Miami, Fla.-based rapper Pitbull’s (Armando Perez to his mama) ninth album, Dale, is a Spanish language hothouse party extravaganza.
Pitbull comes on like a self assured crossover star and wastes no time making this point with a host of Spanish speaking guest stars. Although lyrics aren’t essential here, Dale roughly translates into “do it” or “let’s go”, equivalent to such inspiring Canadianisms as “give ‘er” or “get ‘er done”.
Dale is summertime party music, or the 2015 version of yacht rock. Either way, it raises temperatures with its Latin rooftop party vibe.
Pitbull’s MC persona is morphing into that of a bound-for Vegas pop star. His Cuban hip hop roots are taken to extremes with a parade of Spanish singing guest stars.
Pitbull’s repetitive phrases recall Beck’s Guero phase, and El Taxi (with Sensata and Osmani Garcia) takes inspiration from the same sources. Most of the material is built around hooks and call and response and Pitbull varies this with a relentless beat and sly humour.
Because the album is “sung” in Spanish it is easier to feel the music rather than understand it, and traditional Latin sounds appear in all their dramatic glory (Haciendo Radio, with Ricky Martin, and Hoy Se Bebe).
Dale is an immersion in unrestrained energy; it never flags. A detour emerges in No Puerdo Mas (with Yandel), an ‘80s inspired electro groove that seems nearly sedate amongst the frenetic surroundings.
Andale, andale – it’s worldwide, baby.
– Dean Gordon-Smith is The Morning Star’s music reviewer. His column, Street Sounds, runs every Friday.