Throwback Thursday: “The E.N.D.” by Black Eyed Peas

This album was released in 2009. I still have a magazine from that year that features an ad for it. Get this: the ad says you can buy the CD at Target! What a time capsule. I definitely remember when buying CDs was still a thing and how exciting it was to take that plastic film off the case before you could listen to it.

Aside from showing my age, the album itself is still really fun to listen to. It’s got that tight proto-EDM feel that was big back then. Each beat is solid, steady; this comes across particularly well in album opener “Boom Boom Pow.” Those beats flow smoothly across the rest of The E.N.D. That said, “Imma Be” is the weakest of the singles in my opinion – even back then I thought so. I remember talking to friends about the song when it came out, and we all thought that it just sounded weird. The lyrics aren’t exactly meaningless, but the rap-style bragging is conveyed without much feeling.

But speaking of feeling: the best song on the entire album has to be “I Gotta Feeling.” All these years later, it still makes me want to get up and dance. That iconic beat is so joyful. Its lyrics are all about celebrating, and so you want to celebrate, too. I also love when Fergie says “Drank!” It’s silly in the best way and captures the spirit of a great party. After all: “I gotta feeling/That tonight’s gonna be a good night.”

The other hallmark of this album is vocal distortion. “Meet Me Halfway” is where this stands out the most. Somehow it actually fits the emotion of the song and the desperation of wanting to be with someone, despite the distance. Indeed, that song is one of the more “serious” songs on The E.N.D. in general. The rest, such as “Rock That Body” and “Party All the Time,” are more about going out and having fun. Even pop albums need something to ground them every once in awhile.

Immerse yourself in the nostalgia:

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