Black Eyed Peas – The E.N.D. – Rating : B
Hip-Hop, Pop, Electronic—The Black Eyed Peas have brandished more genre labels than Shaquille O’Neal has requested trades. The addition of Fergie has clearly made the group a staple in mainstream music. Her multi-platinum debut, The Dutchess, took the music industry by storm and Will.i.am’s production contributions across the music genre have made him this decade’s Wyclef Jean.
While two out of the four members have become primetime industry players, the chemistry between the foursome is still as strong as ever. After very strong outings from they’re last two albums, the Grammy Award winning group reunites to bring us their latest project, The E.N.D.—An album that gives us a plethora of Top 40 singles, which will be engraved in our temples for months to come.
The bombastic lead single “Boom Boom Pow” is swagger music for the club crowd. Will.i.am has bodies piling up on wall with this monstrous beat. “Rock That Body” cleverly samples snippets of Rob Base’s “It Takes Two,” as the group rushes booties to the dance floor. Will.i.am and Apl.de.ap lyrically control the tempo and Fergie’s synthesized hook is irresistibly addicting. An 80’s rhythm develops from the nostalgic notions of “Rockin To The Beat” that strongholds your senses and lays you into a rhythmic trance.
An affectionate hook is all it takes to make “Alive” a VH1 smash. Its simplistic chorus is sure to garner many sing-a-longs at get-togethers. Plus, it’s actually a cute record to dedicate to anyone special person in your life. Keeping it sappy, “Missing You” has the BEP entourage valuing love a little too late. Fergie presence on the microphone is so commanding here, its not that hard to mistake it as her solo effort. “Meet Me Halfway” beats at an anticipating pace that results in a satisfying climax.
Speaking for the carpe diem crowd, “Party All The Time” takes time out to forget about life’s troubles and invigorate the soul with some excitement. When times are hard, BEP provides you the perfect hymn to rock out too. “Now Generation” serves as a time capsule of this generation’s pop culture sensations and screams Americana to its highest extent. The only thing missing is here is a Kid Rock guest appearance.
The Black Eyed Peas construct the prototype consumer album, giving us a large number of album fillers that could make the radio rounds and music television circuits. Hit records after hit record after hit record; you’re torn between what you would want to see released as singles. That right there tells you that the album is worth the purchase.
The E.N.D. pays homage to the Electro Funk noise that Afrika Bambaataa popularized and gives it a modern-day finesse. You get your fair share of love, rebellious and party records, in heavy doses. Will.i.am’s production scratches beneath the surface and gets to the core of your rhythmic desires and Fergie continues to dominate her performances in the same stylish manner she’s been flaunting since her career has soared. BEP is back to swamp to Billboard charts.
Beer Pairing: The recommendation here is Stella Artois. You’ll be falling into a woman’s clutches on the dance floor and at the bar. Choose your beer wisely!