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The Beginning

4.3 out of 5 stars 63 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (29 Nov. 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Interscope
  • ASIN: B00475AQIU
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 23,132 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Product Description

Product Description

Sixth studio album by the American hip hop group. The follow-up to their commercially successful predecessor, 'The E.N.D.', the album features the hit single 'The Time (Dirty Bit)', which samples '(I've Had) The Time of My Life' from the film 'Dirty Dancing'.

BBC Review

The dramatic, internet-fuelled crash in record sales has done weird things to pop. In decades passed, a gigantic global hit like previous Black Eyed Peas album The E.N.D. would infuse the mastermind behind it with a megalomaniac confidence, leading him to make the next album into a self-indulgent art statement that would either be masterpiece or brazen folly. But times have changed, and the main thing that The Beginning reminds us is that William Adams, aka will.i.am, led a self-consciously right-on, Fugees-lite, version of The Black Eyed Peas for eight years before hiring a singing blonde and grabbing a hit with the bland platitudes of Where is the Love?.

Therefore, and presumably with fear of past failure never far away, Will and company have followed monstrous success with an album that sounds like 2009’s Boom Boom Pow and I Gotta Feeling megahits got fed into a new software program that breaks songs into robot parts and reassembles them into infinite copies made slightly different by tiny details – a Chic sample here, a KC And The Sunshine Band melody there, a tweak of the ubiquitous auto-tuner everywhere. The Beginning is a depressing listen, not because the music’s that bad, but because it implies that even the most successful pop producer on the planet can’t afford to indulge in anything that might be construed as intelligent or interesting, lest the masses run away screaming in terror. It betrays a contempt for its audience, and disquietingly low levels of self-belief on the part of corporate American pop.

You want details? Okay. Twelve songs called things like Don’t Stop the Party, Just Can’t Get Enough and… Lord help us… Love You Long Time. Beats shamelessly purloined from five-year-old electro-house tunes. An entire lyric sheet consisting of lines about being in clubs cribbed from older, cooler records. Fergie increasingly reduced to an Auto-Tuned vocal effect. The bit from Dirty Dancing in pre-ordained chart hit The Time (Dirty Bit) which sounds like cheeky pop hooliganism until you listen to the album and realise that BEP are not being ironic. Dirty Dancing fits the audience demographic, pure and simple. And one suspects that if someone at the label told them that Black Lace and The Birdie Song were the nostalgic faves of American Idol fans, Will would be hooking those babies up to something The Chemical Brothers left in a skip before you could say, "But wasn’t Boom Boom Pow actually quite brilliant?"

Beware pop geniuses – hanging out with Cheryl and Simon can seriously damage your talent.

--Garry Mulholland

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The Black Eyed Peas transcended hip-hop to become one of the most commercially successful pop groups of the 2000s. Their career began modestly, with a pair of albums inspired by the positive-minded likes of A Tribe Called Quest and De La Soul.

The group's earliest connections go back to the early `90s, when high schoolers will.i.am (William James Adams, Jr.) and apl.de.ap (Allan Pineda Lindo, Jr.) were part of Tribal Nation, a breakdancing crew. Eventually the pair focused more on music and split off on their own as Atban Klann, their esoteric name an acronym for A Tribe Beyond a Nation.

Upon the death of Eazy-E in 1995 and any further deals with Ruthless Records, will.i.am and apl.de.ap recruited another dancer/MC, Taboo (Jaime Luis Gómez), and reappeared as Black Eyed Peas. In 1998 their debut, Behind the Front, was released on the Interscope label to critical acclaim. BEP's 2000-issued sophomore release, Bridging the Gap, featured guest appearances from Jurassic 5's Chali 2na, De La Soul, and Macy Gray. "Request Line," a single that reached number two on Billboard's rap chart.

A corner was turned soon after the addition of Fergie (Stacy Ann Ferguson), a member of the group Wild Orchid. BEP's first album with Fergie, 2003's Elephunk, stormed the Top 40 with three singles -- "Where Is the Love?" (Number 8 hit), "Hey Mama (Number 23 hit)," and "Let's Get It Started (Number 21 hit)." Two years later, the quartet returned with Monkey Business, which pushed them into the pop stratosphere courtesy of the hit singles "Don't Phunk with My Heart"(Number 3 hit) and "My Humps."(Number 3 hit) In the U.S., it went triple platinum. In the meantime, Fergie released her solo album The Duchess with multiple number 1 hits.
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By The Wolf TOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 2 Dec. 2010
Format: Audio CD
2009's 'The E.N.D. (the Energy Never Dies)' was a fan-divider.
For many it was a nice surprise. For others it was the kiss of death;
a downward spiral to oblivion. I loved it to bits!

'The Beginning' invites us to yet another big night out. It's party album.
From the opening bars of 'The Time (Dirty Bit)', which cheekily
incorporates the sublime chorus of disco classic '(I've Had The) Time
Of My Life', we just know that we're going to be having a good time!

The manifesto laid down by 'The E.N.D,' is refined and distilled still
further. Sometimes it's pared down to the barest of bones.
'Love You Long Time' for example relies on little more than the
simplest synth and percussion arrangement to make it's mark.
Stark, unadorned yet nonetheless utterly addictive! Perfect pop.

'Someday' gets a bigger, broader production. The addition of guitar
adds a little welcome texture to the mix. It's a terrific tune.
Just when I thought I was getting a bit tired of electronic vocal
treatments I found myself listening with revitalised ears. B.E.P. do it
better and fresher than most. Having good voices to begin with helps!

With 'Whenever', however, we come to the warm, beating heart of the album.
It's stunner! Fergie nails the beautiful melody to the mast with classy aplomb.
Surely this lady possesses one of the finest voices of her generation!

'Fashion Beats' is a delightful cut-and-paste piece of disco heaven.
You can almost smell the cloud of Poison and Kouros filling up the dance floor!

'Do It Like This' is silly in the nicest possible way. A jar full of sticky sweets.
Bad for your teeth but impossible to keep still to for more than five seconds!
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Format: Audio CD
My expectations for this album were really high, however following 'The E.N.D. with another quality album was always going to be a hard task but I didn't think it would sound like this.

The new style the B.E.Ps have taken on since 'the end' has divided opinion (mine included) but at least on 'the end' had some great anthems which had a unique style. Unfortunately most tracks on 'The Beginning' exude the repetitive, dull half arsed dance music normally associated with the one hit wonder of each weekly chart. This isn't helped by the lack of imagination of the lyrics which also are reptitive, dull and half arsed. Clearly the BEP's are feeling the hangover of all the non stop partying they are purveying because when I hear 'don't stop the party' it makes think that it was made whilst everyone was still drunk the morning after the night before.

However there are some tracks that save this album from being a complete disaster; 'the time (dirty bit)', 'fashion beats', 'the situation' and also some great samples that add more depth to this extremely shallow album.

The most frustrating thing is this album could have been brilliant. Will.I.Am set a new agenda for the BEP's with 'The End' and fans have followed the great anthems of 'The End' to this album with high expectations, unfortunately in my opinion it's a victim of the success of 'The End' and I'm left hoping the next album will take some cues from elephunk and monkey business and less from the autotune craze that plagues this one. Leave the mindless dance tracks to Cascada please Mr Will.I.Am and concentrate on what made the BEPs so good in the first place! Overall it seems rushed, uninspired and merely a poor imitation of the best parts of 'The End' which there were only a few.

'The Beginning' = Mostly filler and very little killer.
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