For a group so often dismissed for playing crowd-sourced pop, the Black Eyed Peas sure pack a lot of styles. Take any one of their songs, and you'll likely hear three or four different things going on at once. The Peas' sixth album, The Beginning, is less rooted in funk than last year's global smash The E.N.D., so it's not nearly as much fun. Plus, some of the samples this time are straight-up groaners: "The Time" grabs one from Dirty Dancing, and "Love You Long Time" appropriates the oft-used Full Metal Jacket line. Fergie's sighed robotics in "Fashion Beats" and "XOXOXO" make The Beginning the Black Eyed Peas' most Eurodance album. But will.i.am's lyrics are as barren as you'd expect from songs like "Don't Stop the Party" and "Play It Loud" — even if the group does get to rhyme "pretzel," "Tiesto," "techno," and "klepto" at one point. Party on. — Dan Weiss
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