David Guetta’s back for his fifth LP, and he’s brought his Rolodex with him.
French producer Guetta knows his audience. As one of the world’s most popular DJ’s he works his craft in clubs and stadiums worldwide, delivering megahits I Gotta Feelin’ (producer), Sexy Bitch, When Love Takes Over and last year’s Rihanna collaboration Who’s That Chick. Guetta can spin a record that caters to the masses, but his true gift is his ability to work a cell phone.
Nothing But The Beat features no less than twenty collaborators. A-List cameos abound; Usher, Nicki Minaj, Akon, Ludacris, Jessie J, Jennifer Hudson, Will.I.Am and Flo-Rida all lend their vocal talents to Guetta’s fifth LP and the production sheen on display here is evident.
Opening track Where Dem Girls At? features Rida and Minaj over candy coated beats and synth, sprouting every party cliché imaginable. Minaj steals the show again, her whip lash inducing rap raises the female rap bar yet again. Nicki makes her second cameo on Turn Me On which is unlike anything we’ve hear from rap’s femme fatale before. A hands up raver that Britney wishes she had the range to deliver.
Academy Award winner Hudson appears on the trance meets club ready pop Night Of Your Life, delivering the in control swagger that has become her trademark. It’s better than anything from her recent second LP. A bangin’ radio ready single.
Elsewhere Guetta panders to the R&B crowd with his dance tinged Little Bad Girl (featuring an over processed Taio Cruz and Ludacris), Crank It Up with Akon trying to find that Sexy Bitch fire again, yet missing the mark by a wide margin and Without You which is Usher’s finest pop moment since Yeah in 2003. Equal parts heartfelt ballad and high energy dancefloor anthem.
Chris Brown proves his DJ hook ups produce his best work on the sharp I Can Only Imagine featuring Lil’ Wayne. In the dance vein Brown feels more assured and capable in the hands of DJ’s at the top of their game than he does in his own genre.
Not everything fires, I Just Wanna F featuring Timbaland and Dev sounds as dated as Tim’s sound and aims for the lowest common denominator. ‘Nothing Really Matters’ feels like a contractual obligation from the Peas frontman. Will.I.Am phones in his per usual auto-tuned-to-death vocal styling over a track that feels like the very worst of the latest Black Eyed Peas album.
Closing track Titanium features Australia’s own Sia on the album’s best cut. A triumphant blast of raving pop with a killer chorus that allows Ms Furler’s voice to soar to heights only few venture near. A track you will quickly be running on repeat.
Akin to a new burger at McDonalds, Guetta provides a small variation to a familiar flavour. High energy dance/pop/R&B hybrids don’t come any bigger Guetta. There’s glimpses at something deeper, but Guetta has bills to pay people and much like said new burger, it’s a lot of empty calories that’s a guilty Saturday night pleasure.