Among the electronic music producers who have cashed in on dance music's popularity in the States, I'm most ambivalent about French DJ/producer David Guetta. Last year's album, Nothing But the Beat, took its title pretty literally with two discs of beat, and a couple cameos to keep things interesting.
Guetta's strength isn't in making memorable music; it's giving his guests a platform to excel, as he did with Usher on "Without You." I say he's like Cape Canaveral: He's only important because things launch into space off him.
Guetta's latest single, "Turn Me On," has Nicki Minaj on the launchpad, displaying her adaptability as a performer. She switches from European-style diva to emcee throughout the track's three minutes, and between her upcoming album and the buzzed-about Super Bowl XLVI halftime show appearance this weekend, she's keeping things interesting.
The lyrics are as elastic as Minaj's performance. Lines in the the chorus apply to a few hobbies and career paths: doctors, IT professionals, auto mechanics, illicit fixers, gigolos, and fans of Doctor Who.
"Turn Me On" is also notable because it captures that cyborg mood pop artists rarely evoke when using Auto-Tune. The last pop song I remember that fully appreciated Auto-Tune's Cylon features, instead of winking at them, was Kanye West's "Robocop" on 2008's 808s & Heartbreak. Took you long enough to get the point, pop music.
As a commercial clip, it could fit well into ads for cars or a hospital show. Because of its adaptability, it may endure longer than Guetta's other material, as long as it lets us forget about "I Gotta Feeling."
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