Friday, September 02, 2011

Titanium (w/Sia)

Song: Titanium (w/Sia)
Artist: David Guetta
Album: Nothing But the Beat

It took me a while to come around to David Guetta, and it wasn't the overblown "When Love Takes Over" with Kelly Rowland that did it, though I did warm up to it, it was "Memories" with Kid Cudi that really intrigued me about the French DJ.  But it was of course his collaboration with The Black Eyed Peas, "I Gotta Feeling" that really changed things for him.  That song became an instant classic, melding the Peas love of urban pop and Guetta's Euro-style house beats.  It was really a turning point, or birth of that genre, and now ALL we hear on the radio and in clubs is this fusion of hip-hop and Euro dance.

So, I got really fucking tired of "I Gotta Feeling," and of this new "genre" in general.  While that was really the only song on "One Love" that went for that loud, beats that beat you over the head style, it obviously meant something to Guetta, and his bank account... because "Nothing But the Beat" is largely one "I Gotta Feeling" after another.

The album starts with a Nicki Minaj/Flo Rida track, "Where Them Girls At," terrible.  That's followed by the equally slick and grating "Little Bad Girl" with Taio Cruz and Ludicris.  Ugh.  Third track "Turn Me On" with again Nicki Minaj is different, it's more dance focused and a real departure for Minaj who puts her trademark cartoonish unhingement on hold.  (Well, until the end.)  But it's alright... it's way more trance than anything else.  Okay.

So then I flip-flop on my stance.  Next is the Snoop Dog assisted "Wet," (or "Sweat" if you have a censored version) which is exactly this type of urban pop house that I've been dissing.  But... Snoop Dog sells this.  It's vaguely naughty, has a pretty colossal beat, and reminds me more of the Calvin Harris/Dizzie Rascal collabs that I loved.  Man, it seemed the album was turning around.

Not so fast.

The album jumps right back with tracks using Usher, Chris Brown & Lil Wayne, Akon, Timbaland.  Usher's "Without You" is going for what I can only describe as a house-leaning ballad, it's got let-me-be-a-hit written all over it, and it's dreadful.  I actually like the beat of "Nothing Really Matters," but's mugging and incessant talk about "the club" is tiresome.  I can't say I've really been a defender of the Black Eyed Peas... I've just liked a couple tracks of theirs.  But "Nothing Really Matters" is everything you don't like about B.E.P.  So three more tracks follow of this same stuff... man disappointment.

So why am I even writing about this travesty?  Well, aside from the Nicki Minaj track, and Snoop's very fun "Wet," the album does end rather strong with the three last (and notably female-fronted) tracks.  "Night of Your Life" with Jennifer Hudson is really this same old stuff, but this girl can seriously sing... and totally sells it.  It's not trying to be "When Loves Takes II..." but is only reminiscent because it's got a good catchy beat and a serious diva with strong, powerhouse vocals behind it.  Next is the Pink-ish "Repeat" with Jessie J.  The English songbird who's been making notable advancements here in America with the hit "Price Tag," a spot as house band for the VMA's, and a possible Katy Perry sized hit with new single "Domino."  But "Repeat" is the first honest moment of joy on the album.  It just really sings.  Fun.  Story-telling.  I like it.

The whole mess ironically ends with its best track, "Titanium" featuring quirky Australian chanteuse Sia.  It has no chance of being a single, so you won't be hearing it out "in the club" unfortunately.  It starts with some beautiful "Every Breath You Take"-like guitar strumming, then Sia's trademark deep and intriguing voice, a building beat at the one minute mark until the whole thing boils over into euphoric trancy bliss.  I love Sia anyhow, and it's refreshing to have some lyrically driven tracks that are about something human and not just getting down at the club.  (I suppose "Without You" does that too, but it's dreck)  It's really a great great song and a clue to what the album could have been.  Too bad.

Guetta may have realized that he's been slowly losing the audience that put him up on top in the first place as you can get a version of the album with a second disc of mostly Daft Punk-esque hard-hitting instrumentals.  So if you loathe this pop sound that's lined his wallet, you might like disc two.  I'm listening to what boils down to a solid EP of more interesting collaborators that match more interesting vocals and lyrics to his beats.  And it's pretty good.  I don't really recommend the album, but you hear nothing else, please listen to the amazing "Titanium."


Night of Your Life

1 comment:

Mike Heffron said...

She sounds like Eddie Vedder's sister.