hip hop scene and he has shown throughout his career that he knows his way around a catchy pop-rap hook. But he would do well to inject the party atmosphere of records like Planet Pit with a little Kanye-esque pathos or some wit a la Jay-Z or maybe even some of Weezy's unparalleled eccentricity. Because just bragging about how much you party, how much you spend and how much ass you get is a little tired. Planet Pit is a thoroughly modern sounding album production-wise, but it's themes and focus are stuck somewhere in 1998.