I listened to David Guetta‘s new album Pop Life this weekend. Short review: it doesn’t quite get all the way up the hill!
Guetta’s Just A Little More Love was a surprisingly terrific album. I went into it knowing that the singles were excellent, but I didn’t expect Guetta to keep up that quality and lush production for every single track. There wasn’t one bad track; even the unnecessary David Bowie remix was surprisingly well done.
Based on the monotonous first single “Love is Gone”, I didn’t have the same high hopes for Pop Life. Guetta still has a strong sense for the album form; every track is tight and never lost my attention. This time around, though, everything felt perfunctory. There were no new, exciting highs!
Guetta does try some new directions, but they mostly fizzle out. “Never Take Away My Freedom” is like if the Funky Green Dogs were asked to do a song on the Braveheart soundtrack—stealing a riff from Ace of Base along the way. It’s just surreal. Meanwhile, the song “Winner of the Game” seems to mix the generic pop-rock of today’s bands with imitation Type O Negative vocals. It’s certainly unique, but it doesn’t get us anywhere.
On his second album, the unfortunately named Guetta Blaster, Guetta put out my favorite fake Depeche Mode song: “The World Is Mine.” On his new album, he comes up with “This is Not a Love Song,” which if anything is fake Armand Van Helden. I don’t want that!
Let me repeat, Pop Life isn’t bad! Each track is solid, but Guetta’s great hooks and unique production don’t develop into full-fledged songs. There are rewards here, but just one great song would juice up the entire album. Pop Life feels like a missed opportunity.
Next time around, Mr. Guetta, give us a killer single!