The Black Eyed Peas’ ‘The E.N.D.’ Review

Black Eyed Peas

It seems that the Peas have forgotten their socially-conscious jams and replaced them with a deep, deep commitment to a good party. The E.N.D. (the acronym for The Energy Never Dies) may sometimes drive you nuts, but at least assures you a fun night out! This time, the L.A. based group is one step ahead of conventional modern ‘hip-pop’, and know it: “I’m so three thousand and eight / you’re so two thousand and late”. Although this can be mistakenly interpreted as a messed up crossover of dance, electro and rap, it again cements that the BEP are constantly innovative (something really missing out there). The result of this futuristic scramble is actually quite genious. Its only problem, though, is a trivial sense of redundancy and a slight lack of continuity.

A robotical voice introduces the opening track, “Welcome to the end”, in a sort of trance prologue of the real song. ‘Boom Boom Pow’ is strange, but the good type of strange. Its sacharine melody is complemented with first-class rapping vocals (onlt track with clever lyrics!) and an ingenious combination of beating effects. The only con is that unnecesary final electro-mosquito beep.

It’s difficult to keep your bum still and definitely impossible to hide a cheeky grin when listening to the (obviously) Guetta-produced ‘I Gotta Feeling’, a chart-topping electro ode to partying every day, “Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturdar, Saturday to Sunday” – yes, they repeat Saturday because the line needs three more syllables! Despite the obvious and needless repetition, the track is impossible to hate.

In the 80s-beat ‘Meet Me Halfway’ Fergie demonstrates the vocals we heard in her solo ‘Big Girls Don’t Cry’ while’s silly raps are quite forgettable. By the way, contributions of the other two Peas barely exist and are randomly placed throughout the whole album. ‘Now Generation’ is a hilariously punk reivindicative track, while ‘Imma Be’ is actually quite involuntarily funny: by repeating the title about ninety times one ends up hearing ‘I’m a bee’! The simplicity of track 14, ‘One Tribe’ reminds us of the authentic melodic and soulful hip hop we first listened to in Elephunk.

Exposing yourself to 70 non-stop minutes of booms, pows, beeps, morphed deep voices and infinite sound effects can be dodgy, but if you decompose the album into fifteen individual tracks to listen to randomly the outcome is indeed outstanding.

DATE: 3 June 2009 LABEL: Interscope RATING: * * *

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