On his tenth album, Climate Change, Armando Christian Pérez – better known as Pitbull – name checks himself at the beginning of no fewer than half of the assembled tracks. He is also not shy in telling the listener about his popularity – as on Freedom, where he quotes figures related to the number of followers he has accrued on social media, and how many views his music has accumulated on YouTube.
Boasting is almost expected in the genre to some degree, and such bragging almost makes sense when considering Pérez’s commercial success and ubiquity in the music scene, but it certainly sits at odds with the with the album’s title, Climate Change, which conjures up heady thoughts of socio-political discourse, global economic disparities, and intergenerational equity and responsibilities. It is unclear why Pérez chose such a charged title for the album title, and if he is seeking to enter the debate about global warming, and its implications, he appears to be advocating the ostrich approach to the problem; bring the honeys, and just head down to the club to party – it’s air-conditioned!
Climate Change features an impressive (long) list of guest artists, but their presence often fails to lift the quality of the musical fair on offer. Lead single Messin’ Around features Enrique Iglesies, and is painfully unimaginative. Jennifer Lopez adds very little to Sexy Body, a track which leaves the listener wondering how it took 11 writers and four producers to compete it. Stephen Marley brings a pleasant, laid-back vibe to Options, but even at a mere 4 minutes the song feels overly long. There are a few examples of the guest talent being put to good use as with Kiesza’s vocals on We Are Strong, and Leona Lewis on the anaemic dance track, Only Ones To Know.
Bad Man is the album’s most interesting track, a fact no doubt related to it featuring the most interesting and unexpected collaboration. Robin Thicke makes an unexceptional appearance, but Aerosmith’s Joe Perry, and Blink-182’s Travis Barker infuse the track with a raucous energy. Bad Man doesn’t quite stick the landing, but it definitely had potential. It takes 45 minutes to listen to Climate Change’s 12 tracks, but a hell of a lot longer to discern any point or purpose to the album.