The Black Eyed Peas

Elephunk [Bonus CD]

(CD - Warner Elektra Atlantic Corp. / A&M #986181)

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Nominally a rap group, in truth Black Eyed Peas call on so many forms of songwriting and production that slotting them into hip-hop is like slotting Prince into R&B -- technically true, but very limiting. Elephunk, the group's third straight winning LP, doesn't have top-notch rapping, but as driven by frontman Will.I.Am, it does possess some of the most boundary-pushing productions in contemporary, (mostly) uncommercial hip-hop -- right up at the level occupied by Common and OutKast. The smart, brassy opening club thump "Hands Up" hits another level with a sly bridge flaunting some heavy metallic slide guitar, while the highly pressurized love jam "Shut Up" features great interplay between Taboo and new member Fergie. Space doesn't allow for description of each track, but suffice to say any Will.I.Am track is going to feature loads of ideas and fresh sounds, not to mention plenty of stylistic changeups -- from the digital-step ragga of "Hey Mama" (featuring Tippa Irie) to the Latinized, loved-up "Latin Girls." Like a latter-day Digital Underground, Black Eyed Peas know how to get a party track moving, and add a crazy stupid rhyme or two ("bop your head like epilepsy" from the suitably titled "Let's Get Retarded"). [Elephunk also comes in an edition that includes a bonus CD.]

Track Listing - Disc 1

Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 3:35 SpotifyAmazon
2 3:58 SpotifyAmazon
3 3:35 SpotifyAmazon
4 3:34 SpotifyAmazon
5 4:56 SpotifyAmazon
6 5:04 SpotifyAmazon
7 6:17 SpotifyAmazon
8 4:43 SpotifyAmazon
9 3:35 SpotifyAmazon
10 5:12 SpotifyAmazon
11 2:54 SpotifyAmazon
12 3:38 SpotifyAmazon
13 8:28 SpotifyAmazon
14 SpotifyAmazon
blue highlight denotes track pick