Newest Review: ... around online you could get it much cheaper. The track listing for this album is: 1.) Pump It 2.) Dont Phunk With My Heart 3.) My Sty... more
Will I never, this is so cool.
Monkey Business - Black Eyed Peas
Member Name: paulhanton
Monkey Business - Black Eyed Peas
Date: 06/09/08, updated on 06/09/08 (156 review reads)
Advantages: Some great tracks that are very cool.
Disadvantages: One or two let downs.
The Black Eyed peas are a four piece outfit consisting of the originally named:
They hail from L.A. and I have to say that though they are usually described as a hip hop band, they have massive funk, soul, R&B and even jazz influences.
You only have to look at the band line up that consists of a horn section, piano, guitar, drums and electronics experts to realise that they are quite eclectic. Then when you watch the video's you see that they are also all pretty talented dancers too in a very cool breakdance, come acid jazz style.
The Black Eyed peas had a massive album hit in 2003 with 'Elephunk'. This album 'Monkey Business' is that tricky 2nd album, with the current group line up, with an awful lot expected of the outfit. Not least that any album part produced by Timbalake comes with expectations.
So, did they pull it off?
10 million album sales plus, Worldwide suggests they did (not to mention singles sales), so let's have a look/listen at the tracks.
1 Pump It
Brilliant guitar riff start that could have come straight from a Tarantino film. Then we get a really funky entrance with the vocals and a nice clapping backing rhythm. The chorus comes with a nice bit of trumpet and an almost Spanish/Mexican feel, which I guess is as they come from Cali'. We get a bit of rapping, a bit of Fergies vocals and a bit of group harmony. It is almost like they use this track to introduce themselves and it is quite a statement. Excellent opener. 9/10.
2. Don't Phunk With My Heart
There is but one beat gap between track 1 & 2, and I like that, a nice vocal intro from Fergie that leads into a nice drum based backing that she then sings quite R&B style over, then in Comes Will I Am with a nice piece of smooth hip hop style sing/talk. I love their eclectic style, they use anything that works, even using the sound of horse hoofs at one point. Ultra cool rhymes too. 9/10.
3. My Style, (featuring Justin Timberlake)
Old 'trousersnake' makes an appearance in this very funk based tune. Though truth be know it does not make a huge difference. When Timberlake sings in most tracks it is easy to tell, here he just blends well within this really energetic, pumping track. The bass and drums really make you feel like you wanna dance (and I don't dance!). Again we get a Spanish influence. 9/10.
4. Don't Lie
What an interesting start, an almost old swing band intro, then some really nice hip hop call and response between male and female vocalist. The lyrics are actually sublime. The chorus is very R & B. We get to hear the range of Fergies vocal range too. This track has funk influences (like a lot of this album) but also some gospel like vocals. This is a really accomplished piece of music, I love it. 9.5/10.
5. My Humps, Includes hidden track "So Real"
Spanish trumpet start, then a really bass laden beat and a hip hop vocal from Fergie. Big hit as a single and it would/does appeal to a wide audience, but not me. This is a bit 'cheap' from them to be honest. Cheap and immature. The 'hidden track' is actually a lovely piece of piano playing very smooth jazz style at the end of the track, and some smooth vocals that accompany this. It is better than the main track. together as a track. 7/10.
6. Like That (featuring Q-Tip, Cee-Lo, Talib Kweli and John Legend)
No just the fact that Talib Kweli and John Legend feature on this track gives it some legs. Again we have an almost big band swing opening and this stays as a quiet backing that gets hip hopped, and you can tell the old school 'scratchers' have been at work. And again the swing vocals, that are also soul like come in too. This track is very, very clever, but almost too clever for the majority of listeners. That is not meant to be patronising, it's just that they have tried a bit too hard, with far too many styles and influences. 7/10.
7. Dum Diddly (featuring Dante Santiago)
Very Latin feel again, but a lot of reggae/dance hall too. I happen to like this a lot. Incredible use of different instruments, voices, beats and rythms. This lot are really, really goodmusically and have had a ball working this song out, it shines. 9/10.
8. Feel It
Unremitting soul funk from the off, loads of early Jacksons influences, big 70's funk backing, horns, bass guitar, very cool hook. Nice funky vocals too. It is songs like this that almost show the history of jazz to soul to funk to hip hop. I love this, not to everyones taste. 9/10.
9. Gone Going (featuring Jack Johnson)
The track of the album, mainly because it is so different. Firstly it is slower, secondly it is much more acoustically based. Thirdly and most importantly, it tells a story, that of a singer who gets corrupted by fame and money and loses his 'soul'. 10/10, without a doubt.
10. They Don't Want Music (featuring James Brown)
It's got James Brown it's got horns, it's got guitar riffs....then it has references to John Coltrane, how can I not like this. Funk, funk, funk, then some hip hop and....more funk. Love it, get on down, another 10/10.
11. Disco Club
Awww, after the last track, this is a bit of a cheap shot, hip hop at it's 'chaviest'. 3/10.
Not sure about this, love the drum/clap start, the bass that adds to it, played loud this makes the heart shudder, literally. We then get a Philipino (Spanish) rap which is okay but not great, the song never seems to take off like the other tracks, just seems to be on a loop. 5/10.
13. Ba Bump
Funky start, very dance orientated which is okay but again, not sure it really takes off, seems a bit disjointed for me, nice enough but for die hard fans really. 5/10.
14. Audio Delite at Low Fidelity, Includes hidden track "Change."
Big drum n bass start then a quite quiet hip hop vocal that is a bit too slow, bit too quiet. Some nice use of trumpet and horns, in the distance. It is almost like the 2nd half of this album is starting to 'wind down' there is a definite smooth jazz feel to this, and an 'evening' feel. Good track, but I do like their energetic stuff a bit more. The 'hidden track', again is just a tag on at the end. Don't like it much. 6/10 together.
15. Union (featuring Sting)
Blimey, trousersnake, kweli, Johnson and now Sting...well basically the backing track to this song is 'Englishman in New York'....great sax samples. Actually this is quite a good song, nice lyrics, hip hop over Sting, well I never. Love it when Sting comes in, it really does work well. 9/10.
Do What You Want (International Bonus Track)
No need for this track, it does not add that much to the album, nice groovy funky track but not very strong. 5/10.
If You Want Love (Ireland, UK)
Big funk bass guitar start, then a nice use of piano scales, whole group vocal harmonies, hip hop from Mr. I am, nice lyrics, nice music, actually a quite nice 'rounding off' to teh album. 7/10.
This is a very strong album featuring some pretty good 'guests'. To me it is more funk based than the first album which was more hip hop influenced, despite the album title.
This really showcases the musical influences and talents of the group.
The CD insert is great and includes things like the 'rider' that the group insist on back stage.
The album is almost too cool, I love it.
Summary: Black Eyed Peas, album number 2, current line up.