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Black Eyed Peas - 'The Time (Dirty Bit)'

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Fraser McAlpine | 10:19 UK time, Saturday, 13 November 2010

Black Eyed Peas

Hey remember the other day when I was saying how frustrating it is that the Will.I.Am / Nicki Minaj song is less than 100% amazing? We had some laughs, right? It was all in good fun. Nobody got hurt, there were no permanent injuries and we all went away assuming Will would soon bounce back, that he would save his best ideas for the next Black Eyed Peas opus.

I wish those innocent days were still with us. I wish I still believed such a turnaround were possible. I wish, in fact, that I had never ever heard this deeply terrible song, which is so very poor that it has come close to destroying a perfect relationship with the band's finest moment to date - the mighty 'Boom Boom Pow'.

I take no pleasure in saying it. I'm an optimist by nature and try to be fair, up to a point. I mean clearly some things are not going to be to my taste, and I'm fine with that. But it's hard to see whose taste this will appeal to. People who hate music? People who are a long way away? It's baffling.

(Here's the official audio. Don't listen to it. It hurts.)

I don't even mind the wholesale pinching of '(I've Had) The Time Of My Life' from Dirty Dancing. That's just a standard jump-off point for yer modern hip hop production. The real horror comes in when you have to make the lumpy transition from that wobbly rubbish portamento thing in the verses, to the rubbish shouted "I'M! HAVING! A GOOD! TIME! WITH YOU!" bit, and THEN the stuttery, edited vocals of the chorus, which are also rubbish.

It is so rubbish, in fact, it has left me wondering what I've done to hurt music's feelings this much. It's so bad it makes me want to go up to the art of popular song and hit its face off with a rubber mallet. It's so bad that it runs the risk of spoiling all other music forever.

It's a great big squirt of bleach in the delicious gumbo of pop. The fact that it arrives in a puff of self-regard and leaves without having the foggiest idea what disgusting stench follows in its wake makes everything somehow worse.

I'll leave the final word to Apl, a man who is already on thin ice after that rap in which he boasts about not "messing with the maggots" because he's in with "the baddest chicks in the club". It just makes me assume that he said a more offensive word originally, and a wise head in the BEP camp made him change it.

"Mirror mirror on the wall," he intones, "who's the baddest of them all?"

Well we all know the answer to that one, don't we? Shall we say it together? On the count of three...one, two...

One starDownload: Out now

BBC Music page

(Fraser McAlpine)

Only VIP Media says: "It's a hot mess."

Pop From The Block says: "If this robotic nonsense wasn't the creation of the Black Eyed Peas, it would most probably be shunned by the media."

ADDENDUM: 'Like A G6' by the Far East Movement does everything the Black Eyed Peas should've with this song. And that is why it is rightly vaulting up the charts.


  • Comment number 1.

    No stars

  • Comment number 2.


  • Comment number 3.

    Usually Will.I.Am is known for his awesome beats but this is poor.

  • Comment number 4.

    It's bizarre that from what I can tell everyone seems to hate this song yet it's no.2 in the Itunes charts! WHOSE BUYING IT?!

    1 Star

  • Comment number 5.

    ^ Seconded


    0.5 Stars.

  • Comment number 6.

    Oh, and here's the link to my review, I posted it in another thread but this one makes more sense. Basically, I concur with everything Fraser writes in his review, only I compare it to the old school Peas and then laugh at the downward spiral they seem to have hit.


  • Comment number 7.

    THANK YOU FRASER! I was expecting the worse based on your reviews of 'Club is Alive' and 'Dirtee Disco' but THANK YOU JUSTICE HAS BEEN DONE.

    Clicking 'Chartblog' and I saw this first I said 'Please give it 3 stars or less' but this review is outstanding.

    AWFUL, AWFUL SONG. But it will probably be number one.

  • Comment number 8.

    The most annoying thing about this song is that willi.am thinks he's become such a lagend that he can release aything and expect people to drool all over it.

    Unfortunately, iTunes is proving this true and I bet as we speak, Will's ego is inflating exponentially.

  • Comment number 9.

    It's sad to say, but with this song, Black Eyed Peas have become more about shifting numbers than the music. I think they surprised a lot of people last year with the amount of success they had, considering they had been on a long hiatus. But they've obviously chosen to capitalise on that success by releasing a new album little more than a year later, and it's summed up by this lazy effort, aimed directly at kids who will get excited about the sample and the vapid 'party' lyrics. Shame really.

  • Comment number 10.

    Fraser, talk to radio 1 and get them to remove this off the playlist.

  • Comment number 11.

    i completely disagree with everything this man has to say. what does he know about music. he doesnt know a real song when he hears one. this is the new sound of the black eyed peas. They like it and many more people love it. there is just a small handful of people in the world like you that are jelous of everything the black eyed peas do. you just wish that you thought of their ideas first. people wil still continue to download this song and by next week it will be number one. the black eyed peas will continue to make music like this so you best get used to it.

  • Comment number 12.

    Okay then.

  • Comment number 13.

    Don't even know where to begin on how laughable that comment is.

  • Comment number 14.

    @ 11

    Seriously? First thing first the 'you're just jealous cause they're famous and you're not' argument is ridiculous and shows that you're completely ignorant of the idea of people having they're own opinion. You don't know any of us or what are tastes in music are, unless you've look at the boards before, so how can you say we're just jealous of them. Some of us might be big BEP fans but just hate this song. I like I Gotta Feeling, Boom Boom Pow, Pump It, Where Is The Love? and Don't Phunk With My Heart, I'm not saying I'm a big fan, so why does me not liking this song make me 'jealous' of everything they do.

    I simply, and everyone else on this page, heard a shameless attempt to make a hit record and decided to comment they're feelings towards it. There's been no real hate for the band here, the general feeling seems to be of disappointment, we just don't like the song.

    Also good luck with that no.1, the songs already slipping down the charts on iTunes, so expect to be disappointed and see JLS at no.1 next Sunday.

  • Comment number 15.

    I'm going to commend you, Harry, for thst comment. Mainly because it's weel structured and well-thought, but also because you had it in you to reply with a cohesive answer. :L

    I'm very distraught after tonight. ITV have let me down immensely.

  • Comment number 16.

    I'm a massive fan of the Black Eyed Peas. Honestly, they are my favourite group! But I'm in agreement that this is a HOT MESS! If you like this song, Nikki, that's fine! But everyone has an opinion and no-one is jealous of their success!

  • Comment number 17.

    Rihanna stays at No1 for the second week in a row which is the third song to do so e.g Umbrella ft Jay-Z 10 weeks at No1 in 2007, Take A Bow 2 weeks at No1 in 2008.

    Take That score their 16th Top3 Hit with The Flood which reached No2 after-
    Could It Be Magic- No3 in December 1992
    Why Can't I Wake Up With You- No2 in February 1993
    Pray- No1 in July 1993 their 1st No1 Hit
    Babe- No1 in December 1993 their 2nd No1 Hit
    Everything Changes- No1 in April 1994
    Love Ain't Here Anymore- No3in July 1994
    Sure- No1 in October 1994
    Back For Good- No1 in April 1995
    Never Forget- No1 in August 1995
    How Deep Is Your Love?- No1 in March 1996
    Patience- No1 in November 2006
    Shine- No1 in March 2007
    Rule The World- No2 in October 2007
    Greatest Day- No1 in November 2008
    Relight My Fire ft Lulu- No1 in October 1993

    Katy Perry reaches No3 with Firework- her 6th Top3 Hit her 5th this year!!!
    I Kissed A Girl- No1 in August 2008
    Starstrukk with 3OH!3- No3 in January 2010
    If We Ever Meet Again with Timbaland- No3 in February 2010
    California Gurls ft Snoop Dogg- No1 in June 2010
    Teenage Dream- No2 in September 2010
    Firework- No3 so far in November 2010

  • Comment number 18.

    @ 15

    thanks Oddie, how did ITV let you down?

  • Comment number 19.

    If I say Aiden Grimshaw, will you get my jist?

  • Comment number 20.

    I wouldn't trust ITV for anything these days other than dumbed-down, trashy zeleb nonsense.

    As for X Factor, I don't know why anyone bothers wasting their anger on anything that happens on the show regarding the competition. It amazes me how many people still watch it then get annoyed about it. Don't ever be surprised by the stunts Cowell and co pull to get people talking.

  • Comment number 21.

    Guys, I think this should be the new music discussion thread.

  • Comment number 22.

    good idea but we've got a while until Jedward runs out so we might as well stick that.

  • Comment number 23.

    *stick with that

    forgot to proof read my comment

  • Comment number 24.

    Oh dear. I think auto-tune has either:
    A. Driven will.i.am insane.
    B. Taken over the music industry.

    I think both :P

  • Comment number 25.

    @ 20

    I completely agreed with you. The key point in the last sentence being it's written in the past tense.

    I though the X Factor as trashy, throaway entertainment because I was to young to go - or bother to go - clubing and partying every weekend or so. But I don't know, with fear that I may sound a bit pretentious, I feel like now understand what the fuss is about, because I sort of... 'connected' with Aiden as one of the most talented, unique singers I've ever heard.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WwfNexdaIdU - His cover of Tears For Fears' 'Mad World'. If there's any video of Aiden Grimshaw you watch, this one should be it (or try the link at the bottom of the page, it's Shirley Bassey's 'Diamonds Are Forever', another outstanding performance)It's like he's really connected with the audience, delivery a performance simply within his eyes, rather than some people who stand on the stage a belt their lungs out, but never even open their eyes.

    And now I've kind of understood why people get so worked up about it (and you know what I'm like about X Factor and it's fake popstars), but Aiden is the only potential ARTIST I've ever seen, just look at his performances of 'Thriller', 'Rocket Man', and 'Nothing Compares 2 U' prove this, as he was daring with the arrangements and made them his own interpretation; he was interesting; you never knew what he'd do next, even if you knew what he'd be singing, the way he'd sing it always made intriguing. That may seem like a staple statement for Simon to throw at Rebecca or Paije but no, and artist is something unique; something no-one else can imitate - to Simon, an artist is someone who can sell a million records - but Aiden's intense yet vulnerable appearance and his trade-mark raspy/nasal tones were easily the most unique thing on the show since Diana Vickers' claw.

    I guess it was inevitable Aiden wasn't going to win, but knocked out for having less votes than officially the most hated female in the UK? Something wrong afoot right there. After the backlash Katie got for knocking out TreyC, it's shocking she even got a single vote, and combined with her cringe-worthy, camp, karaoke-styled performance of 'Saturday Night's Alright (For Fighting)', she seemed an almost certified gonner. And don't get me started on Wagner (although I'm fully backing him now, just to get up Simon's nose).

    But then again, we all should've seen it coming. Who does Simon want in the later stages to battle his pee-poor excuse for a boyband? A truly talented singer with a good fanbase and huge ARTIST potential, or some disposable cruise ship singer with no fanbase (which constitutes no votes when stacked up against One Direction extensive fanbase), a Kylie-weak voice, and who can grab headlines for the show on a daily basis? Odds are he'd want the weaker competition who publicises the show's already monolithic ego.

    You only need to look at past series to see why Aiden got the boot.

    The Unconventionals. Rhydian Roberts. Diana Vickers. And now Aiden Grimshaw. Spot any trend? They were all 'unique' in their own way, whether it be musical style, the way they sung, what they choose to sing etc., and so obviously didn't appeal to everyone - no great artist ever has, from Michael Jackson to Madonna and Prince to Kylie, there were always people who could not abide them - but to Simon, that's a no go area. He wants someone disposable, with a good voice, and with the public's approval so he get sales out the wazoo, regardless of musical talent and work ethic, something Aiden had in abundance.

    Trust me, Mary's up for the chop next, or she will be soon, as will Paije and Cher; Cher at least has something unique but as with Rhydian, Diana, and Aiden it's already showing signs of wearing dangerously thin after being exposed so much. But Mary can only sing. That's all. We know she'll sing, and we know she'll sing well, but other than that, what is there to her? She's a lovely gal and makes me proud to be Irish but considering who's left in the competition, her days are numbered. Paije does doesn't seem like a clear winner, he the typical "X Factor Filler" contestant who barely interesting to watch and whose strangled voice grates on many ears.

    So basically, now Aiden's left, the X Factor is full of good singers, but no performers; a Cheryl wannabe and suck-up, and Wagner Carrilho.

    I never though I'd say this but, I'd be more than happy to hear Aiden's voice on a single and album. In fact, that what I want him to do; Diana Vickers can do, so did Rhydian and The Unconvetionals, but they received far less media attention, and so I can only hope Aiden doesn't stop here.

  • Comment number 26.


    Here's the link to 'Diamonds are Forver', by the way. It's porbably my favourite performance from him.

  • Comment number 27.

    Agree with everything in your comment Oddie apart from the 'you'll never know what he'd do next' bit, think I'm paraphrasing a bit there, for me Aiden was very predictable and apart from Mad World wasn't particulary entertaining.

    I always felt he just did the same style of performance every week and that's why the public lost faith with him, I know it's his style but he could've pushed himself a bit more. My problem is with the fact that he seemed like he did want to do something a bit different but was never allowed to, Danni giving him the same style every week, he even managed to turn Thriller into a dull, gloom-fest! I would've been happy with that performance if halfway through it became more like the original song, which I hoped it would, but it just seemed to drag on, feeling way longer than the 2 minutes it was.

    Overal I'm disappointed that Aiden went so early but I'm not suprised. I expect Katie will go out next week, unless she's against someone like Wagner, and if she doesn't I may have to fully boycot the series.



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