David Guetta, "Listen" (Atlantic/Parlophone)
David Guetta has proved again and again he's the master of the dance floor hook. The Frenchman's sixth album, "Listen," brings an army of reasons to support this without veering too much into club territory — from the myriad collaborators that elevate the dance tunes to a collection of well-crafted tracks to the mix and match of genres.
"Dangerous" starts off the record with an urgent piano that suggests the possibilities are endless, while "Lovers on the Sun," featuring Sam Martin, is an unlikely Western spaghetti dance tune that touches on post-modernist sensibilities. It's the album's standout track.
Sia, who worked with Guetta on the massive hit "Titanium," works a double shift on the new album. She contributes to "Bang My Head" and "The Whisperer" and presents two faces of the same coin: techno euphoria on the one hand and piano soulfulness on the other.
The album's chill out factor comes from three Caribbean-flavored tracks: the catchy "Lift Me Up," the tongue-in-cheek yet affable "No Money No Love" and the dull if feasible "Sun Goes Down" with MAGIC! Nicki Minaj and Afrojack deliver a startling R&B bump and funk gem in "Hey Mama," and John Legend, another uniquely gifted performer, offers another brilliant reason to love this album — his ballad "Listen" wrangles both the ears and the hips into action.
Guetta may be a club kid at heart, but his music has managed to grow up.
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