Now I will admit, I'm not the biggest Pitbull fan nor a decent chunk of club-driven hits to the next person at a bar. But what I will say is I always go into an album with a distilled mindset, hoping that maybe something new emerges and catches my ear, or the artist learns a different style and hop on different variations. All of this don't exactly sound like Pitbull, but I'm giving it a solid chance. So, how does Globalization feel? I'm guessing that this could be quite a short review.
If you're checking into the 'same-old, same-old', well, you aren't far off the mark. Pitbull's ascertainty and non-revelating punchlines do seem well out of touch and too hashed that none of what he talks even mean anything at all. I get that he's been around since 2000's and has been a host to some of the artists that he has worked with (recently including Kesha, Ne-Yo, and so on and so forth), and that his fan base (if he has one) mostly cater to the fun and enjoying club bangers, something of which Timber and Fireball enthuse about. I know I'm ricocheting off balance, but I do hope you understand what I mean when I say that Pitbull's music really needs you to close off some part of your brain to truly indulge it. Or flatly, just don't care about it.
I will bring to attention that Pitbull's best hits come in the form of features on his albums and prior, duly so considering he brings to attention the American market for the most part and he himself to the Latin and Spanish diversity. What people don't catch is that popularity does not translate to great music, and because of that, Pitbull's popularity increased but his reputation went the other way. It's easy to say that Pitbull's tracks are fun than just all about booze and alcohol, because if you slap that on a rap record, you'd immediately become a saint for recognising what is true, rather than what the attention the artist was getting to. Globalization may not have seem to pack lines of intent surrounding the lyrics, but if you're looking for that here... you're well off missing the entire point of the record.
Wild Wild Love will be the best thing that this album can do, considering Pitbull's verse on that track was abysmal from start to finish. There is a crunch of melody inserted into every track. Yes, and that crunch often leads into a dragging synth line, drum or simple high-hats or claps that easily become background post to the main dish. While Pitbull does become the centre of negativity, there is no denying that his music is enjoyable even at the most dirties of levels underground (compare this album to Nickelback's album Dark Horse, you may trench yourself with the production but lose yourself with it's lyrics). There is just enough wit here to leave you mesmerised with tint of steel that will be on your mind for quite some time. Fireball, Time Of Our Lives and Celebrate, and to an extent, Fun, are all similarities with slight bit of emotional punch and dense epidemic jumps that will leave you peeking your ear close.
Does this album have any flaws at all? Technically and mainly, yes. But are those flaws similar to the past? Definitely. And does this mean that Pitbull is revoked off of his punishment because of that? Hell no. The point here, and even what the album is trying to make, simply shakes off -- not completely -- the entirety of the content and it's stakes simply because there isn't much to reward listeners with anything at all, besides club-hits and an abundance of melodic tracks that spew all over the album. Obviously, there are very flat tracks on the other side of the leaf such as Ah Leke, Drive You Crazy, We Are One.
Favourite Tracks: Wild Wild Love, Fireball, Celebrate
Least Favourite Tracks: Ah Leke, Drive You Crazy, We Are One.
To simplify the review: this album lands where it aims. There is no denying that Pitbull's charisma and melodic presence on this track and while not every song is gold, Globalization may not be that bad of an album to start with.
Come on people, bear this with me. If you're a big fan of Nickelback, well, chances are you will need to hang on tight. And if you're not, and more of a 'hater' as so you will... maybe you need to pin them down if you're hanging them somewhere. Because by now, you'll have plenty more to tend to.
No Fixed Address is Nickelback's eight studio album, and you might be surprised at how far they've come. Now, there's always the stereotypical people who aren't that into Nickelback and take the eye from the pearl. In other words, they love to hate Nickelback and they hate to love them too. Obviously, they haven't had their best days, and I believe they sort of returned to form, if I do say with their most recent album, Here And Now. I do enjoy some of their records, but I agree with others when they say that their music isn't extraordinary. They generally lack that extra bit of punch to make their sound much more enticing. So how does No Fixed Address fair up to their catalog? Hmm.
To say that it is underwhelming is correct to a certain degree, but the overall unpleasantness and the vibe erupting from this record, showcases a very broad scope of inconsistency that has been brought to the table by everyone working on this record. Including you, Flo Rida who probably has no clue and idea why he's even included in the first place.
Right off the bat, the record starts off with Million Miles An Hour and Edge of a Revolution which are basically formulaic Nickelback tracks that have seen light for those tracks that have come before them (When We Stand Together). That really isn't the point, considering the band has had quite a success with it which they have stringed together since their sophomore album came out. As grimy and as thick as the production really tries to blend it's way through and still show true grit and emotion, they immediately become a messy cluster that is individually sound but a combination of chaos. Granted, there are really good guitar solos, albeit restricted, that I thought was well done. However, if you're looking for something different, maybe you've come to the right place.
The groovy, weird and synthetic-lead production for She Keeps Me Up; the piano-chord melodic sentiment track Satellite; the repetitive and overused sound in Miss You; and last but not least, the percussion and bass-enthused track which features Flo Rida on Got Me Running Round - may seem to all be experimental records, but in a wider scope, they really feel as if the band was just pulling out guns with loaded bullets. Some of them hit, some of them don't, most of them are easily forgettable, but for the most part, the tracks are incredibly inconsistent. While this has, to be fair, already been plaguing the band since their early records. Do we expect something of a good calibre? Not really.
The only track that really stands out and shoves them in a good direction is The Hammer's Coming Down. The intro of piano chords, mixed in with the thumping guitars and drums makes for a kick-ass tune that doesn't really seem out of place in all sectors. What comes up as interesting is that they really handle the transition really well for that track specifically. Man, for what would happen had the album been revolving around stripped layers of instruments before laying a gigantic punch in the end.
All in all, I'm not disappointed by the sound Nickelback is trying to bathe in, but the way they go about doing it. While it may seem like a good idea to have one track talking political and the other straight after which is immature, maybe you're doing something wrong? And what is with these low-end love tracks that just feel awkward as hell? The ones that they really blustered and popped were some of the anthemic tracks in the past: Burn It To The Ground especially. Yes, the tracks are cheesy and yes, the tracks don't mean a thing, but damn, do they sound extreme on most ends.
Favourite Tracks: The Hammer's Coming Down, Get Em' Up
Least Favourite Tracks: Satellite, Miss You, Sister Sin, What Are You Waiting For?
Formulaic, inconsistent, messy, chaotic, overload and lyrically dumbed down, No Fixed Address is a well-suited name for an album that strays from cohesion and blends in with the unrelated. Nickelback needs to step up in every direction and to be fair, up the tempo and the hype. Because as it stands, this is ordinarily empty.
Since I'm reviewing some other records, I decided to go back and dive into One Direction's newest release, Four (which is coincidentally their fourth record). Going into this record is more of an experience considering I hadn't heard anything from it, apart from Fireproof, and was skeptical for the most part.
To be fair, I did mention in a review of their previous album, Midnight Memories, in which they went in a direction of 'rock' but never really seized it with their grasps. With this new album though, they seemed to have taken a slight turn with their music while still not really making a new leaf out of the problems in the previous release. What does this mean? Well, a couple of things.
Firstly, the first three tracks straight out of the gate, titled: Steal My Girl, Ready to Run and Where Do Broken Hearts Go (not the original by Whitney Houston - though hell, I'd like to hear their version for it.) pack a nice little combo. They never loosen up, and instead gears up towards the mid-section and just steamrolls over with excellent vocal work and impressive production, albeit overshadowing the band's capabilities. The nice blend of voice between all five members are distinct and can be found all over the record, and nothing sounds genuinely forced and all comes together pretty neatly. The only complaint that I really have for the three tracks would soon follow in the footsteps for the rest of the album, and to be fair, you have heard somewhat enough.
Secondly, the lyrical work for the album does seem to impact more than just the simple grading, and that is always nice to hear. Especially when most tracks have the band member's handprints written all over them. One perfect example to put you through is the track Spaces, which is an indication of the band's maturity at this point, though overall the album doesn't really pull the same roots (Steal My Girl does have cringe-worthy lyrics). While on one hand the lyrics improve tremendously, on the other they hand they don't really seem to blow up to anything.
Thirdly, the production is secondary, but does steal the show (ha) from the boys on tracks like the first three and on the latter three (Spaces, Stockholm Syndrome and Clouds). On the previous record, there were lacklustre tracks that seemed to bleed from the feet and doesn't carry the punch heading into the finale moments. On this album though, the tracks are much stronger in production, seem to be more liberal and have better album shots rather than heading straight for the headlights with songs that will translate into singles sooner or later.
However, not all tracks are incredibly amazing as they seemed to pull the weight along from their previous record, as stated above. Tracks like Fireproof, 18, and especially Girl Almighty just seem to lose focus on all fronts and dissipate rather quickly. It is terribly inconsistent around the middle pack of songs. But you also do understand that on stripped down tracks such as Night Changes, the band's vocal prowess takes over and really shakes things up. Looking on here out, I can already see the major improvements dragging from their previous release, Midnight Memories, albeit slowly and cautious ones.
The tendency for love tracks to feel exaggerated may seem to be bulletproof for the band, but sometimes it's good to just tone it down. I really can't find much faults in this album.
Favourite Tracks: Spaces, Night Changes, Where Do Broken Hearts Go
Least Favourite Tracks: Fireproof, 18, Girl Almighty
One Direction may not have been a popular choice for most people, but hey, I listen to music and not reactions. Four is a great step forward, though issues needed to be address, but otherwise, is a step up from their previous release on a whole.
Benny Ong: Just your regular guy who likes soccer more than most people, and also a little downtime is pretty nice.