David Guetta, ‘Nothing but the Beat’ – Album Review
When it comes to recruiting guest performers, hip-hop artists have nothing on David Guetta, the French DJ who’s been lighting up the dance floor over the past few years with club bangers like ‘Sexy Bitch’ with Akon and ‘Who’s That Chick’ with Rihanna.
On Guetta’s fifth record, ‘Nothing but the Beat,’ which arrives Aug. 29, the producer takes it to another level, offering 13 collaborations with some of the biggest names in music.
With electropop and dance music seemingly as big in the pop music landscape as they’ve ever been, Guetta seems poised to have a massive hit record. But how do the songs themselves measure up? Follow along as PopCrush examines the album, song by song, and be sure to pick up the album over on iTunes!
1. ‘Where Them Girls At’ Feat. Flo Rida & Nicki Minaj
Guetta doesn’t break any new ground with the leadoff track from ‘Nothing but the Beat,’ but the propulsive beat and big-name collaborators make it impossible to overlook. Fans agreed, sending the house-meets-hip-hop track to No. 14 on the US charts. (Listen Here)
2. ‘Little Bad Girl’ Feat. Taio Cruz & Ludacris
The synth-dominated ‘Little Bad Girl’ doesn’t grab us quite as much as the opening track. The hook isn’t terribly strong, the lyrics are repetitive and the Auto-tune on Cruz’s voice is a bit grating. Ludacris kills on his guest verse, though. (Listen Here)
3. ‘Turn Me On’ Feat. Nicki Minaj
‘Turn Me On’ sounds more like a straightforward dance club track than most of Guetta’s European-sounding electro songs. He also gets credit for having Minaj sing instead of rap. She sings about a doctor who’s “got that kind of medicine to keep me comin.’” (Listen Here)
4. ‘Sweat’ Snoop Dogg vs David Guetta
Guetta’s remix of Snoop Dogg’s early 2011 single ‘Sweat’ turns the minimal R&B song into a house music banger featuring Snoop’s distant, digitally-altered vocals. This is an energetic song that Guetta should include in all of his live sets.
5. ‘Without You’ Feat. Usher
Here’s a rare Guetta song that isn’t necessarily meant for the dance floor. ‘Without You’ has an airy energy and deeper lyrics than many of the producer’s songs, as Usher sings about the hurt of living without someone close to you. It’s not the album’s finest moment, but it’s nice to see Guetta tackling a different style. (Listen Here)
6. ‘Nothing Really Matters ‘ Feat. will.i.am
One of Guetta’s biggest hits as a producer was the Black Eyed Peas‘ ‘I Gotta Feeling.’ Here, he reunites with Peas singer will.i.am on ‘Nothing Really Matters.’ There’s way too much Auto-tune going on, but the song has a pleasant beat and a generally optimistic message, as will.i.am sings, “In the club, nothing else matters but the beat.”
7. ‘I Can Only Imagine’ Feat. Chris Brown & Lil Wayne
Breezy and Weezy bring their talents to ‘I Can Only Imagine,’ but we’re not really feeling this one. It’s a little too low-energy, and both guests have recorded much better songs about lusting after hot girls. (Listen Here)
8. ‘Crank It Up’ Feat. Akon
Akon joins Guetta for a sequel of sorts to ‘Sexy Bitch.’ This one doesn’t have the hit potential of that song, but it’s a decent album track. Akon delivers a whole lot of vehicular metaphors, singing, “She’s the keys to my starter in my automatic car.”
9. ‘I Just Wanna F—’ Feat. Timbaland & Dev
Take ‘Promiscuous,’ Timbaland‘s hit duet with Nelly Furtado, replace Furtado with Dev in the flirty girl role, and add annoying, spastic synths, and you have ‘I Just Wanna F—,’ an unimaginative track that’s not worthy of repeated spins.
10. ‘Lunar’ Feat. Afrojack
How exciting to see Guetta team up with another huge dance producer of the moment, Afrojack! ‘Lunar’ contains no vocals, and it doesn’t need any. The track pieces together a number of up-tempo elements ranging from gentle Nintendo-like sounds to piercing electro loops. At 5:16, it’s the longest track on the album by more than a minute, but every second is compelling.
11. ‘Night Of Your Life’ Feat. Jennifer Hudson
Jennifer Hudson sounds like a dance floor diva on ‘Night Of Your Life,’ one of the most impressive tracks on ‘Nothing But the Beat.’ Hudson’s vocals are the most obvious expression of soul on the entire record, and we totally believe her when she croons, “If you love me till the end of time / Then I will promise you the night of your life.” (Listen Here)
12. ‘Repeat’ Feat. Jessie J
Guetta wisely avoids the synth loops on the mid-tempo track ‘Repeat’ and instead lets Jessie J show off her voice: “I wanna know was I the one, or just the chick on the side? / I gave it all, broke it down my walls, don’t you dare say I didn’t try.” An infectious hook makes ‘Repeat’ one of the most fun-sounding breakup songs we can remember.
13. ‘Titanium’ Feat. Sia
Australian pop singer Sia joins Guetta to close out the record with an emotional near-ballad. Sia sings, “I’m bulletproof, nothin’ to lose / Fire away, fire away / Ricochet, you take your aim / Fire away, fire away / You shoot me down, but I won’t fall / I am titanium.” The excellent song about inner strength caps off an album that isn’t perfect but features plenty of highlights.