on June 9, 2009
I am so tired of every group latching on to the vocader to process their vocals. I mean it's ok to use it to enhance a few words for the effect, but when every single song is dominated by auto-tune something has to give. From Lil wayne, to Akon and T-Pain, then Kanye's new record. Now the BEP have jumped on the bandwagon, and not a single track is missing this played out sickening auto-tune effect. Come on people, can't musicians actually SING anymore?
on June 9, 2009
I could not wait for the new BEP cd to come out - I even went to Target at lunch to buy it so I could have it ASAP. After listening to it all the way through, my first thought was "dang, that's it?". It is SO NOT the BEP that we all know and love. I gave it 3 stars because it's still got some good beats. Not nearly as many fun lyrics and vocals though - like the others said, lots of electronic sounding stuff.
My recommendation - buy the CD from Target so that you can get the bonus CD. Totally made it worth the $9.98. It's 10 extra songs (6 remixes and 4 new songs), and it reminds you of the "old" BEP.
on June 22, 2009
A solid BEP fan, I didn't hesitate for one second to plunk down the cost of this CD. Would have thoroughly enjoyed it...in 1988! Seriously, after struggling through the first of 2, I thought maybe I had misunderstood...giving them the benefit of the doubt, I thought maybe they had packaged a compilation of their earliest stuff, and that they had reserved the "hot, new mixes" for the 2nd CD. OMG...couldn't believe that they'd actually ruin "Pump It", but they did. In this one person's opinion, this endeavor sounded like they had lost their producer, sat down in somebody's home studio with their new synthesizer, had a few cocktails, and then recorded anything that came to mind. One song was the same line repeated OVER AND OVER ad nauseum. No sustained funky beats (although they dropped one every once in a while; however, the minute you got used to it, they changed up - either with incredibly stupid lyrics, a completely different tempo, or the bottom dropped out altogether and you heard nothing but that single synth.) DON'T WASTE YOUR MONEY. I love you, BEPs, but this was a joke played on us.
THE E.N.D. (ENERGY NEVER DIES) is no masterpiece - had to get that off my chest to begin with. With that said, it is more interesting to listen to, much because of the more experimental, liberal production work, than its predecessor, MONKEY BUSINESS. I wouldn't necessarily say production wise it is necessarily better than ELEPHUNK, but it does bring new ideas - sound ideas that is - to the table. As far as being a politically, socially-conscious album as the Black Eyed Peas suggested this album might be, I don't really see it, but whatever I suppose. After all, it is The Black Eyed Peas and I think the key to "The Peas" is fun, party- and pop-rap. Interestingly, The Peas explore more than just hip-hop or pop-rap on this album. Second official single (or maybe third single) "I Gotta Feeling" is totally different from anything the Peas have released before. Though despite shining moments like this one, the Peas also back-step a bit, or they don't step forward enough. The biggest problem may be ultimately that at nearly 70 minutes, had the Peas cut down The E.N.D. to about 50 minutes, it may have laid better. But they didn't and there are still enough highlights to speak notably of THE END (ENERGY NEVER DIES).
"Boom Boom Pow" is by far their very best single in sometimes, as ultimately corny or stupid as it may be. It is no surprise that this single stayed at #1 for 11 Weeks. Lines like "I'm so 3008/you're so 2000 and late" make this silly club-banger worth the time. Instantly, you also see a heightened explicit nature to the Black Eyed Peas as most of the profanities go without censor. Sure, every Black Eyed Peas album seems to escape the dastardly Parental Advisory label, but this one seems to feature even more rebelliousness. It doesn't bother me, though it may bother some parents - just saying.
"Rock That Body" is certainly a production showcase, but also proves to be one of the most listenable, worthwhile tracks off of THE E.N.D. Fergie's voice is made to sound 'child-like- on this uptempo jam (a production technique, of course). The sample used here is an ingenious choice. My only qualm might be that it is a tad bit to "electro-centric". "Meet Me Halfway" is OK, though forgettable when penned against "Boom Boom Pow", "Rock That Body", or the following "Imma Be". "Imma Be" features fantastic production work, and more profanities from the peas ("I'm gon' look fly and s***... etc). However, on "Imma Be", the Peas sound like they have more swagger than they have showcased before. "Imma Be" drifts into an uptempo track, showcasing will.i.am's experimental sense of production.
"I Gotta Feeling" one-ups "Imma Be", and certainly bodes as the Peas' most interesting, unique sounding single to date. This single sounds more pop than anything else, giving the Peas a different sound and format to work with. Much like "Boom Boom Pow", it's no surprise "I Gotta Feeling" has quickly ascended to the penthouse of the Billboard Hot 100. "Alive" and "Missing You" are both solid listens, though they lack the pizazz of say "Boom Boom Pow" or "I Gotta Feeling". "Ring-A-Ling" is surprisingly good, despite being utterly corny, maybe even cornier than "Boom Boom Pow". As far as production is concerned, "Ring-A-Ling" is among the best of THE E.N.D. - yay will.i.am. No, it is isn't in the same league as "Boom Boom Pow", but not much is on THE E.N.D.
Somewhere after "Ring-A-Ling" and arguably before, the album generally falls off, something that was prevalent on MONKEY BUSINESS as well. "Party All The Time" is average (though solid/presentable), while "Out of My Head" is a clean-cut miss in my eyes. "Electric City" resurrects some of the fun that presided the earlier portions of the ends, proving to stand out among the lesser consistent material that plagues the latter half of THE E.N.D. Again, maybe its the explicit one-liners from the Peas that make certain tracks more likable. The production on "Electric City" is exceptional.
"Showdown" is OK, though nothing great or stunning by any means. "Now Generation" finds the Peas attempting to be more "socially conscious", though it doesn't bode well in the favor of a party-rap band in my eyes. The exception might be "Where Is The Love?" which featured Justin Timberlake from ELEPHUNK. Similarly on "One Tribe" the band continues in this socially-driven direction, with more success this time around than on "Now Generation". Again, I wouldn't call this an epiphany by any means, but "it is what it is". The album closes with the hyperelectric jam "Rockin To The Beat" which closes this slightly bloated, inconsistent album on a decent, though not necessarily a high note.
THE E.N.D. is a bit of a lofty title for an album where there are times indeed where ("the energy does die") or feels lackadaisical a times. Production always remains pretty strong, which bodes well in the Peas' favor. This album is by no means great, but it is a pretty enjoyable listen, even if to some extent you may feel "stupider" after you partake of it. 3 stars.
on November 23, 2009
I just watched Black Eyed Peas's performance of "Meet Me Halfway" on the X Factor show in UK, and I must say I was absolutely hooked to this song, wonderful vocals from Fergie. I love the fact that they are evolving and trying something new. I also heard "Boom Boom Pow" and "I Gotta Feeling" on several occasions while driving with friends and I was quite impressed. In addition, I'm a clubber so when I heard these two songs, I just can't stop dancing! It must be those tequila shots!! I was really mesmerized of Black Eyed Peas's performance in 2009 Isle of Malta to "Meet Me Halfway", it absolutely won me over. I told myself I got to buy this album right away and now I have it!! Highly Recommended!!
on June 21, 2009
What can I say about this album. It has incredible "Energy" from beginning to END. Every single song on this album is good, including the bonus stuff (I especially liked the remixes of BEP classics). I used this album while walking in Relay for Life and I never wanted to stop! The whole thing makes you want to MOVE!!!! I am so happy that Will.I.Am said that this album does not literally mean the end of BEP, because after something this good, I'd love to hear more! P.S. Like the reviewer before me I'd recommend getting this at Target for $9.98, don't pay what their asking here no matter how good it is!