Let me see if I’ve got this right: the kick against Flo Rida’s new album R.O.O.T.S. is he is too overwhelming, always rapping about his big dick and his bigger bank account and he is too underwhelming, disappearing into his own tracks. The New York Times called Flo “an entertainer wholly without ego, a phantom presence on his own songs.”
It’s a strange, somewhat inaccurate take. Flo Rida is a pop confectionist,who samples a la the Gospel According to P. Diddy, and rides his quasi covers: think of the Diddy who did “I’ll Be Missing You,” and has managed ht single after hit single.
It is hard to imagine a hip hop album as consistent (the calling card of pop songs is consistency) as R.O.O.T.S. in the 90s: there is zero filler, there are no skits, there is no time wasters, it is a relentless album that might have been helped by following Radiohead’s lead and being released as a series of singles and every single song is a potential hit on your pleasure zone. More so that last years exacting Mail On Sunday this T. Pain, Sean Kingston contemporary is the least self-indulgent of rappers. Guest appearances by the likes of the great Pleasure P, Nelly Furtado, Ne-Yo and Akon, only adds to the aura of calm persuassion that has lead to my buying just about half of the thirteen tracks individually before giving up and buying the album.
As good as last years string of singles from “Low” to “In The Ayer” was “Right Round” and “Jump” are major strokes. “Right Round” was produced by the cat behind “Kissed A Girl” and “Since You’ve Been Gone”, Dr. Luke, and Rida does what he needs to insure a worldwide smasherino Nobody but a fool would consider the Dead or Alive’s “You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)” an unknown masterpiece: it is a good one hit wonder and Rida makes it his own. The promiscuous girl Nelly Ferturdo suggest a distanced sexuality on the chorus of”Jump” . get a hold of the “Mainchek” remix it’s worth an additional $1.29.
Rida gives everything and everyone its due on R.O.O.T.S. and a complaint might be it is almost relentless in its professionalism, every song throttles you and after awhile it is hard to hear it -you need a break. In a sentence or less: it is too good at what it does.”Sugar” has an obscure sample I can’t place but it is quite as catchy as everything else here, with Rida’s fast and simple flow at the service of the back up tracks, “Shone” features one of the great young singers of the year, Pleasure P., “Be On you” a Ne Yo soul song… any of these are potential hits, all of these could survive a remix and thrive as a new release.
No, it’s not Boom Boom Pow, it’s not a dance groove, it’s a pop move: it is made to sell and sell it will but it works for its hits and it is relentless in its achievements. And only Flo Rida’s second album. R.O.O.T.S. is quite possibly the pop album of the year.
ear candy trap
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