J Records, USA
by Andrew Casillas
Barring some sort of catastrophic natural disaster soundtracked by “Rolling in the Deep,” Planet Pit is going to top next week’s Billboard albums chart. I know what you’re thinking: this is another “LOLZ pop music sux guyz jeez” review, or a companion piece to Pierre’s awesome J. Lo review from a week ago. Well, this review is neither of those things. I’m here to announce, with my full cognitive faculties functioning at a high level, that Pitbull’s new album is not the worst thing ever. It’s even good in spots!
Now, to be fair, Planet Pit is far from a great record. In fact, it downright sucks in huge chunks. The less that can be said about the first three tracks the better. Particularly the “I Gotta Feeling”-aping (of all fucking things) “Give Me Everything” (although it’s nice to see Ne-Yo get some decent radio play whenever you can) which, honest to whatever god you pray to, is one of the worst pop singles of the year. And the Marc Anthony song sounds exactly like the type of music played at the worst club you can think of. You know that place with all the sketchy lighting and dudes in fluorescent silver shirts and the $6 Bud Lights? I know you know.
Most of this record is wasted on generic club tracks, which appear to get off on homogeny and groan-inducing double entendre. Although, hey! A catchy club jam with T-Pain! “Hey Baby (Drop It to the Floor)” at least tries to shake off some rust with its stomping bit and T-Pain-isms like the “Best Jam of 2007 That Never Was” that it is. There’s also a satisfying piece of cheesy balladry with Kelly Rowland (say what you want about Pitbull, but dude is single-handedly putting Americans back to work!) and the Basement Jaxx-y “Took My Love,” which could easily crack the top half of Femme Fatale (easily one of the highest compliments you could give about a pop song in 2011).
So, yeah, Planet Pit isn’t the end of Western civilization. It’s not really good either. But c’mon, this is a Pitbull record. Hell, it’s not even really a record. This is something meant for study in marketing textbooks for years to come. The Pitbull story is one of great promotion and brand positioning—increasing your notoriety without actually engaging what you’re supposedly notorious for doing, carefully and painstakingly creating an impenetrable persona and affixing yourself to the right groups, then PROFIT! I’m not even trying to be facetious. Dude should get a medal for fast-tracking the path to sustained fame in a way that used to take people years (or one prominent scandal) to achieve. Pitbull is now the Klondike bar of rappers—something that a few people get really excited about, others occasionally like to partake in, and the rest just shrug and walk past. Hey, it could certainly be worse.
Actually, one last thing: FUCK “Shake Señora.” That song is eeeeeeeeeeeevil