I Am Armando

by: Pitbull

Pitbull’s 2010 Spanish-language album Armando arrived four years after it was originally promised, but it’s so cool, loose, natural, and cohesive, it feels like it came together over one hot Miami summer. After the forced moments of his 2009 album, Rebelution, that’s a very good thing. This well-built effort retains that album’s love of club-worthy, pop-rap singles (here, it’s the good-timing, Lil Jon team-up “Watagatapitusberry” and the instant floor-filler “Bon, Bon”) and then adds casual, secondary material that plays up the man’s charismatic sense of humor (check out the minimal stunner “Amorosa” or how “Mujeres” messes with the Beastie Boys classic “Girls”). Highlights “Maldito Alcohol” and “Esta Noche” are somewhere in between while his modern take on the Cuban classic “Guantanamera” is an unusual mix of respectful and cocky. It all works splendidly, and in the end, the album Pitbull named after his father ends up one of his best, language barrier or not. [In 2012, Sony released a "reloaded" version of Armando titled I Am Armando. This version featured two new tracks, "Crazy People" and "Echa Pa'lla (Manos Pa'rriba)," along with a bonus DVD featuring five music videos.] ~ David Jeffries

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