The Black Eyed Peas, "The Time (The Dirty Bit)"

63 Billboard Rating

"Dirty Dancing" meets Auto-Tune on the Black Eyed Peas' first offering from "The Beginning," the follow-up to the group's massive 2009 set, "The E.N.D." The latter's lead single, the positively bizarre and chorus-less "Boom Boom Pow," spent 12 weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100, so it's no wonder will.i.am feels empowered to take fans on a five-minute journey more splintered and cyborgian, whooshing and weird, than ever. His tag-team dynamic with Fergie is replicated here: he implores the crowd to "lose control," while she spouts vaguely hip-hop-inspired lyrics: "I didn't come to get bougie/I came here to get crazy." The borrowed lyrics and melody of "(I've Had) The Time of My Life," meanwhile, serve as the song's only deep breath amid all the sonic compression. Both alien-sounding and bound to be played at weddings everywhere, "The Time" is yet another marker of the Peas' digital evolution - it's their party, and we're just invited.

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