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There's no doubt that by Wild Ones' 2012 release, pop-rapper Flo Rida had become a "singles artist," one who soars high in the three- to four-minute format. Give him thin but clever ideas -- that acoustic guitar riffs might sound fun with hip-hop beats or that whistling also looks like oral sex -- and you get hot, infectious fluff, the hottest of which here is "Whistle," a DJ Frank E production that might have been handed to Kesha, Katy Perry, or even Maroon 5, although Flo Rida does it much justice, reviving a come-on that goes back to Lauren Bacall and putting a couple energy drinks' worth of power behind it. The title cut with Sia is close to Katy Perry's "Fireworks" but crafted to support a sports highlight reel instead of teenage dreams, and then there's the Etta James-sampling "Good Feeling" with producers Dr. Luke and Avicii replacing David Guetta from the previous album and offering that urban-pop glitter-flash that should make purists scream and the Black Eyed Peas jealous. Speaking of the previous album (2010's Only One Flo, Pt. 1), this is also a short, almost EP-length album that comes with nine tracks in its standard version and with no full-length flow, and while it was originally titled Only One Rida, Pt. 2 and designed as some kind of sequel, continuity doesn't matter in this pop-rap-urban-dance landscape, as this genre is as "in the moment" as it comes. Wild Ones would be dragged down by any tacked-on sense of purpose, and thinking of Flo Rida as equal parts thrill seeker and hitmaker is easy as the album races to its absolutely silly, LMFAO-featuring finish. It's gimmicky, lightweight, and best taken in small chunks, but get a glitter-friendly crowd together and it gets the party started, succeeding at its one and only goal.
Review by David Jeffries
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