Hello, and welcome to Radio Rants. Seriously?
Ellie Goulding had a shot at it. Maroon 5 had a shot at it. Katy Perry had a shot at it. But no, it turns out that Flo Rida, of all people, is the Carlyslayer who finally knocked “Call Me Maybe” out of the top spot. The quick and dirty for my stance on Flo Rida is that I find him an absolute bore who has proven himself unable to carry a single on his own. A Flo Rida hit without the guest spot hook or the sample is like Lucky Charms without the marshmallows. Well, then, let’s grab a spoon.
For his new number 1 single, Flo Rida goes it alone without nary a souped up sample, guest singer, or superproducer in sight. “Whistle”‘s produced by a pair of guys named David Glass and DJ Frank E. Glass is a no-name, and Frank’s production credits include Kanye West’s “Blame Game” and The Lonely Island’s “I Just Had Sex”, so, uh, he’s got kind of a range. Anyway, pop rap “Whistle” has a pretty rote rhythm section for bass and drums that don’t do anything thrilling, but the song also has a lot of guitar. Some clean electric guitar sneaks in at various points, but the main hook also features acoustic guitar pretty heavily. It makes me think of Justin Bieber’s “Boyfriend”.
The hook for “Whistle” is, shocker, a whistle. Hey, remember around this time last year when there were like, four top ten hits that had whistling in them, and then everyone realized how goddamn annoying it was? Way to strike when that iron was hot, Flo. More than that, the whistle hook in “Whistle” is so damn hokey. The guitar behind it is kind of serious, then there’s this big, deliberate, tuneless whistle hook in front of it, and I can’t decide if it makes me want to laugh or cringe. If they found a way to work it into the song naturally, I guess the song would be ok, but as a hook, it’s just so clumsy and obvious that it derails everything else around it.
And, because Flo’s manager forgot to book Ellie Goulding or Rita Orca for studio time, Flo Rida himself has to sing the chorus. While he’s admittedly not that bad (hell, the studio tweaking on his singing doesn’t sound different from that on his rapping), the melody’s pretty weak and not memorable. Hang on, what’s he singing?
“Can you blow my whistle, baby, whistle, baby?” …he’s not talking about his dick, is he?
“Just put your lips together/And then come real close” Oh, blow me, Flo Rida.
“Girl, I’m gonna show you how to do it” Wait, if the song’s about oral sex, and he’s offering to show her how to do it…
“Talented with your lips, like you blew candles” Flo, you know she’s not actually supposed to blow on it, don’t you?
“Go girl, you can work it/Let me see you whistle while you work it” I can’t imagine any context for this line that doesn’t make me giggle like a small child. I’m cherrypicking the whistle lines because, like every other Flo Rida song, the verses in “Whistle” are throwaways as inane as they are boring. Last year, I called Britney Spears’ “I Wanna Go” one of the most forward songs I’ve heard, but “Relax and get on your back” and the entirety of “Whistle” both top it handily. But while “Scream” at least sounds sensual, “Whistle” sounds like a Lonely Island castoff.
This song’s a strikeout with me. The beat’s boring, the hook’s obnoxious, and there are better dick jokes on the airwaves right now. The song even takes Flo Rida out of his normal “Yeah, let’s party!” element, and replaces it with something that isn’t nearly as “fun”. Flo Rida sings the chorus on “Whistle”, but I wouldn’t be surprised if that was only because no one wanted to be associated with it. Flo can’t keep the song afloat by himself, and it’s not even fun to watch him try.