Black Eyed Peas Reviews Will I Am – #willpower album review

After spending quite a while in music limbo, it looked as if’s fourth studio album would never see a release date. And after almost 2 years of perpetual delay, a title transformation, and a plethora of creative changes, #willpower has finally hit the airwaves, much to the chagrin of you commercial pop haters.

If you take a moment to look at it intellectually, the hash tagged title almost mirrors the technological era and digital space that has enabled our self-absorption and instilled in us this sense of false omnipotence. Raise your hand if you think considered this. The answer is probably not. The album unwittingly serves as an overstated representation of the futuristic and digital manifested into a musical compilation that almost transparently assumes he knows what people will like because…. he’s And although it’s probably not the best thing to look for depth in a pop album, but this project almost reeks of conceit and’s attempt to bank on his reputation (and on others’) alone.

#willpower is a pretty decent model for the dance club and very adequately fits the framework expected of a major pop artist. Ironically, after failing to garner commercial success to date (selling a dismal 29,000 units in the first week), most of its 18 tracks have the potential to chart. What gnaws at you is that with this album, was clearly looking for hits and not art. The most obvious example is the oblique choice of features— because, really, besides the fact that they’re all relatively trending topics (pun intended), what do Miley Cyrus, Justin Bieber, Juicy J., and Chris Brown seriously have in common? Unfortunately, this kind of inauthentic approach to relevance will hardly put this album on the radar.

I think we know by now that’s signature auto-tuned vocals aren’t going away anytime soon. Each track is laden with at least a touch of the electro-bass and synth-pop sound, with the occasional boom-bat. “#thatPOWER” may be one of the album’s biggest hits, but the album includes a few hidden gems that sound so much better, most notably, the first track “Good Morning.” It has beautiful instrumentation and feels airy and pleasant in contrast to the others. It’s surprisingly introspective, though after this, the album quite abruptly takes a turn from the deep to the superficial. The production is fun and the high energy is expected. But the painfully repetitive lyrics and song arrangements will give you an anxiety attack if you attempt to listen to any one song straight through.

Somehow #willpower still sounds like a cohesive body of work, but there are absolutely no layers behind the flowery idea of digitization and revolutionized pop. Furthermore, this work isn’t any more progressive than what Afrojack or Swedish House Mafia has done within the last couple of years. It’s fun, but easily forgettable. But we’re still here for “Scream and Shout” whenever we hear “It’s Britney, bitch.”

Black Eyed Peas Reviews Will I Am – Songs About Girls review – Songs About Girls

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

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