R.O.O.T.S. (Route of Overcoming the Struggle), is the title of FloRida's sophomore album, following up to the rusty Mail on Sunday which admittedly had a handful of highlights ("Low," "Elevator," and "In The Ayer") but contained way too many dry spots --I think the title of the album is way to benevolent for its own good. It's not as contemplative as it seeks out to be, however it does score on a very high standard when you take into consideration the 'fun' factor. Doped up with infectious vigorous beats and very fetching choruses R.O.O.T.S. is indeed a very well structured improvement from its predecessor.
The album opens with "Finally Here" a mid-paced number, backed with drums and synths --the melodic chorus is what ties the song together, a great prep for the follow up track "Jump" with Nelly Furtado, is a fast paced number, which indulges in an interesting collection of synthesizers, drums, tambourines and kinetic clicks and handclaps, Furtado's nasally sang chorus is very infectious --this could well be a single, or rather it should be. "Gotta Get It" is another interesting cut, also very fast paced but includes a retro, almost 80s reminiscent, robotically sung chorus which is really cool.
If "Low" was the highlight of Mail on Sunday then "Right Round" is the "Low" of R.O.O.T.S. at first I didn't think so, but it's equally as annoyingly catchy, thumping an infectious drum-clap bassline backed with synthesizers. Amongst the best on the album is "Sugar" which I've been in love with for quite a while now --I love the breezy, summery vibe the song carries through backed with dazzling piano chords. "Be On You" with Ne-Yo is another highlight, emerging in a more bleepy R&B flavored venture-- aside from the fact that Ne-Yo is absolutely brlliant-- I'm very impressed with FloRida's lyrical work on here, just a tad more sultry and meaningful on here.
"Mind On My Money" is a phrase used a lot by artist within the hip-hop genre, so I'm immediately inclined to think this one of those same 'ol, same 'ol cuts--nothing original-- but it's actually a pretty decent cut. Very melodic, just a bit too drum backed for my taste but I love how almost every chorus in his songs always stick. "Available" with Akon is a funky number, with a pulsating synth bassline--backed with rhythmic handclaps. I spot some commercial activity on the lyric: "Let me put your number in my iPhone, baby", tsk tsk tsk.
"Shone" and "Ha" are typical synth, handclap and click hip-hop numbers, nothing too praiseworthy. "Rewind" with Wyclef Jean is amongst my favorites on here, It's the piano that really holds the song together and also its contemplative message. "Touch Me" isn't that great but it features a Stephen Hawking inspired chorus with the repetition of its title. "Never" is another piano backed number, it's the 'uplifting' of the album and the more serious, really rounds off the album well.
Flo Rida may not be a genius lyricist like Kanye West but his lyric-work can be creative when he wants them to be, especially when it's backed with such great beats and R.O.O.T.S. may not be perfect and may not be that original but it's a very good hip-hop album and nothing more.
Best Tracks: Jump, Right Round, Sugar, Be On You, Mind On My Money, Available, Rewind