Album Review

'Taio Cruz,' Rokstarr'

May 31, 2010

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Katy Perry’s “California Gurls’’ will certainly be the song of the summer, but this debut by the British artist sounds like it’s going to be the party record of the season. Cruz, the son of a Nigerian father and Brazilian mother, brings irresistible brio and pop smarts to the table. He’s already got a step up, as “Break Your Heart’’ has been a chart smash for weeks, but the rest of the disc is filled with similar, undeniable club songs. It opens with the throbbing “Dynamite’’ and its “I want to celebrate and live my life’’ mantra carries over to much of the CD. There are a few ballads, but most of this is configured to get people bouncing off club walls. The skeezy slice of cheese, “Dirty Picture,’’ features that notorious no-talent, Ke$ha, but with its galloping percussion it makes for salacious nonsense. “Higher’’ is pure disco with the same lame-brain lyrics (“Something about this beat has got me hooked / now come on over here / and take a closer look’’) but also a sleeker, updated production. Try to resist it. Cruz is a limber vocalist who demonstrates savvy even though the songs don’t challenge him. This is an agreeable, singles-going-steady kind of collection that should make for endless radio fodder. (Out Tomorrow)


ESSENTIAL “Dynamite’’