The Black Eyed Peas' "The Beginning" is a nonstop party, but the effort is not without a few clanging missteps. Perhaps the purveyors of feel-good anthems are trying too hard to live up to that title, creating songs that sound as big as earlier hits, but lack the luster.
The first single, "The Time (Dirty Bit)," features a misguided sampling of the chorus from "(I've Had) The Time of My Life," and comes off like an ill-advised grab at recapturing the sort of mass appeal garnered by the colossal, Grammy-winning smash, "I Gotta Feeling," from the Peas' previous disc.
The Peas have a great track record of mixing and mashing genres, but "The Beginning" spotlights a few bad choices.
A sped-up sample of Slick Rick's "Children's Story" adds zero magic to underwhelming "Light Up The Night." Sparse hip-hop beats layered with headache-inducing electronic sounds overpower the vocals of "Do It Like This." And "Love You Long Time" has a catchy chorus, but the beat drags.
The sixth album is not without high points, however. There's the ebullient "Someday" with apl.de.ap talking big dreams and will.i.am delivering a fun pep talk of his own - to listeners and himself.
Fergie, who doesn't get nearly enough time to shine, plays an integral part on the disco-funk-influenced "Fashion Beats." There she vocally vogues on one of the disc's most sonically interesting tracks, and on the uptempo love song "Whenever," her purring vocals serve as a sweet complement to will.i.am's warbling.
Check this track out: The good vibes of "Someday" should make it a shoe-in on the set list when will.i.am, Fergie, apl.de.ap and Taboo perform during the Super Bowl XLV halftime show at Cowboys Stadium on February 6.
The Black Eyed Peas