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The Black Eyed Peas: The Beginning

No one makes fun of The Black Eyed Peas like The Black Eyed Peas. Ever since the former hip-hop group went pop, each album seems to parody the most saleable moments of the last, making for a meta, ever-deepening body of work that’s actually losing net substance as the years progress. Trite, vanilla, vapid, soulless… Those words don’t begin to do the phenomenon justice. Like so many Grammys, platinum plaques, and Billboard positions, they too are happily swallowed by the gaping Black Eyed void, destined to become the seminal cosmic dust of yet another terrible record. Welcome to The Beginning. The gag this time is best summed up by the theme of the David Guetta-produced “The Best One Yet.” Whereas the French house producer’s 2009 hit for the group, “I Gotta Feeling”—the top-selling digital single of all time—dealt with Will.I.Am’s sneaking suspicion that “tonight’s gonna be a good night,” this latest entry changes it up by offering listeners “the best time ever.” From there, the four “Light Up The Night” and “Play It Loud” and do whatever “Whenever” as long as they “Don’t Stop The Party,” because they know we “Just Can’t Get Enough.” Techno beats abound, Auto-Tune reliance is maximized, Fergie reliance is minimized, and anything resembling a rap verse is pared down to an associative chant revolving around the subjects of a) fashion at the party, b) love at the party, or c) partying at the party. The latter would be fine if this was a party worth attending, but The Beginning’s shameless hit-mongering and MOR club stance gives this set about as much oomph as Cher’s Believe. Hardy har har, B.E.P., you’ve done it again.


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