Pitbull might work hard as a Miami multi-hyphenate – he’s involved in vodka, fast food and, uh, energy strip businesses – but when it comes to music, it’s all about the play time.
It’s hard to believe that “Global Warming” is his seventh album since 2004, after getting his start with Atlanta’s Lil Jon and stomping a large footprint in the Spanish hip-hop genre. Not much has changed in his repertoire, for better or for worse.
While there is nothing particularly memorable on the album, chockablock with guest stars and curious samples, its songs are destined for longevity in disco ball havens and aerobics classes worldwide.
At times, Pitbull deftly melds his Cuban roots with slick synthesizers, coming up with an engaging club banger such as “Don’t Stop the Party” or the “Macarena”-sampling title track.
Other times, he essentially remixes an old song (i.e., Mickey and Sylvia’s “Love is Strange” on “Back in Time”) or relies on a tedious beat to carry him (and Usher and Afrojack) through “Party Ain’t Over.”
But as soon as you’re ready to dismiss Pitbull’s latest as empty-headed monotony, here comes a fully formed pop song – “Hope We Meet Again,” which serves the dual purpose of reminding people that Chris Brown can sing without Auto-Tune.
And don’t overlook the album’s two strongest tracks, thanks mostly to its estrogen-fueled cameos from Christina Aguilera and Jennifer Lopez.
The Aguilera-starring “Feel the Moment” is an attention-grabber partially because it samples A-ha’s delightful “Take on Me,” but also because of its well-lubricated hook and pretty refrain.
Then Pitbull gives the slinky “Drinks for You (Ladies Anthem)” a bit of gravity with lyrics that praise his mother and all hard-working women, and not in a smarmy way. “All the women with power, meet me at happy hour,” he implores – and he really is convincing that it’s just an invitation to party even more.