The Bottom Line
I'm not sure there is any particular significant meaning to be attached to the Black Eyed Peas first single from the album The Beginning, but it does sound like they are having a whole lot of fun, and that probably is the point. Stutter and echo effects welded to one of the most instantly recognizable songs of the late 1980s played out over a skeletal electronic dance beat is all likely to stick in your mind, and this does. Black Eyed Peas songs are not to be judged on their depth. They are best judged on how they make you feel, and "The Time (Dirty Bit)" does make me feel good.
- Clever use of echo and stutter
- Fergie's singing
- Atmosphere of pure fun
- Patchwork approach leaning on past hits
- Written by William Adams, Allan Pineda, Damien LeRoy, Franke Previte,John De Nicola, and Donald Markowitz
- Produced by will.i.am and DJ Ammo
- Released November 2010 by Interscope
Guide Review - Black Eyed Peas - "The Time (Dirty Bit)"
It all kicks off in literal fashion with a tick tock synth figure for a song called "The Time," and that voice telling us this is an, "international big mega radio smasher." will.i.am weighs in with his auto tuned reading of Bill Medley's part from the Dirty Dancing smash "(I've Had) The Time Of My Life" followed by Fergie showing once again she really can sing. 45 seconds in, and I already have a big smile on my face. Fergie's vocals land in an electronic echo box and then we are launched directly into club land with the "dirty bit" section.
None of this is likely to work in the hands of any other contemporary pop artist. However, "The Time (Dirty Bit)" is pure Black Eyed Peas. That means it can be tremendously goofy and still somehow work well. I can see millions of memories of the Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes schmaltz on the original "(I've Had) The Time Of My Life" being wiped away by Fergie's electronic stutters, "I..I..I..I've had the time of my li..i..ife." Sure there are patchwork moments not so subtly borrowed from the success of "I've Gotta Feeling," but is it fun? The answer would be yes.
The best news here is Black Eyed Peas are back and moving forward sacrificing nothing about what makes them truly unique. They pursue a truly idiosyncratic pop sound and aesthetic that could not be remotely mistaken for anyone else. The dizzying success that allowed them to own the #1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 for six consecutive months is unlikely to be repeated here, but "The Time (Dirty Bit)" is a guaranteed hit. Surrender...it's simply meant to be fun.