will.i.am
#Willpower


1.5
very poor

Review

by Alex Beebe USER (126 Reviews)
April 20th, 2013 | 815 replies


Release Date: 04/19/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Inexcusably unfinished and lazy, and obviously lacking in interest and passion.

Having gone through countless delays over the course of two years, and surprisingly with little to no promotion surrounding it throughout this time, will.i.am has seemed to be in absolutely no hurry at all to release his fourth solo album, and first since 2007, willpower (stylized with a hashtag in front of it as “#willpower” most likely for the sole purpose of convenience for the inevitable trending on Twitter). Being the frontman and the major creative force behind The Black Eyed Peas, it’s only logical that the directions his solo work takes would match the styles of The Black Eyed Peas more recent work. Much like how once Fergie joined the BEP crew and the former alternative hip hop trio began working in the territory of electronic dance hits for the clubs, with polished pop production to fit, #willpower sees a departure from the funky jazz rap of will.i.am’s debut solo album, and even the decompressed downtempo Urban R&B of his third solo album Songs About Girls. Though The Black Eyed Peas are currently on indefinite hiatus, it appears as though that hasn’t stopped will.i.am from choosing to continue on in the same field of work that The Black Eyed Pease were thriving in, as with #willpower, he has made a straight-up pop album.

Comparing the contemporary party pop of #willpower to his debut Lost Change shows just how much has drastically changed for the entrepreneur on an artistic level. While Lost Change was self-produced and featured a handful of underground MCs on every other track, #willpower is so ridiculously over encumbered with producers, collaborations, and featured artists, that it’s almost undignified in how near-impossible it is to hear specifically how much of what parts of his own solo album that will.i.am actually contributed to by himself. And therein lies the massive glaring flaw of #willpower: for an album that boasts so many different names in its production credits overall and individual track credits, it’s nothing short of amazing in how it actually manages to be a completely convoluted and incohesive mess, and yet at the same time so vanilla and outright boring, and embarrassingly limited in inspiration, influence, and style.

The fact that so many people contributed to forging this album, and that it ended up being as devoid of even the simplest trace of creativity or out-of-the-box thinking as it is, is just mind-blowing. All that can really be said about #willpower is that it’s unmistakably a pop album, plain and simple. The problem is that will.i.am really doesn’t seem remotely sure as to what type of pop music styles he wants to pursue in his solo career. He’s working in all kinds of sub-genres, such as the areas of dance-pop, electro-pop, pop-rap, and once again, R&B here, but he doesn’t come off as particularly confident or remotely strong in any of these fields that he appears to still be merely taste-testing. Being buried underneath the massive amount of collaborating artists that seem to all have identical music to offer really doesn’t help the impression that will.i.am has absolutely no recognizable identity of his own on his own solo album either.

The list of guest artists that share the tracks here is comparable to a VIP party list of celebrities that’s nowhere near organized. We have Justin Bieber, Skylar Grey, Miley Cyrus, Chris Brown, Juicy J, Britney Spears, and even Waka Flocka Flame on a deluxe edition track, all running amok across this hour-long trudge of over-production, and overdone songs that still somehow manage to have instantly forgettable hooks. These artists only further smudge the already blurred vision of what #willpower is trying to accomplish. The best example of this is how Black Eyed Peas group-mate apl.de.ap even jumps on the aptly titled “Gettin’ Dumb” with K-pop girl group 2NE1 to create a song that’s mind-bogglingly contorted stylistically.

It could be said that will.i.am tried to go big to make this solo album a festive and over the top occasion after putting his solo discography on hold for The Black Eyed Peas’ development, but there’s an unavoidable feeling that will.i.am really just doesn’t seem to care at all. There’s pop music that’s too tepid, simple, and vacant of substance to be catchy, and then there’s pop music that’s far too bombastic, cluttered, and jumbled to be infectious, and #willpower accomplishes the impressive feat of being both at once. All we needed on this was a guest spot from Fergie and Taboo, and we’d basically have the most confused Black Eyed Peas album to date.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
breakingthefragile
April 20th 2013


2962 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Words cannot describe the sheer magnitude of my disappointment over this album, but I think I came pretty damn close with this review.

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
April 20th 2013


50872 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

He stole that one song

Digging: Bobby Barnett - Little Wounds

RadicalEd
April 20th 2013


2759 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

Rating is too dam high.

RadicalEd
April 20th 2013


2759 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

Review is to nice as well.
but well written.

Although i feel i can write a completely accurate review of this in just one hashtag:

# facepalm

breakingthefragile
April 20th 2013


2962 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Btw, I don't think anyone knows if this is actually out today, or coming out on the 23rd. But
regardless, and just in case anyone asks, I heard it from a stream that's currently available on
will.i.am's VEVO page on YouTube.

http://www.youtube.com/user/williamVEVO

Crawl
April 20th 2013


1640 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0 | Sound Off

Why even bother?

Digging: Darkspace - Dark Space III I

RadicalEd
April 20th 2013


2759 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

no thanks.

I'm gonna scream and shout, if i have to listen to any of this shit agian.

MikeC26
April 20th 2013


3202 Comments


I used to think this guy was cool back in the day but now he's just awful

Damn

DrHouseSchuldiner
April 20th 2013


5643 Comments


wow

Scoot
April 20th 2013


17887 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

will i am and britney bitch

Digging: Renounced - The Melancholy We Ache

FourthReich
April 20th 2013


18062 Comments


"I used to think this guy was cool back in the day but now he's just awful

Damn"

I don't blame you, he used to rap under the name will 1x and do songs with eazy e lol. I bet eazy's rolling in his grave now.

Digging: Hail Mary Mallon - Bestiary

TooLateToGoBack
April 20th 2013


1780 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

wait, this is actually being released? I swear Will has delayed this album more than Chinese Democracy.

breakingthefragile
April 20th 2013


2962 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

My thoughts exactly.

slipnslide
April 20th 2013


2640 Comments


c'mon people, dat hair is worth a 2.5 at the very least!

DrHouseSchuldiner
April 20th 2013


5643 Comments


Madly in anger with you

Typhoner
April 20th 2013


893 Comments


Since that Britney Spears collab is a modern classic, I can't believe this album isn't a 4.9 at least

Digging: ENA - Binaural

klap
Staff Reviewer
April 20th 2013


10545 Comments


oh baby i'm a heartbreaker

Digging: Jessie Ware - Tough Love

fish.
Contributing Reviewer
April 20th 2013


22034 Comments


You expected this to be good?

Digging: Azealia Banks - Broke With Expensive Taste

Tyrael
April 20th 2013


20946 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

He expected it to be 'interesting'

there's a difference ;]

Digging: Azealia Banks - Broke With Expensive Taste

fish.
Contributing Reviewer
April 20th 2013


22034 Comments


You expected this to be interesting?



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