The Black Eyed Peas...they're back, with all these singles and a new album on the way. Accompanying their songs are these awesome, "futuristic"-looking graphics and compositions (like a bee that has a circuit plug for a stinger). The first single, "Boom Boom Pow", really didn't grab me--that is, until I saw the video. The music video and song work really well together and I think I appreciate the song a little more now.
But there's something bugging me about this new branding. And I couldn't put my finger on it until now. While the "look" of BEP is so fresh and futuristic, edgy and poppin', their music sounds so "vintage", or retro to me. And sometimes it really clashes. Completely.
"Boom Boom Pow" was a good clash of the futuristic graphics and the music, since the song itself (with the weird "Let the beat rock" inserts) totally reminds me of the kind of stuff we were seeing and hearing around the turn of the century like the "What's It Gonna Be?" music video from Janet Jackson and Busta Rhymes. Metallic, futuristic, throwing stuff in audiences faces to say, "Look what we can do with computers now!".
But then "Alive", and now the latest single "Meet me Halfway"....Hm. "Alive" sounds like I'm hearing a mix of will.i.am's solo album mixes with 90's Elton John, and some Randy Bachman esque sounds but not even close to the awesomeness of those. Then it switches to the soundtrack from Disney World's Tomorrowland--which isn't horrible...it's kinda catchy. "Meet me Halfway"...the chorus is great, and reminds me of the 80s (Like "Love is a Battlefield" by Pat Benatar kind of stuff)...but everything else? Weird mixing in of low-sound voices. The jury's out on this song. I like it. But it doesn't sound like BEP at all. And perhaps it's not supposed to.
I just find BEP's musical styles to be all over the place so far, and I'm thinking that the visual branding of the band was never intended to sync up with what we end up hearing from them. It just leaves me confused, as my expectations are smashed to the ground and slight disappointment comes through. "Alive"? COME ON. Maybe this is all the record label's fault, and BEP is merely smiling through their own confusion and disappointment.
This listener is confuzzled, and is double-clicking on that new Royksopp track for now. And like Fergie tells me..."DRANK!"