Alternative Press - 9/03, p.1184 out of 5
- "...Better partiers than preachers, these Peas have found their pod..."
Black Eyed Peas: Will.I.Am (vocals, Wurlitzer piano, Clavinet, Moog synthesizer, programming); Apl.De.Ap (vocals, programming); Fergie, Taboo (vocals).
Additional personnel: Justin Timberlake, Jamie Gomez, Allen Pineda, Dante Santiago, Jacobi Shaddix, Debbie Nova (vocals); Tobin (guitar, bass); George Pajon Jr., J. Curtis (guitar); Elizabeth Ann Lea (trombone); Printz Board (trumpet); Tim Izo Orindgreff (saxophone, flute, horns); Ron Fair (piano); Mike Fratantuno (acoustic guitar, bass, upright bass); Terence Yoshiaki, Dave Buckner (drums); Davey Chegwidden (congas, shaker); Chuck Prada (percussion); Terry Dexter, Noelle Scaggs (background vocals).
Producers: Will.I.Am, Apl.De.Ap, Ron Fair.
Recorded at Stewicha, Los Feliz, California; Record Plant, Hollywood, California; Glenwood Studio, Burbank, California; Velvet One, Sacramento, California.
The Black Eyed Peas: will.i.am (vocals, Wurlitzer piano, Moog synthesizer, drum programming); apl.de.ap (vocals, drum programming); Fergie , Taboo (vocals).
Additional personnel: Jacoby Shaddix, Justin Timberlake, Jamie Gomez (vocals); George Pajon, Ray Brady (guitar); Mike Fratantuno (acoustic guitar, bass guitar); Sergio Mendes (piano); Dante Santiago, Noelle Scaggs (background vocals); Papa Roach.
With distinct, cuttingly insightful, yet subtle lyrics fed over consistently catchy beats and eclectic arrangements, L.A.'s Black Eyed Peas have earned a high level of respect within the rap world, significant attention at college radio, and even the occasional crossover hit. Third release ELEPHUNK sees the addition of a fourth member, enchanting female vocalist Fergie (introduced with verve on the dancehall "Hey Mama"), and the continued elevation of their style and skills, as the group journeys all over the map, never falling into a funk of boredom.
ELEPHUNK opens the ears from the outset with the flophouse jazz backbeat of "Hands Up," simultaneously easy-going and infectious, before crashing into the fluorescent, straight-up party anthem "Labor Day" using the familiar JB's "The Grunt" sample as successfully as the Bomb Squad did back in 1988. Then there's the perfectly chiseled but fiery "Shut Up" with its insistent Knight Rider-theme beat and call-and-response. ELEPHUNK closes on an unlikely duet with Justin Timberlake, "Where Is the Love," an earnest state-of-the-world ballad that somehow creates a fitting ending to a solid album from one of hip-hop's most intelligent groups.