Wild Ones features star-filled singles for dancing, not philosophizing

William Malsam

Flo Rida’s Wild Ones is not a cohesive effort but rather a series of stand-alone singles, each poised to top the charts at any moment. His writers and producers have really worked his musical style down to a science, each song bearing a similar structure and sound, insuring frequent air play on the radio and in clubs.

Since most of the songs sound basically the same and the structures are nearly identical, the album is pretty monotonous. His collaborators, however, such as Jennifer Lopez and Sia, manage to write engaging hooks that allow the listener to differentiate between tracks. In fact, Flo Rida is probably the weakest aspect of the entire album, and some songs such as “In My Mind, Part 2” and “Wild Ones” highlight the collaborators more than the leading man.

Flo Rida is not a great rapper or wordsmith by any means, but he is good at maintaining high energy. His delivery is fast-paced, punchy and unimaginative to the extent that his verses are interchangeable, but that’s not the point. This music is supposed to make you dance, not philosophize. At his best, his lyrics are lighthearted rhymes about clubbing, youth, love and good times; at his worst, the lyrics in songs like “Whistle” and “Sweet Spot” are heavy-handed sexual innuendos that leave a bad taste in your mouth. Flo Rida’s verses mostly just fill time in between the vocal hooks, but his writers and producers use him well as a figurehead for their poppy hip-hop chart toppers.

The album is well produced, featuring some of the most successful producers in the business. Dr. Luke, for instance, has written hit songs for artists such as Katy Perry, Ke$ha and Britney Spears and is largely responsible for the leviathan “Good Feeling,” featuring Avicii. Axwell is a famous Swedish DJ who skillfully incorporates electronic and house music into Flo Rida’s sound, his influence being most poignant on “In My Mind, Part 2,” which downplays the rapping for more of an instrumental feel. The sampling is well done, utilizing such greats as Freddie King and Etta James.

The bottom line is that Wild Ones is a superficial album. You aren’t going to find anything thought-provoking, but it has some solid dance music for your next big house party.