Two Latin American superstars coming together on a single may seem to be a good idea on paper, right?
Ricky Martin is fresh off his Spanish album A Quien Quiera Escuchar and Pitbull is now busy opening for Enrique Iglesias’ American tour, after the sizeable hit Time of our Lives with Ne-Yo.
Mr. Put It Down is an unashamedly party song that attempts to conjure the glory days of the late 1970s and early 1980s. The slick, thick and funky arrangements hark back to acts like Earth Wind & Fire, Prince and Michael Jackson, as the groovy synths and guitar licks try to recreate Let’s Groove and Working Day & Night for today’s listeners. However, that’s where the worthiness of this single’s tribute to that glorious era ends.
Martin may have decided to let his hair down and take off his suit jacket from the A Quien Quiera Escuchar album cover to party. After all, he is allowed to change from era to era. He even shows off a bit of seldom-heard falsetto. Despite this, his vocals are so processed to make him sound cool with the kids that they’ve lost a bit of that earnest sheen. The limp beat and repetitive music and lyrics don’t help either.
And then you’ve got Pitbull spitting out awkward lines like ‘Pitbull such a dawg’ and ‘give me that uh!’ in between Martin’s parts. Yes, it’s remarkable that he manages to rhyme ‘lust can get tricky’ with ‘Ricky’. Nevertheless, it’s apparent that he and Martin are a mismatch on this record. Martin has done far better party songs; The Cup of Life is iconic. Pitbull’s other collaborators make a whole lot more sense.
Mr. Put It Down is a warning for listeners not to put down their drinks and get on the dance floor, but for Pitbull and Martin to put down any plans of sequels.