Album Remarks & Appraisals:
The Beginning is the sixth studio album by American hip hop group The Black Eyed Peas. The album was released on November 26, 2010 by Universal Music. The lead single, "The Time (Dirty Bit)", was released on November 9, 2010. The album debuted at number six on theBillboard 200 chart, with first-week sales of 119,000 copies in the United States.
The album debuted at number six on the Billboard 200 chart, with first-week sales of 119,000 copies in the United States. It is their third album to chart inside the top ten, but their lowest charting album since Elephunk, which peaked at number 14 in 2003. In the United Kingdom, the album debuted at number 17 selling 34,006 copies. Normally, selling over 30,000 copies is enough to get an album into the Top 3 or even the top spot however, due the usual strong competition in the Autumn it failed to debut in the top ten however due to a performance on The X Factor it rose 8 places to number 9 and since spent 3 weeks in the top ten. In Canada, it debuted at number two selling 27,400 copies in its first week, being kept of the top spot by a margin of 200 copies behind Susan Boyle's The Gift. The album debuted at number one in France, selling 35,653 copies in its first week. It is The Black Eyed Peas' third consecutive number-one album in the country.
In Germany, the album debuted at No. 5 and started slowly to fall down. In its 3rd week, the album was at No. 9 but could jump to No. 7 the following week. Thanks to the success of the single The Time (Dirty Bit), the album rose from No. 7 to No. 2 in its fifth week, the album's peak position.
"The dramatic, internet-fuelled crash in record sales has done weird things to pop. In decades passed, a gigantic global hit like previous Black Eyed Peas album The E.N.D. would infuse the mastermind behind it with a megalomaniac confidence, leading him to make the next album into a self-indulgent art statement that would either be masterpiece or brazen folly. But times have changed, and the main thing that The Beginning reminds us is that William Adams, aka will.i.am, led a self-consciously right-on, Fugees-lite, version of The Black Eyed Peas for eight years before hiring a singing blonde and grabbing a hit with the bland platitudes of Where is the Love?.
Therefore, and presumably with fear of past failure never far away, Will and company have followed monstrous success with an album that sounds like 2009's Boom Boom Pow and I Gotta Feeling megahits got fed into a new software program that breaks songs into robot parts and reassembles them into infinite copies made slightly different by tiny details - a Chic sample here, a KC And The Sunshine Band melody there, a tweak of the ubiquitous auto-tuner everywhere. The Beginning is a depressing listen, not because the music's that bad, but because it implies that even the most successful pop producer on the planet can't afford to indulge in anything that might be construed as intelligent or interesting, lest the masses run away screaming in terror. It betrays a contempt for its audience, and disquietingly low levels of self-belief on the part of corporate American pop.
You want details? Okay. Twelve songs called things like Don't Stop the Party, Just Can't Get Enough and... Lord help us... Love You Long Time. Beats shamelessly purloined from five-year-old electro-house tunes. An entire lyric sheet consisting of lines about being in clubs cribbed from older, cooler records. Fergie increasingly reduced to an Auto-Tuned vocal effect. The bit from Dirty Dancing in pre-ordained chart hit The Time (Dirty Bit) which sounds like cheeky pop hooliganism until you listen to the album and realise that BEP are not being ironic. Dirty Dancing fits the audience demographic, pure and simple. And one suspects that if someone at the label told them that Black Lace and The Birdie Song were the nostalgic faves of American Idol fans, Will would be hooking those babies up to something The Chemical Brothers left in a skip before you could say, "But wasn't Boom Boom Pow actually quite brilliant?"" - BBC
"Last year's The End was, naturally, not at all the end for the hip-pop behemoth that is LA's Peas. They've made good on that album's acronymed boast ("The Energy Never Dies") with another record of big, obvious party tunes that are destined for sonic ubiquity over the next few months. There's nary an inch of non-AutoTuned vocal to be heard here, and far too many tracks are harried by a trigger-happy finger on the stutter-effect button. But that won't stop earworms as tenacious as "Love You Long Time"'s "Would you let me love you let me love you long time" from taking hold." -Guardian
Audio Mixer: Dylan Dresdow.
Recording information: Ethernet Studios, Los Angeles, CA; Germano Studios, New York, NY; Glenwood Place Studios, Burbank, CA; Ibiza, Spain; Ireland; metropolis Studios, London, England; Square Prod, Paris, France; the Record Plant, Hollywood, CA; The Stewchia, Los Feliz, CA; The Studio, Philadelphia, PA; Toronto, Canada; Venice, Italy.
Creator: Ianthe Zevos.
This two-disc set combines the Black Eyed Peas' 2010 album The Beginning (with bonus tracks added) with arguably the five best tracks from the group's 2009 album E.N.D. (Energy Never Dies) in a single package, essentially creating a "beginning/end" introduction to the group that should send most listeners straight to the dancefloor. ~ Steve Leggett
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