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Visualize whirled Peas

BY RACHAEL LANDER | JUNE 09, 2009 7:26 AM

It’s been four years since the hip-hop tunes of Stacy Ann “Fergie” Ferguson, William J. “will.i.am” Adams, Allan Pineda “apl.de.ap” Lindo, and Jaime Luis “Taboo” Gómez have collaborated on an album under the name Black Eyed Peas. Solo careers have recently taken precedent over the quartet — the most successful being the Fergalicious Fergie-Ferg, though let’s not forget when will.i.am was beamed into President Obama’s election-night speech — and it should have stayed that way. The band’s latest released, The E.N.D, which creatively (not) stands for Energy Never Dies stays true to the band’s high-energy dance vibe, but that’s about all it has.

The E.N.D is the Black Eyed Peas’ third album with Fergie, but its fifth overall. The self-proclaimed Duchess joined on in 2003 after former singer Kim Hill split — just before the release of that year’s album Elephunk. The Black Eyed Peas boys have been together since the mid-90s, dropping two acclaimed albums Behind the Front and Bridging the Gap.

True to the Peas’ style, many of the songs off The E.N.D come with lengthy intros of pounding beats, including a minute-long opening to the first track “Boom Boom Pow” (the exceedingly popular single that’s been topping the Billboard 100 for weeks). The lengthy starts aren’t horrible — that is if the album is going to serve a particularly festive night of pregaming — but for just hanging around the house it’s more obnoxious than Taboo’s face.

The Peas isn’t known for stellar lyrics, and the band was most notably criticized for the pathetic words to the song “My Humps” from 2005’s Monkey Business. It must be a continuing trend, because the group’s latest album is a mess of total shit lyrics. Take the mind-boggling words to “Boom Boom Pow”: Fergie shrieks, “I’m so 3008 / You so 2000 and late / I got that boom, boom boom” (the exact definition of what that means is still up for debate). However shallow the band’s words may be, the lyrics don’t make the CD awful, though they sure don’t help.

It’s evident from the intro that the Black Eyed Peas’ goal with The E.N.D is to make the album sound futuristic, and it does — if the intent was futuristic crap. It’s as if the Peas picked one tune and strung it through every song, making numerous tracks sound eerily similar. After a certain point, the repetitiveness is unbearable, and the pause button is enticing.

Despite a less than fabulous record, the band members have one thing going for them — dance tracks. If songs from the album were played in a bar around midnight, they would be a hit. Tunes such as “Rock That Body” and “Imma Be” have great beats to them (lyrics ignored, of course), and they would be sure to please a crowd of drunkards.

Despite having a few hits on its subpar album, Black Eyed Peas makes numerous painful mistakes. There are a few songs on The E.N.D that should never have been recorded. Two nasty standouts include “Ring-a-Ling” and “Electric City.” The first features a purely awful ring tone smacked throughout several points in the song, while the latter has a monotone beat with Fergie rapping terrible lyrics as an accompaniment. The words are so awful even raunchy rapper Peaches would be ashamed.

Let’s just hope that the Black Eyed Peas chooses tunes from its older albums if the rumors are true and the members find themselves opening for U2.


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