We could pretty much have just run this picture and had done with it, but let’s plough on regardless…
Alfred Soto: Upped a notch for not being a Debarge cover.
Anthony Easton: I love the tabloid immediacy of this, and the refusal to feel guilty about the sexual excess, like James and Woods had to, and I love the peanut butter/honey smooth/rough tension b/w the vocal styles of Pitbull and Enrique, and the random Michelle and Barack comment too. A little too much going on, a little too jam packed, but awesome regardless.
Martin Skidmore: The RedOne production is the mode of the day: crunchy, punchy electro-pop-dance. It sometimes sounds as if it glues together a few other things – Lionel Richie’s “All Night Long”, bits of Shakira, with an autotuned Enrique yelling along as best he can, and Pitbull jumping in with a typically high-energy guest verse. It strikes me as more gaudy than fun.
Hillary Brown: Kind of a disappointing collaboration, especially when the idea of two such high-energy fellows working together is pretty exciting. The sound is just all muddied together in the middle, and neither the pumping beat nor the attempts to convey excitement really function as they should.
Chuck Eddy: Takes a minute or so to kick in beyond its rote O.P.P. sentiments, but starting a few seconds before the first Lionel Richie interpolation, this pretty well cooks. High point: Enrique’s falsetto around the 2:30 mark, which probably sounds more like Fine Young Cannibals but I can pretend sounds like K.C. and the Sunshine Band if I want to — they make more sense in Miami, right?
Michaelangelo Matos: All the echo and Auto-tune (the chorus even has him sounding like Cher!) and Lionel Richie quote (which in ’84 keynoted the most nutso Summer Olympics outro to that date) make this seem less like a song, as in a thing you can take to your heart, or even like a video game, as in an immersive electronic environment. It’s more like pay-per-view gladitorial sport. Nothing gets killed except the listener’s interest, though. Pitbull doesn’t save it, but he tries.
John Seroff: When even Pitbull can’t save you, you’re in trouble.
Katherine St Asaph: Enrique Iglesias discovers Auto-Tune, sounds like Fergie. Pitbull is himself. Listeners are appalled.
Jonathan Bogart: Not to get all class-war about it, but there’s a reason the troubled-immigrant Pitbull sounds alive and relevant and like actually has a personality while the son-of-pop-royalty Iglesias borrows a vocal preset from the similarly-privileged Julian Casablancas and a production from the abbreviated Latin Invasion dancestakes of 1999, the last time he had anything like an Anglophone hit. Or you could say it’s the difference between America (Cuba) and Europe (Spain) and be done faster.