The Black Eyed Peas
Monkey Business


3.5
great

Review

by superunknown USER (1 Reviews)
June 30th, 2009 | 39 replies


Release Date: 2005 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Many masterpieces waiting to happen, but too often the Peas fail to bring these seeds to life

In one of the greatest guilty pleasure acknowledgments of my short lifetime, I stand proudly and declare "I KIND OF ENJOYED THE BLACK EYED PEAS MONKEY BUSINESS". With undoubtedly many of you now snickering in the background due to that statement, it has now become my responsibility to enlighten all of you on what you are "kind of missing" in the world of hip-hop. Why do I enjoy this album? Could it be because this CD contains more styles, tastes and colors than a bipolar chameleon? Could it be because of such great vocal harmonies inside this record that most choirs take one listen to this CD and then go home and cry themselves to sleep in a dark corner? Nah, it's not really any of those (I just wanted an excuse to throw out those analogies). Yes, the album contains its fair share of varied genres, great vocal harmonies, and downright good funkiness, but it doesn't deliver on these traits enough on a regular basis to categorize the album as a perfection in any of those contexts unfortunately. No, the real reason this album is so lovable? When the Peas strike gold, you can tell they're just having fun and you can't help but have fun too.

The Black Eyed Peas are:

Will.I.Am
Apl.De.Ap
Taboo
Fergie

This album contains some great tracks, but if falls short way too often. It sounds too much like a sell-out, mainstream pop record in some places, and a half-assed, boring hip-hop record in others. This is a great album to listen to if you just don't care about the instrumentation(as in don't care if they actually PLAY the instruments) like feel-good music(which is what the Peas do best), or want something to dance to. So without further ado, here is my track by track review

Pump ItThe album jumps off to a rockin' start right away, with the opening track Pump It featuring a sample of Dick Dale's Misirlou. I have never heard so much negative energy directed towards a Peas single as I have this one. Personally? I like it. The horns bring a nice element to the song and the sampled riff DOES work giving a funky Spanish feel to it (in my opinion). The calls of "Louder!" can become slightly irritating, as well as the fact that the exact same notes that are being played on the horn are the same ones that are being sung. The song really hits its stride around 2:42 , when Fergie really shows off her pipes and the guitars in the background complement her perfectly. One BIG con however is the huge arrogance of the lyrics. Admittedly, regardless of your sentiments towards this song, it gets the job done of opening the album on a fun, catchy note. Although, it would've been THAT much more impressive if one of the band members was actually playing the sampled lick...4/5

Don't Phunk With My Heart This one is supposed to come across as a "determined" love song of sorts with its mellow mood mixed with the faster tempo, although it sometimes comes off sleazy and corny, especially when you can tell Will.I.Am is trying to actually put some emotion into the line "I love you more than sex appeal". Once again, the strongest point of the song is the late-song bridge starting at about 2:23. From then on, the song is spectacular, with the vocal harmonies of Fergie and Will.I.Am setting the stage for the slowed-down section of the song, and Will's catchy repeated line "That-tha, that tha, that-tha, that girl". The drum beat is fun and catchy and draws you into the ambience of the song. 4/5

My StyleThe song starts out promising with a chant of "Lord have mercy" accompanied by a somewhat catchy beat fading in. The song fails to capitalize on this start though with all members spending WAY too much of the song saying "Whatsup with you boy? Whatsup with you girl?". Not to mention the inclusion of Justin Timberfake trying to rap...ick. Not much more to mention about this song because while it doesn't sound bad, it doesn't have any real stand-out points as even the beat becomes stale and old, and it fails to capture the catchiness of the last two tracks. 2.5/5

Don't Lie Wow. A definite highlight. Sending feel-good vibrations everywhere, the tropical-sounding guitars make the perfect backdrop for this performance. Unlike Don't Phunk...this love song (regarding a cheating boyfriend who has come back to his significant other for forgiveness), this actually doesn't sound forced and you can feel the emotion (to a point). Fergie sings an infectious chorus, one of those that everyone feels like singing along to, regardless of how much of your heart is made of stone. The section starting at 2:27 features some of the greatest vocal harmonization of the album with Fergie and another undefined member singing beautiful melodies and it completely adds to the song. The Peas are not an amazing band so it surprised me how much they worked their limited amount of talent and emotion into this great track. 5/5

My Humps Alright Peas I gotta ask it...what the hell? This song comes out of nowhere and I'm going to say it right now: This is the kinda song you wanna just shove back into the gutter it came from. This is a complete utter sexual song and if anything, it fails at the feel-good formula the Peas excel at(try feeling good when Will is telling Fergie, "Mix your milk with my cocoa puffs, milky milky cocoa puffs"). It's just another sell-out type track that is naturally scooped up by high schoolers everywhere simply because it talks about everyone's favorite high school topic...sex that is. The beat is boring, the lyrics are *** and the only redeeming value to this track is the melodic, piano-based ending that isn't included on the single. A true downfall for the Peas. 2/5

Like That The Peas bring their rapping abilities to the forefront of the picture on this one. Coping with a dreadfully boring beat, the Peas do their best with their vocal capacities to make something out of nothing. Whoever starts out the song on the mic (I think it's Apl), does a fairly well job and so does Taboo a few minutes later. Will's verse falls dreadfully short of adequate. All in all, a very average track that is a good example of that half-assedness(is that correct?) I addressed earlier to say the least 2.5/5

Dum Diddly Looking for something to get us back on track here, Dum Diddly works wonders to save the album...at first. Starting with some staccato background vocals along with a high pitched keyboard in the background, coupled with an ascending synthesizer and the return of Fergie's vocal prowess, this song starts off very promising. It doesn't really lose this energy as the song progresses, but it doesn't do anything to elevate the momentum either. Fergie's solo part that is repeated throughout the song stands as the best part, and the part where the entire group sings together flows very nicely as well. An above average track that could use some improvement. 3.5/5

Feel ItUsing the limited momentum from the last track, Feel It puts the listener firmly back on the tracks here (that's a good thing). A simple, but innovative beat guides the song along smoothly, while all the members turn in quality vocal performances. Sounds kind of like a good 80's disco track if you ask me. Definitely something you can dance to. In other words, as I have repeated before, the Peas are back to what they do best. A great infusion of pop, hip-hop, and techno that lays the ground for the second half of the album to really take off 4/5

Gone Going An bittersweetly happy acoustic little ditty that is one of the highlights of this album. With a good chorus, great instrumentation with the horns and guitars, and Will.I.Am (gasp!) singing from the heart, this is a near perfect track from the Peas. As far as having good, strong lyrics and making you actually think about what they are saying, this is about as close to that territory as the Peas have ever reached. It is questionable if they wrote the song on their own, but if they did, then props to them. They take a back seat from all the fun-loving of the first half of the album and basically tell the listener that money doesn't pay in the end, and if you live for material things it won't pan out, because if someone takes away your material, then you're lost. Doesn't make you think too hard knowing what the rest of the album sounds like, but an outstanding track anyway 5/5

They Don't Want Music A very funky song that brings back memories of the likes of "Shining Star". Obviously, with Will rapping, it isn't a typical funk track but whatever. It works well enough as this is actually a really solid beat for Will to rap over and he has a good enough flow on this to disguise his below par abilities. One part I find funny is when Will says "They don't want music, they just want boom, boom boom." Which is ironic because what was their latest "sensational" single? Oh yeah, Boom Boom Pow, which is funny cuz the single cannot be considered music. I hate it with a flaming passion. Anyways, this funky tempo stays roughly the same the entire song, which is the major flaw in this. In order for this to be a great song, there would've had to be one of those great feel-good choruses where it sounds like 50 people are singing, know what i mean? But that doesn't happen here unfortunately 3.5/5

Disco Club Wow. The Peas really drop the ball here in my opinion. A very weak, painfully obvious filler track that doesn't really have any redeeming value whatsoever. Bad, nonsensical lyrics, an Egyptian-type beat that isn't developed to what it could be, and doesn't have any feel-good qualities. Skip it. Please. 1/5

Bebot Looking for a breath of fresh after the terrible last track, Bebot does its job, that is raising the momentum slightly to the next few great tracks. With a simple beat, Will's chant of "Bebot, Bebot, Be-Bebot, Bebot" starts the song off on a good note. The Eastern sounding guitar riff that is shown in various parts throughout the song gives a nice funky feel to the song. Only major flaw is with such a simple, boring beat, they need something more vocally than what they give to this song. The majority of the song is filler. 2.5/5

Ba Bump So, we have reached the closing trifecta here and the Peas' goal here is to really come together and make something memorable to complement the great opening of the album. The beat is funky and interesting (not sure if it's in a good way). In other words, very mixed opinions on this song. Decent beat, decent chorus, and a great ending to the song, but it's the arrogant lyrics that really get to me here: "Girlies on the dance floor wiggle your fronts
We got rhymes that always triumph. This is the beat that make ya bump ya bump". Yeah, about the rhymes always triumphing....hmmm. An ok song but nothing memorable again 3/5

Audio Delite At Low Fidelity Best song since Gone Going. The Peas try something new and make a good, complete, song that gives a good vibe and sounds decent enough, but strays away from their funky roots and succeeds in doing so. Another song that completely disguises Will's usually despicable rapping and transforms it into something worth listening to. I also praise the funky ending, as it leads perfectly into the closing track 4/5

Union Wow, where has this been? Lyrics are cheesy("Let's form a union, calling every human") but they have a good message and the Peas go back to doing what they do best. A funky, uplifting beat complemented with a piano and horns as well as the slow tempo really feeds into the atmosphere of the song. Fergie makes her first real impact in decades it seems on the "Woah oh!". Has the same kind of emphasis as their hit "Where Is The Love?" but obviously hasn't reached as much of a listening audience. Closest the Peas come to recapturing the beauty of Don't Lie. A great. calming way to end the album. 5/5

So overall, the Peas main problem with this album is that there is a TON of filler. The closing is great, the opening better but besides the diamond in a haystack "Gone Going" in the middle, there is very little quality songwriting anywhere in the midsection of the album. Listeners will also be disappointed that their lyrics for the most part never mature except on very select tracks (Gone Going, Union, Don't Lie). And perhaps the biggest tragedy is that much of the filler might not have been filler if a few simple but major tweaks had been taken to turn them into the masterpieces they could've been. I can't stress that enough because the few tracks that really stand out alone turn this album into something above-average, and there's only one or two truly horrible tracks so it is THIS close to being a great album. Closing statement? The real problem with "Monkey Business" is well...there's a little too much foolin' around.


*RECOMMENDED DOWNLOADS*

Don't Lie
Feel It
Gone Going
Union


P.S. This is my first review, so feel to give me some constructive criticism. Just don't be too mean about it ok? Thanks. Have a nice day!


user ratings (281)
Chart.
2.2
poor

Comments:Add a Comment 
Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
June 30th 2009


8391 Comments


don't want to be a jerk or anything, but for your information, not a lot of people are going to read a track-by-track review this size. You need to make this a lot smaller, but how I don't know since you obviously wanted to do a long tbt. If I were you, I would consider re-writing this in general, making it an overall review instead of a tbt

ConorMichaelJoseph
June 30th 2009


1870 Comments


It ain't as long as my Chinese Democracy review though. Its alright for a first, but basically what metalstyles15 said

superunknown
June 30th 2009


8 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

thanks guys, I'll definitely take rewriting it into consideration

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
June 30th 2009


15080 Comments


i'd also suggest perhaps a slightly less informal writing style. maybe try using less interjections or something (e.g. "wow"). your writing isn't bad, but it could use a little "brushing up" anyway. not bad. also very happy to see a more 'mainstream' reviewer here (that new Black Eyed Peas album needs a review, pronto!)

superunknown
June 30th 2009


8 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

yeah that's a good criticism as well. this is my first review after all, so I'm just trying to figure out what works best for me. And haha yeah i do like a lot of mainstream stuff as well and i noticed we are a minority to say the least. Yeah you can give props to me for that new album even being up, i added it yesterday! I might review that later as well

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
June 30th 2009


8391 Comments


yaah i agree with djdorama, the more proffessional you sound the better. You have a nice writing flow, just build upon it

Greggers
June 30th 2009


2375 Comments


Yeah 123 what these guys have said, still, not bad for a first

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
June 30th 2009


15080 Comments


In addition, it can definitely be hard to write "not track-by-track" reviews--trust me. Instead, try full paragraphs where you group together the songs that have similar qualities or are similar in how good they are. E.g. "When the album works best is with tracks like [insert track names here], because [insert some kind of similar quality here]. If the Black Eyed Peas stuck with these kinds of tracks, they'd be better off." etc. Try to see what the good tracks have in common, as well as the bad ones (that one "formula" can also be applied to bad tracks, e.g. "When the album falters is with tracks like [insert track names here]." etc.)

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
June 30th 2009


15080 Comments


And you can just leave out tracks that don't stand out as either bad or good, especially in an album this long.

superunknown
June 30th 2009


8 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

one question i do have is how do you bold say the song titles? I thought you did it by putting the little asterisks in front and back of the section you wanted to bold, but i guess i was mistaken...

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
June 30th 2009


15080 Comments


I'm pretty sure the format is [ b ] Track name [ / b ] (leave out the spaces in those brackets, though)

timbo8
June 30th 2009


618 Comments


"Don't Lie" is the only Black Eyed Peas song I like.

superunknown
June 30th 2009


8 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

there we go, thanks man

PuddleSwimmer
July 1st 2009


1457 Comments


You're a cool dude, this is a cool review

shindip
July 1st 2009


3536 Comments


I like these track by tracks so i can go over it while actually listening to the album. lol connormichaeljosephs chinese democracy review was awesome

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
July 1st 2009


15080 Comments


Yeah but really you should (as a reviewer) look at an album as a collective whole rather than a bunch of tracks. Just more professional, I guess.

cvlts
July 1st 2009


8983 Comments


ya definately not a fan of the track by track... i view reviews in the same sense as your typical school essay, intro w/points, body paragraphs describing the points, conclusion...

still for a track by track tis good

Hollow
July 1st 2009


263 Comments


Black Eyed Peas is soo damn mainstream and the songs don't have a meaning but I guess it can shake down the club hard.

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
July 1st 2009


8391 Comments


yaah but they are meant to be mainstream Hollow, that is the whole purpose of them. They don't play meaningful hip-hop, they play fun hip-hop/pop. I don't like them in particular but this album does have some fun songs on it

gaslightanthem
July 1st 2009


5209 Comments


boom boom pow from the new albums rules in like i would never listen to it at home but in da clubs man it's like soooo good



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