Radio Rant: Flo Rida – Wild Ones ft. Sia

Hello and welcome to Radio Rants. Who keeps greenlighting Flo Rida projects?

It’s not that I actually hate Flo Rida, or even dislike the guy, I’m just…how does he keep making music? Like Pitbull, his songs essentially boil down to consistently forgettable verses, choruses held up by big name pop stars, and slick dance pop productions. But–I never thought I’d say these next four words–in defense of Pitbull (*cringe*), he believes in his own “Don’t stop the party” schtick, or at the very least sells it better. And while Flo Rida might not make any terrible punchlines like The Bull, I’d argue that in pop music, you can get more mileage out of the right kinds of bad than any kind of boring, and Flo Rida has never been anything but utterly boring.

So, the lucky “Who Gets to Carry This Flo Rida Song?” winner is Australian singer Sia. She’s done well for herself in Australia (and her 2010 album did well abroad), but her big international moment was on David Guetta collaboration “Titanium” from Guetta’s messy Nothing But the Beat album. Flo Rida was involved with the same project, and apparently that’s how his people got to know Sia. And she does absolutely fine: she avoids getting drowned out by the production, the melody sticks, and she belts it out strong. It’s not a particularly phenomenal job, but she does the best with what she has to work with.

And that’s very little. Flo Rida we’ll get to in a moment, but the production on “Wild Ones” is nothing to write home about. There’s some weirdly Coldplay-y piano at the chorus for instant faux-epic effect, and beside that…well, there’s a beat and other synths that make music? There isn’t a lot to talk about here; the production is a way, way watered down D.Guetta “I Gotta Feeling” wanna-be. Hell, even other bad Flo Rida songs like “Right Round” had a production that actually sounded like fun. “Wild Ones” just sounds–sorry for the pun–tame.

Then of course the lyrics. What’s our chorus? “Hey I heard you were a wild one/If I took you home, it’d be a home run” I can’t tell if that “home run” bit is supposed to be a punchline that didn’t make it, or just really poor writing. Either way, seriously?

“I wanna shut down the club–why am I even surprised? “Hey I heard you like the wild ones” This song has seven credited writers. Did none of them stop to consider what a weird word choice “wild ones” was? When I hear “wild ones”, I don’t think “Whoa, here’s some crazy, out of control party animal”, I think of a mom telling her elementary school kid’s babysitter “Make sure Danny gets to bed on time, and watch how much sugar he has, he’s a wild one!”

Flo Rida’s verses are so forgettable and mediocre that I’m not even going to riff on them, instead, we’re going to play a game called Using Ke$ha as a Positive Example.

I’m not going to use “Tik Tok” as an example, as it’s likely one of the best worst songs ever written, but run of the mill party track “Take It Off”. The lyrics introduce this club, give it some imagery to boot, and then describes what happens there. And it does all of those things in a way that lines them up to be remembered, so that even though none of the lyrics are good, you at least get the idea. It’s nothing nuanced, but it does the bare minimum of not sounding like random, unimaginative, semi-coherent, not rhyming phrases that crash into each other like a seven car pile up. Which is what Flo Rida’s verses sound like.

The only thing I can really say about “Wild Ones” is that it shows how much the dance club pop thing is fading. It’s the only real club hit in the Top 10 right now, and even what little edge it might have has been filed down to a nub. Sia does a great job, but everything else is just dull.

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About bgibs122

I enjoy music and music culture; I hope you do, too.
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