The Black Eyed Peas caused a slight panic (and some celebration) when they titled their last album “The E.N.D.” It will come as a relief to some that the new album is titled “The Beginning.”
Those who found “Boom Boom Pow” to be the most obnoxious single of 2009 will immediately be discouraged by the opening track, “The Time (Dirty Bit).” The first single pseudo-covers “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life,” the ‘80s ditty made popular by “Dirty Dancing.” It’s not clear whether the “dirty bit” refers to the Peas’ attempt at a film tribute or at how unclean the listener feels after hearing the shameless single.
If you can get past the first track, things look up from there. The second track, “Light up the Night,” is a better example of what the Peas are good at: making songs that belong in and should stay at the club. A bumping beat and fewer lyrics for the listener (and the Peas) to think about is their best bet. “The Best One Yet (The Boy)” and “Just Can’t Get Enough” work for the same reasons.
No one expects the Black Eyed Peas to produce the most introspective lyrics, but it’s still tough to listen to the “Full Metal Jacket” inspired “Love You Long Time,” in which the song title is repeated inanely and endlessly. In “XOXOXO,” the words “hugs and kisses” are repeated in the same fashion. Therefore, it’s surprising when the Peas bust out “Someday,” a song about pursuing one’s dreams. It’s still worth dancing to yet doesn’t kill any brain cells.
The Black Eyed Peas can still keep a party going, but as with previous albums, they tend to be obnoxious while doing so. “The Beginning” is all right but probably best in small doses.