Flo Rida

R.O.O.T.S. (Route of Overcoming the Struggle)

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Standing for "Route of Overcoming the Struggle," R.O.O.T.S. is an especially unreasonable title for Flo Rida's follow-up to Mail on Sunday, the album featuring megahit "Low." With the handful of plaintive or reflective numbers included here all being forgettable and dull, it's way too noble a title, one that points out all the album's shortcomings. The autobiographical opener, "Finally Here," seems bemused by life's journey, not in awe, and "Rewind" is a hackneyed closer with a thin "turn back time" metaphor supported by Wyclef's pathos for hire. Of course, the reason you're here is for the numerous poptastic club tracks, all infectious and empty in true ringtone rapper style. The Dead or Alive interpolating "Right Round" is "Low"'s heir apparent, a horribly infectious single created by producer Doctor Luke (who previously worked for Lily Allen) plus Koool Kojak (who previously worked for Andy Milonakis). Even more ridiculous is "Sugar," a song shameless enough to "incorporate elements" of Eiffel 65's Euro-trash earworm "Blue (Da Ba Dee)." With its upbeat call-and-response hook being delivered by an Auto-Tuned Nelly Furtado, the target audience for "Jump" has to be the local cheerleading troop, and if you're expecting Fergie or Gwen Stefani to show up during this pop-rap spectacular, you instead get decent shots from Ne-Yo and Akon. The unsurprisingly inconsistent R.O.O.T.S. is hip-hop like Nas never happened, a flash or fodder album owing more to Lady GaGa than to Public Enemy. If you enjoy the hook, you enjoy the song, and if you're headed to the club in a fine ride on a Friday night, you'll likely fall for about half.

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