2010 “JUST CAN”T GET ENOUGH” THE BEGINNING
The sixth CD by the Black Eyed Peas can be seen as kind of a disappointment. Coming off three mega-selling platinum CDs, The Beginning went a little crazy with special effects, Auto-Tune, and de-emphasized Fergie’s vocals. Perhaps they thought Fergie was stealing too much of the spotlight? The lead single, “The Time” takes the best parts out of Dirty Dancing’s “I’ve Had The Time Of My Life” and changes it to a oversampled repetitive beat. The same goes for “Let Me Love You Long Time” which repeats the chorus ad nauseum all over a KC & The Sunshine Band sample. The Fergie-led “Just Can’t Enough” is the best song and the video was shot in Japan just before the tsunami.
2009 “I GOTTA FEELING” THE E.N.D.
The CD’s title stands for The Energy Never Dies, a great description for one of the better party albums to end the decade. From “Boom Boom Pow” to “Meet Me Halfway” to “Imma Be”, the hits just kept coming. This was not a CD to relax to, it was a non-stop dance party. No song got the party started faster than my selection, which went on to win the 2009 Grammy for Best Song by a Group. Who can resist that line, “I’ve Got A Feeling, Tonight’s going be a good night”. This song has been played so many times that many people can’t stand it anymore. I still love it and it’s easily one of the best feel-good songs of all-time.
2005 “DON’T PHUNK WITH MY HEART” MONKEY BUSINESS
The fourth CD from the Black Eyed Peas featured the big singles, “Pump It” with it’s Quentin Tarantino styled intro, “My Humps” which propelled Fergie into superstar icon, and “Don’t Lie” which slowed things down and featured an bouncy beach groove. The lead single, “Don’t Phunk With My Heart” is top notch despite a rap verse that verges on irritating. The song’s best features: that lively chorus, the wonderful sample of a Lisa Lisa & The Cult Jam 80’s jam, and a fun dating game themed video.
2003 “ANXIETY” with PAPA ROACH ELEPHUNK
This was the first B.E.P. CD to include Stacey Ferguson, Fergie. I wrote about my experience in a previous blog but I had the great opportunity to sit next to the band during a concert when they opened for Justin Timberlake. The trio, Will.I.Am, Apl, and Taboo thought a female voice would be a great addition on “Shut Up”. Nicole Scherzinger was originally chosen to sing on the song, but Fergie got the gig and ended up joining the group. Best decision the Black Eyed Peas ever made, the addition of Fergie took the band out of the “just another rap group” to cultural icon status. Their hard rock duet with Papa Roach is my favorite song on a landmark CD that included “Where Is The Love?” and “Hey Mama”.
2000 “WEEKENDS” BRIDGING THE GAP
1998 BEHIND THE FRONT
The Black Eyed Peas was an underground rap trio in the early days. With a jazzy rap sound that payed homage to Stestasonic, Common, and Mos Def, the band wasn’t radio friendly. Their first two CD’s were getting mad props by the music critics but the songs weren’t the catchy pop hits we’ve grown accustomed to by the Black Eyed Peas. “Weekends” on their second CD used a gimmick, adding a female co-lead vocal by Esthero. The song caught the attention of the public and led to Fergie joining the band and the band’s major success.