Release Date: Jun 9, 2009
Record label: Interscope
Genre(s): Pop, Rap, R&B
As far as titles go, the words behind the Black Eyed Peas’ fifth-album acronym feel downright unnecessary. The Energy Never Dies? Ever since the group’s three core members transformed themselves from a middling conscious-rap outfit into the platinum hip-pop juggernaut of 2003’s breakout Elephunk, featuring lithesome onetime child star Stacy ”Fergie” Ferguson, their energy has appeared to be virtually unkillable. Indeed, indefatigable Auto-Tune anthems like The E.N.D.‘s propulsive lead single, ”Boom Boom Pow” (already the band’s most successful to date), seem fueled by some mysterious slurry of dance-floor plutonium and diet Red Bull.
Towards the end of this sprawling, cluttered album, a male voice intones: "There is no longer a physical record store." The Black Eyed Peas anticipate a future in which albums are fluid, download-only constructions that will be regularly supplemented by new mixes of every track. Yet new mixes of The E-N-D are the last thing we need: there is too much to absorb here already. Many of these electro-pop-rap tracks sound as though they were recorded with DJs in mind, rather than fans.
The Black Eyed Peas make effective pop/crossover music, but with all the limitations of the form -- vapid lyrics, clumsy delivery, vocals smoothed over by Auto-Tune, and songwriting that constantly strains for (and reaches) the lowest common denominator. Worse yet, they aren't content to be disposable pop stars; they also want to write anthemic, vital songs that speak for a new generation. And so comes The E.N.D.
Know this going in: The E.N.D. may vibrate through the body, but it won’t send you racing to a Mensa meeting. Do not take this statement lightly—any listener who goes into The E.N.D. expecting poetry, or even anything more than shouts, slogans, and dance beats, will be terribly disappointed ….
Black Eyed Peas :: The E.N.D.Def JamAuthor: Steve 'Flash' JuonThe Energy Never Dies - so sayeth the Black Eyed Peas. A two decade span of recording and releasing albums also says it well. While BEP have not always been regarded as hip-hop's most musically or lyrically innovative group, the consistency and longevity they have displayed as recording artists simply can't be questioned.
Since they made the Faustian bargain that brought them Fergie and pop superstardom, there has been a war a-brewing in the Black Eyed Peas’ camp over the creative direction of the group. Would the Peas, who started as a possible replacement of A Tribe Called Quest in backpackers hearts’, abandon their long-form verse-heavy past and throw their lot irreversibly in with Fergie? Or would will. i.