will.i.am – Songs About Girls review

will.i.am – Songs About Girls

Back in the ‘90s, if you told Will(i.am) Adams, he was going to make an album full of “songs about girls”. He probably would have scoffed at you.

will.i.am Songs About Girls reviewThat’s because as member of the Black Eyed Peas during this era, the Peas released two acclaimed LPs –Building the Front and Bridging the Gap – considered by most hip-hop aficionados to be worthy additions to the positive hip-hop catalogue.

However, entering the new millennium, this approach was about to change drastically. Female eye-candy was added to the group. Lyrics and subject matter became more accessible. Merchandise and commercial tie-ins, once Taboo (pardon the pun), were now considered welcome. Add up these factors and it isn’t a shock that global pop charts naturally embraced the multicultural, United Colors of Benetton group with open arms.

Songs About Girls, will.i.am’s “debut” album (although technically his third), doesn’t stray too far from the new BEP formula. But that’s not to say that’s necessarily a bad thing. Songs About Girls is a remarkably, strong album. A remarkably, strong pop album.

The album is nothing startling; it doesn’t require the listener to read behind the subtext à la Radiohead. The album title tells you everything you need to know – it’s a compilation of Songs About Girls. And is more related to a Justin Timberlake album than the latest Jay-Z or Nas effort. And that’s the way you have to look at it.

Conceptually, it’s about Will losing his girl, meeting new ones along the way and then reflecting on what he once had. That doesn’t really matter. Because the rapping (or rather lack there of) takes a back seat to the production of will.i.am.

Tracks on SAG always have a refreshing sound because no track sounds the same. For example, halfway through a song, you can expect Will to throw in an instrument for a few bars or to change the musical pace entirely. These are not your typical verse-chorus-verse rinse-and-repeat songs.

“I Got It From My Mama” – the flanged-guitar, repetitious hook-laden lead single does its job. After a few listens, you’ll be humming the first few bars while repeating the lines “Baby, where’d you get your body from? Tell me where you get your body from?”

While “The Donque Song” takes an ode to the booty into Chemical Brothers territory and “Impatient” moves the dance groove towards Jamiroquai’s musical airspace with its groovy bassline.

“One More Chance” uses synth arpeggios and a latin-inspired drum pattern (Note the cut-up guitar chords at the end). A familiar couple of notes from the Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back” pop up on “Fantastic” interspliced with a heavily-reverbed snare. Whereas, “Fly Girl” is a return to a more, simplistic track – with its stripped-down guitar lick loop complete with live drums.

Album closer, “S.O.S (Mother Nature)” is an out-of-place, but well-intentioned track about the environment and Mother Nature (I guess Mother Nature counts as a song about a girl) put on the album to probably appease old-school BEP fans.

SAG’s main weakness is its length. At just over 60 minutes, the last couple of odes to a lady wear a little thin near the end. We get it, Will. You like women.

However, modern-day complete pop albums are a rarity. Songs About Girls is about as close as you’re going to get. So consider it a musical pop-gem in an otherwise, convoluted saturated market. Old-school hip-hoppers, check your biases at the door.

– 8/10 – Raymond Hoh

1 thought on “will.i.am – Songs About Girls review”

  1. Pingback: File Mp3 Music » Blog Archive » Will I'am-Songs About Girls

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