will.i.am - Songs About Girls
Tue 9th Oct, 2007 Music Reviews 1164 viewsin
will.i.am is the driving force behind the award-winning, multi-platinum pop sensation, The Black Eyed Peas. Having collaborated with Justin Timberlake, Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, The Pussycat Dolls, Carlos Santana, Talib Kweli, John Legend, Mary J. Blige, Macy Gray, Puff Daddy and fellow Black Eyed Pea, Fergie, will.i.am has established himself as a producer extraordinaire and created an institution specializing in pop, hip hop, urban and rnb. He even takes soundtrack credits for Will Smith’s Hollywood blockbuster Hitch and recently took to the silver screen in Freedom Writers. As you can tell from his rather impressive repertoire, will.i.am has developed into a highly revered, highly sought-after producer while he doubles as a musician and triples as a rapper. Taking a step aside from his work with The Black Eyed Peas, it’s now will’s time to shine. Just to set the record straight: The Black Eyed Peas are not breaking up. With his solo venture, Songs About Girls on record store shelves, Will explains, “it was just really important for me to try something out on my own, with my own artistry and imagination.”
A musically adventurous endeavor, Songs About Girls stems solely from the brain of will.i.am. While on the surface it could be read is as an ode to the fairer sex, Songs About Girls is actually inspired by a single longtime romance. A concept album, it documents Will’s personal evolution as it follows the story of a burgeoning producer who meets and falls in love with a girl. That producer then gets led astray by the temptations of fame and lust, and ends up losing his girlfriend after a heart wrenching, seven year relationship. Serving as therapy for Will, he pulls on your heart strings and touches upon a variety of issues pertinent to all relationships. He is frank, upfront and leaves little to the imagination as he openly puts his heart on the line rapping and singing to the beat of his own drum.
Scoring his personal narrative is a vibrant soundtrack drawn from a number of different influences, ranging from European club sounds and house music to old-skool soul and Brazilian baile funk. This isn’t your typical BEP sound, but rather a bold digression away from Will’s comfort zone and into unknown musical territory. The result? will.i.am’s specialty: contagious pop at its finest. From the piano-driven Over, synth-driven She’s a Star, summery, Jamiroquai-esque Impatient, tropical One More Chance, stabbing guitar and rhythmic drums of Fly Girl and drawn out synth of Heartbreaker, each track sticks in your mind like bees to honey.
Set to a club-like electronic bounce, lead single I Got it From My Mamma is a funky little number dedicated to the beauty of the female form. Get Your Money would sound right at home in a New York club circa 1978, with its banjo-strumming, electro-punk upbeat swing. The Donque Song is an electroclash joint featuring Snoop Dogg – the only big name guest spot to grace Songs About Girls. While Snoop adds his signature G-funk quality, he certainly isn’t experiencing his customary kind of high. Invisible switches things up a little with a refreshing acoustic guitar while Make it Funky features distinctly M.I.A.-esque horns. will deviates from the album’s central theme with S.O.S. (Mother Nature) as he lists the world’s ills over a dramatic grand piano backed beat.
Songs About Girls is slightly repetitive. The subject matter does tend to get a little tedious while the use of synths and vocoders also gets a little tiresome. Will consistently uses the same formula track after track but funnily enough it works. That’s pop music for you! Perfect for your twelve year old sister.