Black Eyed Peas are one of those acts that you can’t help but recognize the hitmaking brilliance for, but try as I might, after listening to the new CD The Beginning, I can’t seem to think that the pop/hip hop group has lost its way.
As much as I’d like to say that the group was a bit lost on its last album The E.N.D., there are days when I can’t get Imma Be out of my head, and I still think Boom Boom Pow was the song of the year in 2009. Amidst the flurry of hits on that album, it came off a bit unfocused and retro. With The Beginning, the old school sound remains, but the music seems even more uninspired and lacking that boom, boom pow that gave The E.N.D. life.
The Beginning leads off with The Time, which utilizes the familiar chorus of the Bill Medley classic (I've Had) The Time of My Life from Dirty Dancing, while other potentials include Love Me Long Time and Light Up The Night. The best of the bunch is the Fergie led Whenever, which sounds like something from her solo album The Dutchess with a bit of Will.i.am thrown in the mix. There’s a lot of old school beats here and way too much Auto-Tune production to make the album enjoyable, but at least you can dance to it.
The Black Eyed Peas name alone will generate some hits and large sales from this lame-o release, but I can’t help but feel that the band is resting on its laurels too much this time out. It comes across as a B-Sides album with leftovers from previous efforts and one of those albums that Will.i.am will be apologizing for in a few years.