When David Guetta released "Just A Little More Love" in 2002, no one knew what he was planning. In 2004, when Guetta Blaster dropped, he got more fans, but still the inner workings of Guetta's mind had not been breached. In 2007, with the release of Pop Life, it seemed the French DJ had reached his musical peak, exploring gorgeous ideas that worked wonderfully and became very successful for him. It was then, when everyone thought David Guetta has topped himself off, that he struck.
You see, David Guetta had obviously been planning world domination. For a French dance producer, while this dream was not new, was also quite difficult. Many had tried, some had come close, and while Daft Punk arguably is the biggest dance export from France to date, Guetta's aims are quite achievable. One Love, his 2009 album, is geared for mass exposure. This was easy to see as, from the super-hyped release of his name-making single, "When Love Takes Over," at the 2009 Winter Music Conference to his production work on tracks from the Black Eyed Peas recent album; they showcase his true target: the mainstream public. David Guetta wanted to be a star.
From Massive House Track to Massive House Track
"When Love Takes Over" is easily his biggest calling card. Coldplay-inspired piano and the wonderful vocals of r&b singer Kelly Rowland made the track quickly jet to the top of charts (Billboard Hot 100 - peaked at 76), favorites, and playlists once it had finally found itself released. With increased exposure on television programs (So You Think You Can Dance comes to mind), the track had not only catapulted into everyone's iPods, but David Guetta started to become an easily recognizable name. His production work for the Black Eyed Peas' biggest hit to date, "I Gotta Feeling" (the FMIF remix included on One Love), gained him attention from a lot of people who knew that he actually produced it. "Sexy Bitch" with singer Akon, soon followed, giving Guetta a succession of Hot 100 hits. "Sexy Bitch" rose higher than "When Love Takes Over," allowing him another mainstream hit that got his name further recognized. Will One Love stand up to the pressure, the hype, and the demand that it be a mainstream hit?
What Is In A Name?
Guetta enlisted a lot of performers for One Love. Besides Kelly Rowland and Akon, he brought Chris Willis back in, and snagged Kid Cudi, Novel, Estelle, Will.I.Am and APL DE AP from the Black Eyed Peas, and Ne-Yo. Speaking of Chris Willis, I am so pleased that he has returned for One Love. His collaboration on Guetta's 2007 album, Pop Life, "Everytime We Touch", was a track sent from above in my estimation. It was one of my top 5 tracks for 2007, and continues to brighten my day anytime I listen. So when I heard a familiar strumming guitar sound a la "I Gotta Feeling" or "Love Don't Let Me Go" at the beginning of "Gettin' Over," one of two Guetta & Willis collabs and the album's third single, I got worried. The lyrics of "Gettin' Over," initially sung over said guitar and nothing else, worried me further. The track was beginning rather generically and I was not pleased! But, wait! As soon as the vocals drop away, some crazy dance circus pulls into town and lights up the track with some ethnic and psychotic instrumentation. Suddenly this track is fun! While it's no "Everytime We Touch," I'll take it! Chris also sings on "Sound of Letting Go," a far more commercial track that has a more consistently aggressive beat and vibe.
Big and Brightly Shining?
The title track features Estelle and mimics Bob Sinclar's happy
house groove. Estelle comes across as magical on the track, which is
fun but sounds a little safe. We all know Estelle can "Pop A Cap In
Yo' Ass" with her "American Boy," David, you don't need to treat her
gently. She can take care of herself. It is nowhere near as punchy
as "On The Dance Floor" with two of the members of the BEP. This is
Guetta in his most underground (as underground as a mainstream dance
album can be) and it kind of works. I like how the track is
unyielding and unforgiving, as the beat doesn't let go and the cut
never apologizes for who's voice is on top. Will.I.Am is also on the
spastic and confusing "I Wanna Go Crazy." Grungy and hard to grasp,
the cut aims for hard and memorable but just ends the album on a lost
note. I don't think Kid Cudi's inclusion is all that special. I
thought Cudi's "Day N Night" was a cute track but I didn't see
anything outside of the arrangement that stood out. So seeing him on
"Memories" didn't really do all that much for me. I can say that the
cut fell short as well, as Cudi is mostly unrecogizable. The same
thing felt true about Guetta's collaboration with Novel. The
production felt all over the place, disjointed, and out of place with
Novel's indistinguishable voice.