Miami-born rapper Pitbull has been in the doghouse lately… at least when it comes to hit singles. After a stellar 2011, including a feature on Jennifer Lopez’s comeback hit “On The Floor” and one of the top-played songs at CHR radio, “Give Me Everything”, the performer has released a few singles to mixed reaction this year.
Just a few months ago, he was riding the charts with “Back In Time” from the soundtrack to Men In Black III, which essentially mutilated a sample of Mickey & Sylvia’s 1957 hit, “Love Is Strange”, into a tune that may as well have been titled “This Song’s Strange.” Given that it was from a movie, the shelf life wasn’t long, and it quickly peaked at #11 on the Hot 100 (ironically, the same peak as “Love Is Strange”) before falling off the face of the Earth. Next to be released was “Get It Started” which featured the she wolf herself, Shakira, but by the end of its chart run, it seemed they were both crying wolf. The “leadoff” single from Global Warming (reduced now to a bonus track on the 16-track deluxe edition), it coughed and sputtered up the CHR airplay chart and settled somewhere in the 30’s before being pulled in favor of his current single, “Don’t Stop The Party”, which may make the top 20 in airplay but that’s about it. That one relies on a sample of Toots and the Maytals’s “Funky Kingston” and it’s more junky than funky.
So, now we come to the fourth release from the rapper’s album entitled “Feel This Moment” with a hook done by, well, I think you already know her name. It’s Godtina Aguilegend, the voice of The Voice, Christina Aguilera. Aguilera is coming off of an underperforming lead single, “Your Body”, with a second single duet in the wings called “Just A Fool” with fellow The Voice judge Blake Shelton. It looks like a master plan for sure to get her back to a solid place on the radio with both a dance single and a ballad, so I guess we’ll have to see if it actually pans out that way in 2013.
The chorus of “Feel This Moment” is probably the highlight of it as Aguilera’s belting isn’t as all-over-the-place as usual and it’s simply just a nice hook. She croons, “One day while the light is glowing/I’ll be in my castle golden/But until the gates are open/I just want to feel this moment.” Now, this is coming from a superstar who once sang about how “it’s so empty living behind these castle walls,” on the chorus of T.I.’s “Castle Walls”. Did something happen in the last two years? It’s not like our fair maiden can judge new talent from the corner room of her ancient estate waiting for Prince Charming to ride upon his stallion and rescue her. They may as well just keep her locked in there. If she can’t restrain her voice, why can’t they just restrain her?
The building drumbeat continues and wait–what is that I hear? Oh lordy, Pitbull has done it again, interpolating the melody from the band a-ha’s international hit from 1985, “Take On Me”. It’s a pleasant piece of 80’s pop that probably isn’t recognizable to a younger generation, but goodness, does it sound odd on this track. I suppose they needed something extra so that the song didn’t sound exactly like a rip-off of “Primadonna” by Marina & The Diamonds, so I’m guessing Pitbull and his team stuck a page of all the #1 songs from the 1980’s on a dartboard, took a swig of his vodka brand, and somehow landed on our Norwegian friends. Who am I kidding? They probably need a little extra cash on the side; those royalties can only go so much. Is it the worst thing in the world? No. Was it necessary? Absolutely not.
The lyrical matter is nothing new: making money, partying, suits, although I suppose this time around, the black suits aren’t comin’. (You might want to go “back in time” if you can’t figure out that one.) Pitbull doesn’t say anything in Spanish until almost 52 seconds into the song, which must be a new record for him, and it’s an “oye mamita” for once. Also, apparently, he’s “undefeated like Zula,” which must mean he’s the cat’s meow, if you know what I mean. Wait, I thought he was a dog. Is he a CatDog now? I’m confused.
It’s certainly not the best work for either performer, but if I heard it pop up on ye olde iPhone or on the radio, I wouldn’t pass it over. It should make a decent impact on the charts before inevitably being a forgotten era for both Pitbull and Christina Aguilera. At least Aguilera has a hit television show to fall back on. Perhaps Pitbull should go into animation. A Spanish version of Chip ‘n Dalé’s Rescue Rangers has a ring to it. –AFS