The Black Eyed Peas Have A Stranglehold On Pop

Jun 9th, 2009 // 3 Comments

Our look at the closing lines of the week’s biggest new-music reviews continues with a roundup of reactions to the Black Eyed Peas’ The E.N.D., which arrives in stores today:

• ”Granted, there’s nothing here as embarrassing as ‘My Humps,’ and the production is a shade better than previous material from the group or Fergie solo (although still not as good as solo ventures), but The E.N.D. (Energy Never Dies) is a mess of pop/dance/rap crossover. It certainly won’t change the minds of everyone who thinks that the group’s pandering approach and clumsy execution make it the worst thing about pop music in the 2000s.” [John Bush, All Music Guide]

• ”Then again, any group that would include a rap with the words ‘mazel tov’ in it has to get at least part of the joke. And the latest one told by the Peas has so much verve, even their snobbiest foes should give in to the joy.” [Jim Farber, New York Daily News]

• ”It’s when The Peas try to bring a message that they sink into a little trouble. ‘Now Generation’ addresses our current obsession with instant gratification, but do we really want a finger-shaking from the Peas—especially when they better hope we instantly feel like plunking down our money for The E.N.D. At least they’re smart enough to wrap the litany of lists in punky, guitar-driven beats. Because, really, who wants to be bombarded with messages when there’s a dance floor to hit.” [Melinda Newman, Hitfix]

• ”The Peas stretch a handful of times–excelling on the unifying world-beat anthem ‘One Tribe’ and failing on ‘Now Generation,’ the new millennium’s ‘We Didn’t Start the Fire,’ which struggles with Fergie screaming, ‘I want it now!’ like a kid jonesing for ice cream. The E.N.D. may not be great, but it will be popular.” [Glenn Gamboa, Newsday]

  1. the new millennium’s ‘We Didn’t Start the Fire,’


  2. @Maura: I hate list songs worse than just about anything. “By placing things in juxtaposition lyrically they take on a deeper meaning!”

  3. disclaimer: I have always hated the black eyed peas. Even though I found “my humps” and some fergie solo tracks (mainly glamorous) to be fun guilty pleasures, I’ve still always loathed the peas. And I think “boom boom pow” is possibly the worst song I’ve heard in at least 2 years.

    ok: but I really like this album. not the end of it, which gets crappy (all those lame message songs), but the beginning (minus boomboompow) and middle are actually pretty great. “meet me halfway” has an incredible hook melody and “gotta feeling” is pure joy. so the lyrics are outright terrible throughout most of the album but I sort of just pretend it’s a DJ’s dance album rather than a “hip hop group” which the BEP never really were in the first place.

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