David Guetta, "Nothing but the Beat" (Capitol)
David Guetta's new album "Nothing but the Beat" presents the Grammy-winning DJ and producer with a formidable task. Take good music from good artists and infuse it with a dance club floor-filling frenzy. If there's anyone who can, surely it's the urban dance-track maestro who collaborates with A-list artists. Right?
Well, half-right. On "Nothing but the Beat," Guetta accomplishes the main mission, but it's nothing to run out and buy a new pair of dancing shoes for. This is a fairly routine treatment at best, and Guetta doesn't inject enough of his own style to take the music to a level that the list of featured vocalists couldn't do on their own.
Guetta gets things started in fine fashion, adding some of his signature energy to "Where Them Girls At," with sharp vocals from Flo Rida and white-hot Nicki Minaj. The good stuff continues through "Little Bad Girl," with solid feature work from Ludacris and Taio Cruz.
But then things begin to get pretty pedestrian. "Sweat" with Snoop Dogg is a snoozer and "Without You" featuring Usher never delivers much more than soaring synth track. The latter song is about as edgy as a Kia Sorento commercial for soccer moms.
Guetta is on autopilot these days. He's on top of his game, but his game currently is to deliver safe club music to the masses. There's nothing daring in his approach to production and remixing and for this result, he's failed a bit.
Check this out: Thank you Jennifer Hudson. Even David Guetta's soft-sell approach couldn't ruin "Night of Your Life." Hudson's voice is perfect here, with all the right emotion in all the right places. Guetta keeps it simple with a buzzing backbeat and Hudson keeps it lush with vocals that will always have a home on the hottest dance floors. Minaj and Hudson saved this album from being a total loss.