David Guetta has long been a mainstay in the eurodance/trance world.
Since 2003 he has seamlessly fused excellent rhythms, vocals and beats into highly respected tracks. In lieu of his impressive resume, his latest offering, “Nothing but the Beat” should have been a surefire hit.
Upon even a cursory listen, it is readily apparent the album is not what it is cracked up to be.
The two-disc album should really be titled “Nothing (is Worth Listening to) but the Beat.” Guetta’s beats and mixes are generally fantastic on the album. It is the vocals from the various collaborations that really bring the album down.
For some reason, Guetta decided to allow the simplistic and shallow lyrics that are so prevalent on the Top 40 and try to infuse them into his otherwise awesome music.
Many of the verses from the guest stars are weak with little flow and typically are quite lackluster.
The weaknesses are further cemented by the fact that the hip-hop lyrical content was poorly matched up with the house and techno beats. The two genres butt heads rather than flow harmoniously.
The album does have a few gems among an otherwise typical pop landscape.
“Turn Me On (featuring Nicki Minaj)” and “Titanium (featuring Sia)” are both great tracks and tend to stay away from the pop-mold. “Without You (featuring Usher)” is by far the best vocal track of the album.
Not only does Usher’s style lend itself to be mixed with rock-riddled dance beats but the lyrical content is meaningful as well.
Part II of the album contains instrumental dance beats only. Even most of these are sub par for Guetta, save for the first two tracks.
“Lunar,” a collaboration with Afrojack, has an uncanny resemblance to Daft Punk’s “Derezzed.” “Sunshine,” a collaboration with Avicii, is six minutes of pleasure for the ears, further making a case that anything Avicii touches turns to gold.
Maybe it is best to listen to the album with the mindset that is ironically offered by will.i.am in his cameo: “…Nothing really matters/But the beat.”
Unless one favors virtual remixes of Top 40 pop, nothing but the beats in the various songs are worth listening to.
Overall, Guetta has given us a disappointing endeavor with a few redeemable aspects.