The Black Eyed Peas are a band that I have no beef with. They release some mindlessly catchy hip-pop music that's great for choreography, and I like their tongue-in-cheek style that can never be taken all that seriously. Featuring a United Colors of Benetton line-up featuring will.i.am, apl.de.ap, Taboo, and Fergie, The Black Eyed Peas have become a group that panders to the mainstream sensibility, but they usually tend to make fun of it. Following the success of lukewarm Monkey Business, the band took a bit of a break before heading back into the studio. During this downtime is when Fergie-Ferg-what's-up-baby decided to release her solo record, an obnoxious and egotistical exploit known as The Dutchess, misspelling intentional. Anybody who liked the Black Eyed Peas was pretty much pining for the girl to get back with her band and released some music with some actual quality, and in 2009, we got our wish. I'm usually pretty happy to hear some fun dance music, but when I got a hold of The E.N.D. (Energy Never Dies), I can't tell you how disappointed I was. I know I'm not supposed to expect a lot from a band who has a song entitled My Humps amongst their greatest hits, but I was hoping for something that was at least catchy. Unlike previous effort, the hip-hop inspired sound is drastically toned down while the Euro-pop dance sound is cranked up to ten. Usually I like this sound, but BEP just didn't know how to bring the goods-- Fergie is no Madonna.
Recommend this product?
Featuring an obnoxious collection of 80s-inspired beats, BEP didn't utilize what they had at their very feet. While a few songs have their golden moments, there are moments of inappropriate repetition that mess with my head as well times when the beats just don't sync up well together. A great portion of The E.N.D. sounds like a fan-collection of shoddy remixes that were crafted solely in Virtual DJ. Then, they mixed it with way too much auto-tune: this album is nothing but a migraine, and it's very difficult to write when it's trying its damnedest to blow out my speakers. When it comes down to it, I shouldn't have expected anything after I heard the lead-off single. Boom Boom Pow is an annoying featuring about three different lyrics on repeat, an annoying breakdown from Fergie, and hyper-obnoxious beats: "I got that boom boom boom / I got that boom boom boom / I got that boom boom boom / I got that boom boom boom / I got that boom boom boom / I got that boom boom boom / I got that boom boom boom / I got that boom boom boom / I got that boom boom boom / I got that boom boom boom / I got that boom boom boom / I got that boom boom boom / I got that boom boom boom / I got that boom boom boom / I got that boom boom boom / I got that boom boom boom..." ...Did you guys know that they had that Boom Boom Boom? Just in case you forgot or wanted to know...they have that Boom Boom Boom. Repetition is poorly executed theme all throughout The E.N.D., usually done involved synth samples and really annoying lyrics. Showdown is annoying video game-inspired club song that features a bridge consisting solely of counting: "10, 9, 8, 7654, 3, 2, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1..." It's one of those moments in music where you sit there and you think, "Are they serious? They cannot be serious." Oh, my friends, they are. Something about this project screams that they are behind it 100%. And that's embarrassing.
One Tribe is another BEP song about peace and harmony and love, except that it's poorly done. The opening vocal harmonizing is a straight rip-off of Billy Joel's The Longest Time, and will.i.am's quasi-rapping isn't as slick as it was on Union, a song with the same. exact. message. from their last album. This form of self-plagiarism is annoying and a complete cop-out. Aside from that, it's just a poorly-written and produced song that's based entirely around a handclap at the forefront of random musical flourishes that come and go like my interest in this album. Rock That Body begins with an expensive-sounding beat, but then it gets drown in other productions that start to fight each other...and when all is said and done, the beats actually sound like they aren't synced together, and it's not very endearing. For a dance album, I certainly don't want to dance to it-- I want to take a hammer to it. Alive is one of the songs that I couldn't give a second listen, stopping it after about thirty seconds in complete anger. I'm a little unsure what BEP was doing, but they are rehashing their style for the millionth time, mixing with poorly produced instrumentation and shoddy lyrics that make my ears curl. Rockin' To the Beat is a 70's-inspired disco song that is comprised of some more quasi-rapping and a finale of the title lyric on repeat for a few minutes. Oh, and did I mention there's more auto-tune to be had? Oh, it's everywhere, and it's never done well.
Following in the footsteps of the electro-synth-disco sound of Lady GaGa and her house-party vibe, BEP complete failed on The E.N.D., featuring no one completely enjoyable song. Imma Be is just Fergie being Fergie with its conceited lyrics about how just hot she is-- where's the song for how much I want to beat her with a frying pan?-- but at leat it's catchy. It features more annoying repetition, but it's minimal in the grand scheme of things, and there's a part of me that does wish I was on the mic saying what Fergie is saying. I Gotta Feelin' is a Prince-inspired party song that's one of the more listenable tunes, but it lacks a hook. Their one attempt at an actual song, and my hopes are completely dashed! Accompanied by a video ripped directly from Ms. GaGa's videography, it's subtle 80s song that's neither overproduced nor obnoxious. Really, if it had something memorable about it, maybe I'd care about it! And it slightly bothers me that Fergie so starkly and candidly talks about partying and drinking on Out of My Head and Party All the Time, considering how she used to be ...A DRUG ADDICT. Last I checked, alocohol is not a part of the recovery process. More obnoxiously embarrassing dance songs here include the laughable Ring-a-Ling and Now Generation, the former of which cannot be described and much be heard first hand.
Oh, oh, oh! Electric City has a lyric that actually uses the word "dildo." And yes, it's as hysterically bad as you think it is. I mean, why not try and sing the word "womanizer" ...
This is where music is. And to hide from it, I think I'm going to bury myself alive. See you in 2034.
01. Boom Boom Pow [0 Stars]
02. Rock That Body [0 Stars]
03. Meet Me Halfway [0 Stars]
04. Imma Be [2 Stars]
05. I Gotta Feeling [2 Stars]
06. Alive [0 Stars]
07. Missing You [0 Stars]
08. Ring-a-Ling [0 Stars]
09. Party All The Time [0 Stars]
10. Out of My Head [0 Stars]
11. Electric City [0 Stars]
12. Showdown [0 Stars]
13. Now Generation [0 Stars]
14. One Tribe [1 Star]
15. Rockin' to the Beat [1 Star]
Best: I Gotta Feeling
Worst: Out of My Head and Alive
SCORE: 1 SKULL (.40+ )