x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Pitbull's Global Warming reaches a wide audience but falls short

While experimental in his beats, Pitbull doesn't display such versatility in the lyrical content of his latest album.

Pitbull performs onstage during the 40th American Music Awards last month in Los Angeles, California. Kevin Winter / Getty Images / AFP
Pitbull performs onstage during the 40th American Music Awards last month in Los Angeles, California. Kevin Winter / Getty Images / AFP

Global Warming
RCA Records

Armed with unyielding devotion to his tried-and-tested blueprint of Spanglish dance-rap, Pitbull heats up the planet with his commercial seventh studio album, Global Warming.

Pitbull has always known the bankable power of a well-placed A-list feature. He has found great success in reaching out to as many fan bases as he possibly can with myriad collaborations and continues to do so on his latest release. Collaboration highlights include Hope We Meet Again featuring Chris Brown (reminiscent of their previous hit International Love) and the über catchy Party Ain’t Over featuring Usher.

However, Pitbull doesn’t always strike gold with this approach. Some of the guest features on this album seem cut-and-pasted, only existing for the sheer sake of it. The snooze-worthy Tchu Tchu Tcha, featuring Enrique Iglesias sounds like every other song in existence that features Iglesias. The guest appearance from JLo on Drinks for You (Ladies Anthem) is equally disappointing, serving no real purpose other than to remind us of her subpar vocal abilities.

While Pitbull is experimental when it comes to his beats, feature guests and musical samples, he doesn’t display such versatility when it comes to lyrical content. The self-proclaimed Mr Worldwide incessantly name-drops the numerous countries he has visited (“Reporting live from the tallest building in Tokyo”), talks about the ludicrous amount of money he makes, emphasises the importance of having fun and living in the moment and boasts about his (alleged) knack for womanising.

The songs on Global Warming have some appeal when they are listened to individually (and in the right setting), but become bland and recurring when digested as a whole. Pitbull is an artist who comfortably makes single-driven albums and happily takes advantage of the current popularity of dance music – and no one can blame him for continuing to ride the wave for as long as he can. He hints that his choice to follow the route of formulaic hit-making is less of an unfortunate incapacity and more of a strategically thought-out game plan.

“I’m laughing to the bank,” he scoffs on the album’s title track after declaring that he is “sick” of the pressures of the rap world. Perhaps Pitbull isn’t the imprudent party promoter that he comes off as, but rather a shrewd businessman who knows exactly what he needs to do to attain success.