A & M Records


BLACK EYED PEAS cd cover.jpg (49168 bytes)


  Well, all right! This is just a great album, plain and simple. Funky, catchy, modern, retro and with depth to boot! It’s as if a seed from the Sly & The Family Stone tree blossomed into several other trees called Arrested Development, OutKast, The Fugees and now the Black Eyed Peas. “Labor Day” is a future party classic. If it’s released as a single, you won’t be able to escape it. “Shut Up” deals with a dysfunctional relationship where both of the people involved enable each other and complain about the results…and it ends with a Peggy Lee reference! You can’t beat that. “Hey Mama” goes all dance hall and does Sean Paul almost as well as Sean Paul. It’s another potential smash while “Anxiety” is a metal song with more edge than any 99X wannabe. Black Eyed Peas are masters of each genre that they reference. As a whole, Elephunk is an old-fashioned soul album done now. It’s a rap/hip-hop record for sure, but there are actual songs instead of just name-dropping, money counting, personal problem recounting lists and threats. The politically conscious, gospel-tinged smash “Where Is The Love” is a direct descendant of Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On.” This is a masterpiece. Elephunk may not revel in the street cred and darkness of 50 Cent, but what the Black Eyed Peas do, 50 couldn’t dream of comprehending, much less create. This is the best pop album I’ve heard this year. It’s worth owning.

 Chris McKay /