Black Eyed Peas
our score: 4.5 out of 5.0
Pop Goes the Weasel, the Weasel
It's not everyday
a semi-underground/roots effort hip-hop act can take on a pop
sound and maintain credibility in the hip-hop industry. However,
The Black Eyed Peas are out to prove critics and fans wrong. With
their third release, Elephunk, the Black Eyed Peas not
only take on a new member, but also a new twist to their music.
a look at what the first "new" does for the group. As
the title implies, Elephunk sets out to achieve a funkier,
soulful, club sound. By adding Fergie to their lineup, BEP gets
a good solid dose of style and flair, and some fairly good vocal
support to boot. Fergie's throaty voice fits somewhere in between
Pink and Christina in tone. Granted, she may not be up to their
level, but she does have plenty of talent to get the job done.
She wasn't brought in to be a feature, and she's not on just to
sing hooks...she's meant to complement the trio, and that's just
what she does.
to "new" number two...
So what exactly
is the Black Eyed Peas new sound? Well, to best answer that, one
must first know what BEP has done in the past. If one thing has
been a constant, it's that BEP puts out fun music. On their previous
albums, they didn't stray too far from the standard vein of hip-hop,
which in their case is loose rhymes structured around tight samples.
While Elephunk doesn't completely forego this basic structure,
it does borrow from several other types of music for its backbone.
Thus creating an album that is of different flavor, but it cannot
be labled as any one style.
fuses elements of hip-hop, jazz, funk, rock, and a touch of dancehall
all in one complete package. "Hands Up" opens things
up much like an intro to the main act at a concert...getting the
energy goin' and giving the audience a taste of what is to come.
It's also lets the listener know that this album is going to be
something different for BEP. Bounce over a couple of tracks and
you land into "Let's Get Retarded," which beckons one
and all to "get stupid" and "retarded in here".
PC? Maybe not...but when you're having this much fun who the hell
cares? Up next is the jump up, soulful, dancehall based "Hey
include the true to its name "Smells Like Funk." This
is the only time something smelling funky is perfectly acceptable,
and even desired...cuz they "keep it stinky." BEP combines
with Papa Roach on "Anxiety" adding a bit of edge to
an otherwise happy-go-lucky album. Does it fit? Not really...but
it is different and worth exploring for BEP. Finally...there's
"Where Is the Love". Justin Timberlake makes an appearance
for this track, but it's hardly noticable and really wasn't neccessary.
It probably helped them get more noteriety than improve the song,
which is beautiful on its own.
offers something different for Black Eyed Peas fans, it's also
a fun album that is irresistable from start to finish for newcomers.
Definitely worth a listen.
2. Labor Day (It's A Holiday)
3. Let's Get Retarded
4. Hey Mama
5. Shut Up
6. Smells Like Funk
7. Latin Girls
9. Fly Away
10. The Boogie That Be
11. The APL Song
13. Where Is the Love / Hidden Track