The Black Eyed Peas’ fifth album, The E.N.D., arrives in stores tomorrow. How does the Peas’ radio-friendly music play with the critics? Find out below.
Entertainment Weekly: When the group’s glitchy future-funk beats sync up with Fergie’s unabashedly feminine melodies, as on the sweetly insidious “Meet Me Halfway,” they find pure Top 40 nirvana. B
Los Angeles Times: As always, Fergie’s performances provide the most interest throughout the album. More than the rappers Taboo and Apl.de.ap, whose spotlight turns are always competent but downplayed, or Will, who clings to an Everyman persona that belies his role as the group’s Wizard of Oz, Fergie embraces the essential cartoonishness of being a Pea. 2.5 out of 5
SPIN: With will.i.am and Fergie now White House VIPs, the Peas hone their post-millennial party anthems to an even more piquantly peppy sheen. On the single “I Gotta Feeling,” you can almost hear the corporate scrilla changing hands in time to the indelible hook. 2.5 out of 5
The Guardian (U.K.): Many of these electro-pop-rap tracks sound as though they were recorded with DJs in mind, rather than fans. Songs stop and start; Fergie’s voice, as bombastic as Mariah Carey’s, fades in and out; the male Peas drop raps apparently at random. Just don’t expect to love it immediately.
3 out of 5
Newsday: The Peas stretch a handful of times—excelling on the unifying world-beat anthem “One Tribe” and failing on “Now Generation,” the new millennium’s “We Didn’t Start the Fire,” which struggles with Fergie screaming, “I want it now!” like a kid jonesing for ice cream. The E.N.D. may not be great, but it will be popular. B
The Associated Press: Listening to The E.N.D., it’s clear to see the group’s break did them good: It may be the Peas’ best album yet.
Rap-Up’s Favorite Tracks: “Boom Boom Pow,” “Meet Me Halfway,” “I Gotta Feeling,” “Alive”