Flo Rida / R.O.O.T.S. / Atlantic Records
Ice T recently received some publicity for some derogatory things he said about Soulja Boy; basically that he thought Soulja Boy was putting out ‘whack’ songs that are little more than “ringtone rap”. Despite a few paltry trappings that might hint at some more artistic ambition, Flo Rida’s latest album R.O.O.T.S is little more than a collection of ringtone raps. Even on tracks where Flo tries to show some heart, on “Finally Here” and the title track, his verses get wrapped up pretty quickly in favor of some hook-filled choruses that are often, as on “Gotta Get It (Dancer)” and “Right Round,” just lifted from other classic choruses. R.O.O.T.S should have no problem finding its way into the rotation of every DJ in every club in yours and surrounding cities, but with so little substance its certainly not going to help Flo sustain the lavish lifestyle he so often describes for very long.
Download: “Right Round”
This Providence / Who Are You Now? / Fueled By Ramen
The quartet’s always been known to sing about love through catchy handcrafted lyrics, but the emotions on display in their third album are much more raw and touching. Take the opener “Sure As Hell” for example; some wouldn’t classify it as a legit track since it doesn’t touch the two-minute mark, but it portrays singer Dan Young as an artist creating a masterpiece from his wounds. The refined sound that is Who Are You Now? will not only please fans with charming melodies and unforgettable choruses, but it will also create a portrait of who This Providence really is.
Download: “Let Down”, “Waste Myself”
– Joshua Khan
Keith Urban / Defying Gravity / Capitol
The Australian country rocker may have toned it down a bit with Defying Gravity, but he showcases his particular genre in its truest form. Tainted with intoxicating guitar riffs and warming lyrics, the singer’s latest record fits hot summer days and enchanting nights like the perfect puzzle piece. To some, country may be about whimsical things, but artists like Keith Urban beg to differ. Even though it lacks a tough exterior, the singer’s latest attempt is a collection of sentimental creations perfect for the quiet days of summer everyone hopes to cherish.
Download: “Kiss A Girl”, “Standing Right In Front Of You”
– Joshua Khan