Yeah, yeah, let’s see some clickable single art.
Doing a little research, it turns out that Pitbull isn’t just some super-recent phenomenon. Next month, he releases album number six, and has actually had some #1 singles in Europe. He’s also had two or three top ten hits in the later part of the oughts stateside, but his most recent string of success can be attributed to appearances on big songs by Enrique Iglesias and Usher. He never did much to impress me on those tracks, and ditto with his single with T-Pain. I know he’s billed as this super smooth “Steal your girl with a bottle of expensive alcohol, a nice suit, and dumb facial hair” club shark, but for me he comes across as lame and inconsequential. Part of this might be that anytime I see his name on a song, there’s at least one other name around.
Which leads in perfectly to “Give Me Everything”. Afraid to take on a song himself, Pitbull enlisted a crack team to help pull off the Big Hit. So looking at the three people after the “ft.” sign, we have…B-list singer Ne-Yo, the song’s untested producer, and someone signed to Pitbull’s vanity label who is making her debut on this song. It’s like The Little Song That Could.
It’s worth mentioning that Afrojack is something of a student of David Guetta, which explains why “Give Me Everything” opens with a piano/percussion beat that doesn’t at all sound similar to the Guetta-produced megahit “I Gotta Feeling”. While we’re talking production, “Give Me Everything” switches between that kind of nice beat for the chorus, and a more generic club jam for the verse. Is it terrible? Nah, but anyone who has heard “On the Floor”, “Club Can’t Handle Me”, or any other inescapable club pop hit of the past year and a half has heard this already. Aside from the outro, which randomly features some nice piano music and atmosphere after four minutes of usual club pop. Why? I don’t know, either.
Well, we got Afrojack out of the way, so let’s talk about Ne-Yo and Nayer’s tagteam chorus. The lyrics of “I want all of you tonight/Give me everything tonight/For all we know, we might not have tomorrow” sound a little bit like, again, a mix of every third pop hit since “Just Dance”, although Ne-Yo’s happy delivery does sell it pretty well.
Which is more than I can say for Nayer. It might just be a bad start, but I cannot imagine listening to a full song of her, let alone an album. Her 13 second guest-spot on the chorus is so whispered and so processed that she’s been gutted of any presence she might have had. The fact that her verse is literally six line of nothingness (“Don’t care what they say/All the games they play/Nothing is enough/Til they handle love” …what?) just puts the final nail in the coffin.
Speaking of bad lines: “Take a picture of me with a Kodak/Took my life from negative to positive”. With a line that bad, you’d think Pitbull was being paid to shill Kodak cameras.
I hate being right. Well, that only accounts for one bad line out of a solid dozen or so. “Hustlers move in silence/So I’m tiptoeing” Oh, like how real G’s move in silence like lasagna? “I got her locked up like Lindsay Lohan!” That’s clever, Pitbull! A reference so tired that I bet Afrojack had to edit out the groan from everyone else in the room when you recorded it. What’s next, a reference to winning? I’d post samples of his second verse, but fact of the matter is that it’s such a hurricane of bad puns and pop culture references that it’s better for it to not be reprinted here. Then there’s his pre-chorus, which might as well just be this:
If someone asked me what the Top 40 sounds like, I’d probably point to “Give Me Everything”. It’s not a bad song, but it’s just so incredibly bland and boring that there’s not much to like, either. It doesn’t make me want to dance, and it’s not particularly catchy or fun, so I don’t know what to get out of it. “Give Me Everything”? What am I getting back?