Flo Rida - ROOTS
Ash Akhtar 05/05/2009
Know what I like about Flo Rida? His facial hair. It is HEAVY, dude! I bet he's got his own facial hair sculptor. Imagine what kind of a job that is. Imagine the responsibility. I mean, look at the size of him. You mess up, and I bet it's your neck. Or, your job at least. He's also got some pretty cool tattoos - a lot of which feature heavily within the artwork of ROOTS. Incidentally, ROOTS stands for 'Routes of Overcoming the Struggle'. Perhaps Flo thought that if he had the acronym marked indelibly on his skin, he'd never forget where he came from. Or how he got there. Or something.
And judging by “Finally here”, the first track of his second album, Flo believes he's made it. Gauging success by the usual blinged out references (Versace, whips et al), he also says: “My mother proud of me”. Aaaah - sweet. If you've not heard of Flo Rida, he makes the kind of chart friendly hip-hop RnB cross that swamps the ringtone charts. Not only that, he like to say the word “Heyyyy” an awful lot.
Once a bird, but now hawking herself as some kind of diva, Nelly Furtado stumbles onto 'Jump'. A multi-tracked vocal beefs up her desperately reedy delivery to drive this dancefloor friendly track's chorus hook. I think they call this type of track a 'club-banger'. 'Gotta get it' is a nice slice of electro, referencing Tina Turner's “Private Dancer”, but with zero compassion and intelligence.
Flo's unique staccato, rhythmic raps are at their best when he's not running his mouth at 110wpm. Using his technique more effectively,“Right Round” steals from Dead or Alive's “You spin me right round (like a record, baby)”. I don't know what Pete Burns makes of this daft electro-pop number, but I'd quite like to hear what he has to say. But then I expect that he's heard worse. His own career for example.
There really is very little to this album. With a thimble-full of chart friendly tunes - it's top-loaded, which means that the quality erodes as soon as you get midway through it. Even an appearance by the erstwhile Wyclef Jean on the final (and hopefully titled) “Rewind” can't save this narcissistic treacle tart of a record.
Vacuous to the point of gravitational collapse, ROOTS is a record best saved for the time of life when your left brain has ceased to function. And even then, you'll only listen to it once.