Review Summary: You'll be waiting for The END to end.
Black Eyed Peas
The END (Energy Never Dies)
Interscope Records, 2009
Black Eyed Peas are...
When I first approached this album, I approached with an open mind, hoping that the Black Eyed Peas might have strayed away from the sheer awfulness of their previous albums, Elephunk and Monkey Business. Almost immediately, it became apparent that this album was something different altogether. It seems as if beatboxing and simple, natural rhythms have been replaced with samplings, electronic beats, and synthesizers. Many effects have also been used to alter the vocals of the various band members. These include the robotic auto-tuning, 'chipmunking' (where the pitch is raised), and the occasional use of a talkbox.
The lyrics found here also differ from the previous albums. While lyrics of the past often dealt with partying and getting laid, The END's lyrical style seems to have taken a more inspirational turn. This, for many bands would mean that they are maturing, and trying new styles. This, for the Black Eyed Peas, means that their lyrics are as immature as before. The infectious single and chart topper, 'Boom Boom Pow' is a prime example of how lyrically immature the Peas have proven themselves to be. Slang and childish abbreviations normally not found outside of the sputnikmusic forums are overused to the point that the lyrics can become nigh on indecipherable.
Fergie and Will.i.am have both proven themselves to be decent singers, both with a decent vocal range. All of their talent seems to have been tossed aside for this album, where vocal effects are overused to the point that some songs become unlistenable. 'Missing You' has very high pitched, tedious singing, backed by a horribly boring electronic beat. 'I Gotta Feeling', easily the most listenable song here, overuses auto tuning and eventually becomes a chore to listen to.
Many of the beats found here prove to be slightly catchy, in their own simple way. Like much of the album, the catchiness corrodes at an almost shocking rate, and quickly turns to annoying and repetitive. 'Ring-a-ling' has a horrendous opening keyboard line that manages to sound like a very high pitched ringtone. The deep bass undertones found on previous albums are mostly discarded here, making much of the music sound flat and uninteresting.
The only positive characteristic to be found here is in the catchiness. 'Imma Be' and 'I Gotta Feeling' both manage to quite infectious, despite their annoying electronic beats and vocals. As mentioned earlier, several of the electronic samplings and beats appear catchy at first, before quickly descending into their spiral of tediousness.
The END is a very unsuccessful attempt by the Black Eyed Peas to make a motivational, positive album. Most of the songs are repetitive, and not only boring, but annoying as well. The overuse of vocal and electronic effects helps take away any positive sides to the music.
-I Gotta Feeling