Ultimately this album is as expansive as its title.
Tom Young 2007-10-05
The set up for this record bodes well. will.i.am, real name William Adams, ventures from his Black Eyed Pea safety net and tests production skills that have spawned hits for the likes of The Pussycat Dolls and Justin Timberlake against his own vocal wares. Time to forget the divisive "My Humps" and let Adams sink or swim all on his own.
The album falls at the first hurdle with the lackadaisical “Over”. Using an Electric Light Orchestra sample, it is a pedestrian start, particularly when you square it up to the usual musical E numbers served up by Black Eyed Peas. Surprisingly, it sounds lazy and Adams sounds bored. From that moment, lift-off never really takes place and “Heartbreaker”, “Get Your Money” and “Impatient” (plucked fresh from Daft Punk’s refuse dump) all suffer the same fate.
Ultimately this album is as expansive as its title. Partially autobiographical, the record is based around one serious relationship endured by Adams and tales of other lost loves added for good measure. This equates to songs about inheriting looks (“I Got It From My Mama”) and those about backsides: The lamentable “The Donque Song” featuring Snoop Dogg’s most vacuous cameo for some time.
Supposedly its charm lies in its disco flavour, quirky electronic rhythms and will.i.am’s well-humoured rap flow, but this wore thin very quickly. With 17 tracks to wade through, it’s far too long and although “Invisible” and “Make It Funky” are palatable, only the most ardent will make it that far.
Hardcore Black Eyed Peas fans will consider this a useful form of escapism but casual users will be left disappointed. The soulless record would have benefited from Adams tapping up contributors from his extensive list of heavyweight contacts and adding some bite to its bark.