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Album Review: Black Eyed Peas - Monkey Business 
11th-Jun-2005 07:40 pm
That's the second biggest monkey head I've ever seen! ....... No? Hello? Is this thing on?

Black Eyed Peas - Monkey Business (2005)


Track Listing:

1. Pump It
2. Don't Phunk With My Heart
3. My Style (f. Justin Timberlake)
4. Don't Lie
5. My Humps
6. Like That (f. Q-Tip/Talib Kweli/Cee-Lo/John Legend)
7. Dum Diddly (f. Dante Santiago)
8. Feel It
9. Gone Going
10. They Don't Want Music (f. James Brown)
11. Disco Club
12. Bebot
13. Ba Bump
14. Audio Delite At Low Fidelity
15. Union (f. Sting)


My latest obsession is chatting on MSN. I wasn't much of a chatter back in the day, mostly because I avoid those who like to spell you are as 'u r'.... or the constant strings of LOL's and OMG's you'll find in any chat room. However, now that I have a friends list populated with half a dozen intelligent human beings (and Skooch) on the other end, I'm a chattin' machine.

In fact, it was none other than fellow Top Fiver andythesaint who helped me out with this review.


Matt says:
Urg.... I can tell I'm not going to like this album too much....

Andy says:
YES!

Andy says:
What did you think of their last one? Or did you avoid it?

Matt says:
I don't think I ever heard the full album.... seems like something I wouldn't *mind* listening to, but just never bothered investigating further.

Andy says:
It was alright at first, but I really grew tired of it after awhile.


Alright, I know what you're thinking. "First Drooper... and now he's letting a MSN chat transcript write a review for him. He's really phoning it in lately." But no, there is some real content to this review. I'm just using the conversation between me and Saint to help me out a little. Black Eyed Peas' Monkey Business is apparently a much-anticipated release in 2005. With the hoopla surrounding their previous release and all the guest spots scheduled for this new album, I can see why. Unfortunately, it's yet another case of the album not living up to the hype. There's a few moments of head-bobbing fun to be had here, but even then the Black Eyed Peas come across as a watered down Outkast. However, when the band is off... they're really off, and no new album I've listened to this year has sounded more excruciating and dull.

For instance... this is my reaction after only four tracks.


Matt says:
..... this album is getting worse by the minute..... the James Brown cameo better be worth it.

Andy says:
I admire your courage.

Matt says:
HELP!

Andy says:
You're on your own man.

Matt says:
I need a cigarette.


It starts off with "Pump It", a decent enough single set to the backdrop of Dick Dale's famous Pulp Fiction theme. If only the album maintained the fun yet macabre mindset of said film, Monkey Business could have been a success. Unfortunately, it goes off the rails by track two, "Don't Phunk With My Heart". It starts out with promise, a solid, pseudo-Indian beat and the soulful yet bubble-gum vocals of Stacy Ferguson (aka Fergie)... but once the rapping starts, I'm lost. The first guest spot of album on "My Style" doesn't work either. If no one had told me, I would have never guessed that Justin Timberlake was present on this track. That's very disappointing. Timberlake, a guy who's already proven as a solo artist that he knows how to make some uber-catchy danceable pop music, can't even save "My Style" from the doldrums.


Andy says:
"My Humps". How can a song not be good with that title?

Matt says:
It's...... painful.

Matt says:
Extremely.

Andy says:
1 star?

Matt says:
If I gave out stars I'd give this one a Black Hole thus far.

Andy says:
It sucks so hard that it's density swallows stars.


Yeah. It does have it's moments later in the album though. "Ba Bump", with a simple sax-driven beat, is pleasant enough. The follow up track, "Audio Delite at Low Fidelity", also grooves along through the speakers. Yet by track thirteen, my interest has significantly waned. There's a tremendous chasm of mediocrity between the half-decent opener and the rest of the true quality tracks offered on Monkey Business. Closer "Union" is a novel idea, and for the most part it works, but I'm not sure just using the music to Sting's "Englishman In New York" actually qualifies him as a special guest star. Seems more like false advertising to me.


Andy says:
"Dum Diddly".

Andy says:
Excellent.

Matt says:
I'm not gonna make it.....

Matt says:
I'm all washed up.

Matt says:
Oh my goodness...... inhale... exhale...

Matt says:
I don't think I've ever had it this bad.


That's because the album is boring. Really boring. One track after another fails to stand out from the rest, and soon listening to Monkey Business becomes a torture test. It's very hard to listen all the way through without growing restless and simply wanting to divert your listening pleasure elsewhere. And let's not forget the crushing disappointment I experienced when "They Don't Want Music" (featuring James Brown) came on for the first time.


Matt says:
This is the most phoned-in lame assed attempt at funk I've ever heard.

Andy says:
You may want to save this IM session to help write your review.


What a novel idea, Saint. "They Don't Want Music" is absolute waste of the Godfather's talents. Now I know the man hasn't exactly been on fire since the mid-70's, but if you're going to go out of your way to put him on your album, shouldn't it be more than pointless background vocals? Hell, I'm not so sure I should call them vocals. Background wailing would be more appropriate.


Matt says:
*skip*

Andy says:
"Bebot"! A song called "Bebot"!

Matt says:
oh.... my.... god....

Matt says:
FUCK THIS!

Andy says:
Gotta listen to something good to cleanse the brain, huh?

Matt says:
I'll listen to the rest later..... much later.


I just couldn't imagine anyone who really digs hip hop music cruising down the street with the windows rolled down blaring this album out of their speakers. It's not hardcore enough for a lover of gangbangin' music, and just not saccharine dipped enough to appeal to those stylin' fans of an Outkast, Danger Mouse or DJ Shadow. Rip or download a few tracks and leave the rest to collect dust at the back of the record shop.


Andy says:
It'll be a real-time account of the emotional roller coaster the album put you through.

Andy says:
Wait, roller-coasters usually have ups, right?

Matt says:
Ohhhhh yes.

Andy says:
This was more like a emotional chunnel then.

Matt says:
That was a little glimpse of my afterlife in the deepest bowels of hell.

Andy says:
There's your LJ cut.


3/10

Buy Monkey Business from CD Universe
Comments 
12th-Jun-2005 08:47 am (UTC)
Yeah, that lady bumps bit gets to be kinda .. childish after a little while. If they'd have released this album last time, they wouldn't be pseudo-huge the way they are now.
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