Musical Moments: Techno/Synth Driven CDs: Black Eyed Peas END & La Roux
Lucky me, I often get into some serious music finds– and one of these music finds– is a connection to some amazing music courtesy of someone at Interscope whose generosity in providing an avalanche of music that I haven’t necessarily explored– or listened to in depth for any period of time. Some of these CDs I managed to score before they dropped and gave me a longer time frame to dive into the depths of the music and explore the waters of the genre, hip-hop with a techno-twist and synth-pop.
Black Eyed Peas THE E.N.D. (Energy Never Dies)
The END (Energy Never Dies) by Black Eyed Peas
This new CD from the “Peas” is a serious immersion and blending of pop, hip-hop, funk with techno presentation. Virtually every single song (save about 3 tunes: Showdown, Now Generation –a nod to Bono & U2 here– and Out of My Head) have a virtually seamless techno-funk driven theme. Each song blends and bleeds into the next with at most 2 beats before the next song kicks in. Rock That Body and Meet Me Halfway are the strongest of the songs.
Others that I like — I Gotta Feeling and Party All the Time — are really a reality check with a lifestyle that shows little depth but incredible superficiality– and maybe that’s the point. But that point will be lost in the dynamic musical backdrop that keeps the toes tapping and the hips moving. Fun to dance to– but no one’s going to get down into the lyrics and see the meaning and the emptiness of that lifestyle because it’s presented with delicious danceable rhythms.
I must be honest, this isn’t the Peas best effort. It’s a courageous exploration but this isn’t them. This is great party music, dance music that you would use during a party as a backdrop. Whatever is in the lyrics is rather empty and some of it is downright sad– because while the beat is hot and the bass is throbbing the lyrics are cold, sad or heartbroken.. showing the emptiness in various relationships and the dropped connection between people.. with nary a resolution. While a continuity exists in most songs because of the techno-pop presentation, it’s lightweight and carries little forward.
It’s incredibly danceable and fun to listen to as long as you don’t take it with any meaning because it’s as lightweight as a paper umbrella in a fancy cocktail. The three songs I felt stepped out of the techno box for the most part are alright but they are very similar in theme and presentation.
If you are a die-hard Black-Eyed Peas fan, you will love it– maybe. Would I recommend buying the entire CD? No… I would recommend buying the 2 songs that are getting major airplay and skipping the rest because it’s too repetitive.
Relative newbies, La Roux are a UK band who I had never heard of but has the most amazing cover with a lovely young woman (vocalist) on the cover. Labeled by NME as “The final word in the synth-pop generation”, this cd accomplishes what the Peas did not.
Heavy on the synth-pop, techno-trip thumping beat, the lead track ” In For The Kill” is really unusual and the lyrics are meaningful as she talks about the relationship as going in for the kill — whether or not she cares is meaningless, it’s the capture that is the goal for her. The variety of the presentation within this one song grabbed my attention.
Each song is unique in its presentation. While still presenting a synth tempo, there beats, tempos, even the key in which it’s played is different. You can see that in TigerLily . They switch out from the first section and then switch out to the chorus that I find really interesting. It’s almost salsa-like in feel.
Quicksand is good, but Bulletproof is even better with razor sharp lyrics that make it clear she’s not going to be shot down again.
The lyrics are sharp and biting. Her singing style oozes sensuality and sexuality. They are whip-smart in their presentation The songs actually say and mean something within the context of their music. They have depth, soul and anger– bitterness mixed with sex and desire.
While maybe not everyone’s cup of tea (or pint of Guiness), La Roux is a keeper and one that I would highly recommend for parties as well as the car. It makes interesting music and it speaks volumes — like an encyclopedia because their lyrics say something different every time.
My appreciation to Frank Hensley. (you rocked my world with music)
LA-Story Recessionista, Celebrity Stylescope, Celebrity Style Slam Trademark/Copyright: KBP Inc. 2007-09