Uncut - p.943 stars out of 5
- "Will-I-Am's production is gliding yet hard, blasting off with 'Pulp Fiction' Dick Dale guitar, and giving contemporary bounce to '80s synth beats."
The Black Eyed Peas: A.P.L., Taboo (vocals); Fergie , will.i.am.
Personnel: apl.de.ap (vocals, strings, Clavinet, drum programming); will.i.am (vocals, Fender Rhodes piano, Clavinet, organ, synthesizer, Moog synthesizer, drum programming); Fergie , James H. Brown, Justin Timberlake, Sting (vocals); Jimmy Limon (guitar, Clavinet, organ, percussion, drum programming); Damon Wood, Jack Johnson, Kevin Rudolf, Ray Brady (guitar); Songa Lee, Katia Popov, Alan Grunfeld, Phillip Levy , Rene Mandel, Mario de Le¢n, Joel Derouin, Sid Page, Jacqueline Brand, Roberto Cani, Bruce Dukov, Julie Gigante, Natalie Leggett, Sarah Thornblade, Josefina Vergara, Charlie Bisharat, Endre Granat (violin); Charlie Baccarat (electric violin); Victoria Miskolczy, Matthew Funes, Brian Dembow, Simon Oswell (viola); Suzie Katayama, Stephen Erdody , David Low , Cecilia Tsan (cello); Tim Izo Orindgreff (flute, saxophone); Ron Fair (harmonica); Jeff Watkins, Branford Marsalis (saxophone); Printz Board (trumpet, Fender Rhodes piano, Mellotron, synthesizer, Moog synthesizer, drums); Robert "Dandy" Thompson (Clavinet, organ, drums, drum programming); Keith Harris (keyboards, drums, percussion); Mino Cinelu (percussion); Chaos (drum programming); Dante Santiago, Sheila Wheat, Cynthia Morey, Tippa Irie (background vocals).
Additional personnel: Dante Santiago, James Brown, John Legend, Cee Lo Green (vocals); Q-Tip, Talib Kweli (rap vocals); Justin Timberlake, Sting.
Audio Mixers: Jack Joseph Puig; Mark "Spike" Stent; Serban Ghenea; Tony Maserati .
Recording information: Amerycan Studios, N. Hollywood, CA; Berlin, Germany; Bullet Train, Japan; Daddy's House, Unites States; Glenwood Studios, Burbank, CA; Henson Recording Studios, Hollywood, CA; Metropolis Studios, Chiswick, London, England; Morning View Studios, Malibu, CA; Osi And Calvin Studios, Washington D.C; Smart Studios, Madison, WI; Sony Studios, New York, NY; The Brothel, Philadelphia, PA; The Hit Factory Criteria, Miami, FL; The Peas Tour Bus, Unites States; The Record Plant, Los Angeles, CA; The Stewchia, Los Feliz, CA; The Will.I.Am Protolls Rig.
Editor: Marcella Araica.
Photographer: Albert Watson .
Arranger: Ron Fair.
The Black Eyed Peas' fourth outing, MONKEY BUSINESS, picks up right where their platinum-selling breakout album, ELEPHUNK, left off, with the feel of a non-stop party run by an ultra-savvy DJ. "Pump It" opens the disc on a straight sample of Dick Dale's surf classic "Misirlou," as the three MCs of BEP float in and out--sometimes rapid-fire, sometimes measured--with Fergie stepping in on cue to alternately sing softly or with deep, soulful emotion.
The Peas' origins are tied to the DJ-driven world of breakdancing, and that flavor saturates MONKEY BUSINESS, as beats drop in and out, tracks blend into other tracks, and a lighthearted spirit of sophisticated ecstasy prevails. The aforementioned "Pump It" slides flawlessly into the lively single "Don't Phunk with My Heart," and the stage for the album is set. Icons James Brown and Sting drop by, on the uncompromisingly funky "They Don't Want Music" and the reggae-soaked "Union," respectively, but they're just guests on board for the ride (along with Justin Timberlake, John Legend, and others), part of the musical mural. The Black Eyed Peas turned from underground favorites to hit-making performers on ELEPHUNK; this follow-up continues that upward progression.