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Pitbull

The Boatlift

The Boatlift cover

On his 2007 effort The Boatlift, Pitbull's love of club tracks and anthemic party tunes is once again tempered by some serious material, and once again the album's title references the early-'80s mass exodus of Cuban people from their homeland. This is the same formula that was used for his 2006 album, El Mariel, but here the measurements are off, with too much attention being paid to production and hooks while talent and personality get short shrift. Tracks like the appropriately titled "The Anthem" and "Sticky Icky," with Lil Jon and Jim Jones, are infectious, the exciting "Midnight" features Euro-trance keyboards and singer Casely as a worthy Justin Timberlake replacement, plus there's a handful of those Latin rap meets crunk numbers that are so identifiable as Pitbull's. These deep Miami tracks are complemented by some street level interludes and freestyles that are rich with wit, but The Boatlift dies on the slow tracks with "Secret Admirer" being too sugary to take and "My Life" dropping embarrassing bombs like "sometimes I feel/all I can give you is sex/I'm sorry." Get past these plaintive and uninspired tales of how heartbreaking the jet-set lifestyle is and you're left with enough gloss and polish to consider The Boatlift a fun floor-filler, but just not up to Pitbull's usual standards.

Review by David Jeffries

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