Los Angeles-based Black Eyed Peas spent a few years refining their sound,
via the albums
Behind the Front (1998)
Bridging the Gap (2000).
Elephunk (2004), featuring new member Fergie, was elegant, catchy
and joyful, if derivative and conventional in its fusion of hip-hop and pop.
It was their first hit album, containing their first world hit, Where Is The Love.
Monkey Business (2005) was awful by any standard.
The End (2009) was notable for the
creative manipulation and choreography of the two voices (especially will.i.am),
rediscovering the naive hedonism of past decades.
Boom Boom Pow features a male-female dialogue over a skinny beat
(reminiscent of old-school hip-hop music),
Meet Me Halfway (reminiscent of old house music) contrasts a soaring orchestral female melody with a male rap,
Missing You adds more drama and rhythm to the
male-female dialogue, etc.
The background of Imma Be is one of the best for the female-male rap harmony, with a handclapping-driven beat, orchestral phrases and bass synth lines.
However, the winner is I Gotta Feeling, produced by David Guetta, a
more regular song with a loud beat, catchy and thumping.
Overall, the album sounds like a continuation of the work that the Native
Tongues posse was doing two decades earlier.
Black Eyed Peas bring back the dance into hip-hop music.
The Beginning (Interscope, 2010) was a more electronic work permeated
with strong techno beats and kitschy ditties a` la
I Gotta Feeling, but so derivative to sound like the work of a remixer,
and not a very creative one.
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