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Black Eyed Peas - 'Rock That Body'

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Fraser McAlpine | 10:17 UK time, Sunday, 14 March 2010

Black Eyed Peas

Will.I.Am and I have a lot in common. We're both very clever, but also a bit stupid, we both like computers and music, and we both have very short attention spans. Luckily for me, wandering off the point is not necessarily a bad thing when it comes to thinking about pop music. Actually making it takes a bit more focus.

The frustrating thing about some Black Eyed Peas songs can be how wildly they vary in quality from moment to moment. The band are frequently very good at coming up with a refrain or a beat or a squelchy bass quack which twangs on the brain's thrilltacular ganglion like the elastic on a catapult. They will then bring in one of the band to try and rap against this, as if trying to prove they can literally nail any cloud to any frog and come up with a new kind of milkshake.

Sometimes they do, and that's great, but sometimes...eesh! There's a verse here where Will raps bouncily about making your body rock/taking it to the top, first with his natural voice, then with the robot-lady voice. Trouble is, next to the martial rhythm of the hi-hats it just sounds a bit saggy and a bit strange. And not wow-fresh-amazing strange. Ramshackle strange.

And haven't they already got someone who can handle the higher vocal frequencies? Is there any need to break out the yodel-vocoder for the chorus when Fergie is sat over in the corner and sighing pointedly? Especially when her contribution to 'Boom Boom Pow' was the best bit of one of the best singles of the whole year.

On that note, Here's the video. It's actually two videos, for 'Imma Be' and 'Rock That Body', with a brilliant introductory skit in which Will.I,Am is showing off a new box which can make music for him. He puts in all of his singing ability, and "the whole English vocabulary", and it can churn out Black Eyed Peas songs from now until kingdom come.

Naturally the rest of the band are not impressed, because it reduces their role to mere arm-waving sidemen who don't do a right lot on their own records. I know, it's a thread you would think the band would want to avoid pulling AT ALL COSTS, but there we are.

Anyway, the skit thing is funny on two levels: the intentional one where we all enjoy the joke that a computer could actually do something like that and replace the human heartbeat at the core of all musical endeavours, and the unintentional one, where we all enjoy the joke that a box with these capabilities would need to use more than 30 words in the English language to cover the entirety of Will's lyrical output to date. And his singing range - unaided - isn't exactly going to tax the box's memory banks either.

Where was I? Oh yes, the SONG. It's a party banger, innit. Defies rational explanation because it's not aimed at the brain, it's aimed at body parts which are closer to the ground. Those parts are very well served, and as usual it's a pretty sumptuous production.

With that in mind, here's a final detour: the "I wanna rock right now" bit, is not a million mies away from a similar bit in a song called 'Play Some D' by Brassy, which was out a very long time ago and never really did 'the business', here or in the States. I'm not claiming any inspiration theft by the Peas, of course, it's just a nice reminder of a brilliant band from back in the olden days. Enjoy!

Three starsDownload: Out now
www.blackeyedpeas.com
BBC Music page

PS: If you can, trying putting this on a playlist in front of Bombay Bicycle Club's 'Evening Morning'. The juxtaposition of songs is really quite lovely.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    Rock that Body is another slice of commercial dance pop from the Peas .
    A superb production houses a song immersed in hooks and laden with a big danceability factor .
    This sounds great in a nightclub setting and will ignite further sales for The E.N.D .

    In 2009 , The Black Eyed Peas became only the third American band to have 3 U.K number 1 singles in a calendar year.
    Boom Boom Pow , I Gotta Feelin and Meet Me Halfway all hit the top spot , in what was a hugely successful year for the band.
    The other two American outfits to achieve this incredible feat were The Everly Brothers and Blondie .

    In other news , according to I Tunes , I Gotta Feelin has replaced Poker Face as the most downloaded song of ALL time .
    The positive , party vibe of the track , no doubt proving a winner for many .

  • Comment number 2.

    @ spirit
    The reason they all stopped downloading 'Poker Face' is because there all too busy downloading Telephone now... it's No. 5 on the charts now, jumping 26 places because of the video release a few days ago, which might I add... IS THE BEST VIDEO IN LIKE EVER.

    you must see.

    As for this song, I always new from the moment I bought the album, (of which each song sounds like five or six other minute-long mini-songs shoved randomly together in the hope they work) I could tell this was going to be a single.
    'Boom Boom Pow' and 'I Gotta Feeling' had already been released and then they released 'Meet Me Halfway', which left the album with plenty of songs, but none of which I could see had a chanve of being comercially successful for the simple reason that, there is no consistancy to the songs, look at 'I Gotta Feeling' - at least it has a memorable refrain; none of the other songs do.

    They do this super-long-songs-with-some-random-rapping-and-name-checking-about-how-good-we-are-and-how-much-we-like-to-have-fun-like on every track which makes the album really hard to listen to, and they've really shot themselves in the foot because there are some brilliant somgs, which are ruined because the Peas don't stick to the original structure and by the time the song ends it's like you're listening to a different track altogether.

    Listen to 'Party All The Time' and 'Showdown' for prime examples of this song ruining thing they do so well; after the first chorus of each of these songs, they just go flacid and meander abolutely nowhere with some pointless rapping in the places of a pretty good vocal melody.

    Mind you, rant aside, this song is one of the better songs from the album, but still only 3 stars from me.

  • Comment number 3.

    @ Odd One,

    You actually have a point about The E.N.D.. The album is completely all over the place. Not the album as a whole, they're all great party and driving songs. But in nearly every song, the song changes tempo about 3 times throughout. This all Will.I.Am's fault of course. 'Cause outside of The E.N.D., Will is also using this schizophrenic style on 3 Words by Cheryl Cole and Photographs by Rihanna. The latter starts out as this breezy Summery ballad and before you know it Will jumps in with this completely irrelevant bouncy rap.

  • Comment number 4.

    Oh but Now Generation from The E.N.D. is amazing! AMAZING!

  • Comment number 5.

    I also really like Alive , and Party All The Time , from The E.N.D ., an album which will become The Black Eyed Peas biggest selling album in the U.K within the coming weeks .

    Over 1.2 copies sold , and it's still number 15 after 39 weeks in the charts .

    A very popular Peas album , it appears .

  • Comment number 6.

    Yeah Alive has never really done it for me. I like the positive theme and it seems to be both a fan and critic favourite but I always thought it sounded like an upbeat track that never made Kanye West's 808s & Heartbreak album. I do love Party All The Time though.

    And any of you who have purchased the Deluxe Edition of the album, Where Ya Wanna Go and Another Weekend (a remix of a BEP classic from the 1990s) are really good too.

  • Comment number 7.

    Don't forget Simple Little Melody as one of the standout tracks from the E.N.D, a slice of nervous, hilarious, energetic heaven!!!

  • Comment number 8.

    I can't say I know that song to be on the album, kingshleppy :S

    But yeah I also Like 'Party All The Time' but do you not feel it it goes on for to long and once the first chorus is over... where the hell does it go!? No more quickfire verses, bridge is gone and the chorus accompanied by that brilliant backing beat is nowhere to be heard. I fthe Peas get another single release (doubtful) I think it should be 'Showdown', because it's the most consistent song left on the album

    P.S. spirit - I completely agree with what you said about will.i.am's production, sometimes is works but other times it REALLY does not.

  • Comment number 9.

    Simple Little Melody appears on the Deluxe Edition of The E.N.D..

    I recommend that you download it because there are some really good tracks on it such as Simple Little Melody, Where Ya Wanna Go, Mare, Another Weeekend and Don't Bring Me Down.

  • Comment number 10.

    Definitely RandomEnigma, Mare is an excellent combination of Will.i.am's production and Apl de ap's heritage-ness, Dunno about showdown though OddOne, I find it kind of hard to get into, like it doesnt fit with the album's concept somehow! Seeing as Imma Be mightn't be released over this side of the world, I'd love to see Ring a Ling as the fifth single over here fo sho, it's fun and dancey which exactly what the Peas have become so good at doing.

    It's always nice to see groups doing different styles, Elephunk was a great upbeat introduction to mainstream success, Monkey Business, every song was cool (Hey mama among my all time favouritw tracks EVER) (although a weaker album imo) was great for My Humps and Don't Phunk With My Heart and now The E.N.D has catapulted them to even dizzier heights!!Plus they seem to have really improved at performing, which just adds to the coolyness of them!

  • Comment number 11.

    Excellent second paragraph King !

    *salutes *

  • Comment number 12.

    Never bothered listening to the album ... not really my cup of tea. I quite like the singles, but think they are a bit over rated. This is easily the weakest yet.

    @ comment 2. No it's not the greatest video ever made! Far from it :p

  • Comment number 13.

    @ kingshleppy

    OH HELL NO! Not Ring a Ling! Omds that seriously is the most skippable track on the album, along with 'Alive', 'Imma Be', 'Electric City', 'Missing You', 'Now Generation' and 'Rockin' To The Beat'. However.... 'Out Of My Head'.. is v good (Y)

  • Comment number 14.

    * My previous comment is meant in the most light-hearted way possible. :)

  • Comment number 15.

    Oh no OddOne, you did not diss the amazing tune that is Now Generation. I hate Electric City, Ring-A-Ling and Rockin' To The Beat. But I love Missing You.

  • Comment number 16.

    And I love Alive. . .

  • Comment number 17.

    Personally I don't really like the album apart from a few tracks. Boom Boom Pow, I Gotta Feeling, Meet Me Halfway, Rock That Body, One Tribe and Showdown are the only tracks worth looking at, and I wouldn't even buy all of them, the rest of the songs are low on musical ideas or go on to long.

    Even though it's an instrumental I actually prefer to Rockin To The Beat to a lot of the album. Electric City and Ring A Ling are terrible.

  • Comment number 18.

    I actually would enjoy Electric City if it weren't for Fergie's false Caribbean rapping.

  • Comment number 19.

    I guess I'm just a sucker for funny songs, and Ring a Ling is just that!!
    And spirit my second paragraph was messed up, meant to say Hey Mama was from Elephunk!!!

    Let me think, my top 10 BEP songs(that have been released) would be:

    10.Don't Phunk With My Heart
    9.I Gotta Feeling
    8.Mas Que Nada
    7.Imma Be
    6.Let's Get It Started
    5.Pump It
    4.Rock That Body
    3.My Humps
    2.Hey Mama
    1.BOOM BOOM POW!!!! so awesome that words cannot do it enough justice!!!!

  • Comment number 20.

    My top 10 Black Eyed Peas songs that are released that are either there own singles or ones they feature on are:

    10. Shut Up
    09. Rock That Body
    08. Hey Mama
    07. Mas Que Nada
    06. Don't Phunk With My Heart
    05. Let's Get It Started
    04. Pump It
    03. Where Is The Love?
    02. I Gotta Feeling
    01. Don't Lie

  • Comment number 21.

    Don't Lie-yuck.

  • Comment number 22.

    Don't Lie is amazing Kingshleppy. So so amazing!

  • Comment number 23.

    Point is, the tracks that could make decent singles are all released, which is only four from a 16-17 track album full of 4min+ songs. Grating is an understatement and I find myself changing CD after 'Meet Me Halfway'.

  • Comment number 24.

    not true OddOne, that is just your opinion. There are many like me who think The E.N.D is an excellent album from start to finish!!!! (Apart from Showdown Now Generation that is)

  • Comment number 25.

    There are also many like me who think that the Black Eyed Peas should not be allowed access to recording equipment.

  • Comment number 26.

    Very funny Curtains. :) :)

  • Comment number 27.

    And true...

  • Comment number 28.

    They certainly shouldn't be allowed near this device:

    http://scp-wiki.wikidot.com/scp-624

    To Quote: "Personnel who do not listen to music, do not like music, or have zero musical influences are not allowed to test SCP-624".

    Hmmmm....

  • Comment number 29.

    @ kingshleppy, I wrote it from my opinion, sorry if I annoyed you. But I agree with Curtains...

  • Comment number 30.

    On the contrary Oddone, you're allowed to have an opinion, as is Curtains.. I guess it was just a last ditch attempt on my end to MAKE PEOPLE LIKE THE BLACK EYED PEAS!!!!! Obviously to try and do so is wrong, so apologies!!! On a completely unrelated note, When is Diana Vickers' new song going to be reviewed?? I only like the part where she sings/cries "I'm only gonna let you kill meEEH!" That line alone is worth four stars in my opinion..

  • Comment number 31.

    Just reread my comment @24 and I do realise that it reads a tad forceful and rude so consider it retracted!!

  • Comment number 32.

    I do that all the time kingshleppy.. :P

    But yeah, And wait... where's the review for Rihanna's 'Rude Boy', or Tinie Tempah's 'Pass Out', and Kate Nash's 'Do Wah Doo'?

    Not that I like all of them, but there's a lot I could say. If ya get meh?

  • Comment number 33.

    EDIT: Found Tinie Tempah!

  • Comment number 34.

    I thought Rhianna had a review.

  • Comment number 35.

  • Comment number 36.

    Dunno when Fraser's reviews for Do Wah Do and Once are coming but I know I'm reviewing Do Wah Do next week and Once in 3 weeks.

  • Comment number 37.

    I love Do Wah Doo, it's a masterpiece of a song, only made better by the video. Again, deserves four stars for the "Well I think she's a (hand covers mouth)" and the dischord on the piano at the end....Genius!!

  • Comment number 38.

    The Black Eyed Peas have announced that a continuation of mega successful album The E.N.D., with the working title The E.N.D. Volume 2, will be released this Summer, possibly in June with a new lead single being released as early as this month.

    Are people excited or do they just wanna see the BEP go away?

  • Comment number 39.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 40.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 41.

    To be honest I think we'll all agree the most interesting member of BEP is the short one with the mohawk. Fergie and the one that looks like a monkey don't interest me at all.

  • Comment number 42.

    Oooh Harry .
    I reckon you certainly have the skills to put your reasons across in a far more articulate way.



  • Comment number 43.

    Seriously does anyone know their names, it's all about Fergie and Will.i.am and to be perfectly honest I'm sick of it. Monkey Boy and Shorty Mohawk should go solo because they're obviously not treated equally at the moment!

  • Comment number 44.

    @41 not your finest hour... will probably get removed too :/

  • Comment number 45.

    *shrug* I felt it needed to be said so I said it.

    On the subject of people returning this summer has anyone else heard the new Christina Aguilera single, I'm not sure about it at the moment but it's grown on me since first listen.

  • Comment number 46.

    Come on guys . These comments are getting out of the realms of your usual brilliance .
    Just pause a moment , and think for a while . On reading the above , some people may find it uncomfortable to read .

    You are superb when you write in positive , informative , articulate tones.

  • Comment number 47.

    I know their names. apl.de.apl (real name Alan Pindea) is the short guy with the mohawk. He's actually from the Philippines and is a much better producer than will.i.am. When will.i.am. isn't hogging production credits, Apl gets to produce one track per album which are hits that never were such as The Apl Song, Bebot and Mare.

    The other guy's name is Taboo (real name Jaime Gomes) and he looks super cool in the Imma Be Rocking That Body video.

  • Comment number 48.

    @ 46

    I don't think there was anything truly wrong about my comment; I couldn't remember apl.de.apl's name so I described him, he's short and has a mohawk what else do you want! And in my opinion Taboo has a look to him that reminds me of a monkey, not that I have any problem with that what so ever.

  • Comment number 49.

    Realllly turned off the Chart Blog by those comments. Spirit's right, no need to wish death on anyone or insult their looks to get your point across. This IS supposed to be about the music after all..

    So I'm gonna give you guys another chance, thoughts on Timbo' and Timber's new offering: Carry Out?? Redeem yourselves!!

  • Comment number 50.

    Also Vampire Weekend's Giving up the Gun..love the song and the video!

  • Comment number 51.

    I love both the song and the video for Giving Up The Gun. Just genius!

    I reviewed Carry Out a few weeks ago over on Jedward. I thought it was okay at the time but its really grown on me since.

    As for Christina Aguilera's new single Not Myself Tonight, I like it a lot. It's not as fresh or original as she made out but it has that special Christina stamp that makes it different...mainly her ear shattering voice.

  • Comment number 52.

    Giving Up The Gun is great as is the whole of Vampire Weekend's second album.

    Carry Out doesn't do anything for me, the chorus is reasonably catchy but the whole thing is pretty boring; the lyrics don't say anything new or interesting and the only redeeming feature is Timbaland's production which is strong as ever. Hopefully the next single will be Say Something feat. Drake which is one of the most interesting tracks on the album.

    Also yesterday I saw the video for Ego - Beyonce on the tv which makes me wonder is she's planning to release it as a single. Personally I can't see the point as Broken Hearted Girl and Video Phone both performed poorly in the charts and I can't see Ego reversing that in anyway.

  • Comment number 53.

    Ego was my favourite single from the Sasha Fierce era and I was disappointed she didn't release it over here. But I agree, Beyoncé needs to disappear. I mean she's in Lady GaGa's Telephone, will appear in Alicia Keys new video Put It In A Love Song and is expected to release a new album at the end of the year.

  • Comment number 54.

    Oh good lord, saw the video for Ego, and I really didn't like it.. didn't like the song either, what's going on in Beyonce's head? When she gets it right, boy does she get it right but when it goes wrong.....


    And plus Kanye West is in the song. And he tries to sing. 'nuff said.

    New favourite songs are On to the Next One by Jay Z and I am Not A Robot by Marina and the Diamonds(for the 2nd time as it's being re-released).

  • Comment number 55.

    Freaking love Marina.

  • Comment number 56.

    Same same! 'I Am Not A Robot' though... must listen.

    I cannot stand 'On To The Next One' though, it's really uninteresting in the music department when compared to 'Empire State Of Mind' (especially) and 'Run This Town'.

    And yes, the video for 'Ego' is dire... Single Ladies anyone?

  • Comment number 57.

    The video for Ego is rather terrible but why is everyone hating on the song? I think it's great - old school R&B, I love it.

    Not so keen on the Kanye West remix which seems to be floating around the music channels, I prefer the original version without him.

  • Comment number 58.

    So would I, but that doesn't change the fact that it's awful. She should've stopped releasing singles after 'Broken-Hearted Girl', and not released 'Diva'. What dross that was.

 

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