Tag Archives: Black Eyed Peas

Awesome Albums of 2020 Top 13-1

17 Dec


Black Eyed Peas (8 awesome; 3 good; 1 ok; 2 meh; 1 dislike of 15 = 

53.3% awesome; 

20% good; 

Awesome good avg = 36.65%

80% OK & up; 

6.7% dislike

Awesome – dislike =

46.6% awesome

Awesome good avg – dislike =



Every song could just blend together on this album.  The theme is perfectly executed, where the individual songs can hold up on their own, but the album could be played and the listener might never know when one song ended and the next began.

At one point, I thought Translation would be my winning album of the year.  I decided to weight dislikes heavily though–b/c it takes a LOT for me to not like a song at all.  And I just can’t get behind using the word “bitch” to convey someone you don’t like or respect.  And it pains me to mark down Will I Am because I think he does have a good heart (he is my VERY favorite episome of Songland because he was so nice and fair and awesome), but I can’t get behind that one song…


Taylor Swift (6 Awesome; 7 good; 2 ok; 1 meh; 1 dislike of 17 = 

35.3% Awesome; 

43.8% good; 

avg awesome/good is 39.6%; 

88.2% ok & up. 

Dislike = 5.9%

Awesome – dislike = 29.4%

Awesome good avg – dislike = 33.7%


What a good album–it’s an understatement.  Taylor Swift again shows her dexterity as a writer and performer.  She really can do anything!  Do I like Dream-Pop?  Absolutely not.  But I like Taylor, she’s a sentimental favorite of mine, and I can appreciate what she’s done here.  This album’s strongest feature was the layered writing, which embedded so much information, that it drove multiple listens–genius.  Folklore is most definitely the most lyrically-robust album of the year.  Like Apple’s work, Taylor shows she has a keen knack for saying, showing, and musically burying meanings everywhere.  Just don’t call folklore “Alternative” IT IS NOT IN THE ALTERNATIVE GENRE.  This is most definitely an attempt at dream pop like Lorde and an inspiration to Taylor, Lana del Ray.  But more hooks and catchiness.  Taylor can’t help but to write earworms.  It’s a good departure and makes me excited for whatever is going to follow.

This album was also heavily penalized for a poorly written (in my opinion) hastily added song.  I expect more from a writer of Taylor’s caliber.  She could easily write a hundred better Covid songs, and she should have.  There’s really no excuse for just throwing a song on an album.


Lauren Alaina 

Getting Good (2 awesome; 2 good; 2 ok; meh; dislike of 6 = 

33% awesome

33% good

Awesome good avg = 33.3%

100% OK & up)


I never knew given the choice between some drinking break-up album and a more traditional country good-girl album, that I would prefer the latter.  But in this case I did.  I felt like the Getting Over Him wasn’t very authentic for Alaina.  I suggest she #1, just combine into an album in the future.  #2, stay true to herself, because without even knowing there was a choice I gravitated to her more true story.


Kenny Chesney  (4 awesome;6 good;2 ok; meh; dislike of  12= 

33.3% awesome;

50% good; 

Awesome good avg = 41.65%

100% OK and up)


It feels to me like Chesney knows the exact combination of elements to make a winning record.  And he’s combined them (as he always has) to make a good record.  What I’m not getting, is a lot of genuineness, authenticity, or enthusiasm for making music.  It all seems very detached and formulaic.  Also, this party guy is wearing thin, and feels a bit disingenuous to me.  I’d like to see an album with more introspective, that I can tell Chesney feels.


Brothers Osborne (4 aweseome 2 good 1 ok 3 meh OF 11 = 

36.4% awesome; 

18% good) =

Avg of awesome and good = 



The album takes a sharp turn on song 5.  It goes from trite, bro-party country to something better.  I wish they would cut out the first 4 songs, actually–it’s that much of a change.  


Green Day (4 awesome; 4 ok  of 10 = 

40% awesome; 

Awesome & OK avg =

60% good

80% ok & up)


I think this album utilized the piano better than some of their past works.  And that fast pounding on it, does a lot to increase excitement.  There is also a James Dean sort of 1950s enthusiastic rebel sound that’s still punk-pop, but a little retro.


Indigo girls (4 awesome;  4 good;  3 ok;  meh; dislike of 11 = 

36.3% awesome; 

36.3% good; 

Avg of awesome & good  =


100% OK and up.)


Selena Gomez  (7 awesome; 6 good; 4 ok; meh; dislike of 17  = 

41.2% awesome; 

35.3% good;  

Awesome good avg = 38.25%

100% Ok & up)


Does it feel personal to anyone else that Bieber got 4 Grammy nominations for an unpopular album, full of derivative lyrics, and Selena was snubbed?  Like, she calls him out in this album, this solid, good album.  But he gets the noms and she doesn’t?  It doesn’t make sense to me.  Unless politics and or money were involved…


The [Dixie] Chicks (5 awesome; 5 good; 1 OK; 1 meh; dislike of 12

41.7% Awesome; 

41.7% Good; 

Awesome good avg = 41.7%;

91.7% OK & up)

Grammy nominations proved that The Chicks still aren’t off the blacklist. Which is ridiculous considering the political polarization, and mainstreaming of talking $hit about the top politicians. And the Shit-Show that is Trump. The music industry should be groveling at their feet. And fans should be telling them they suffered from being ahead of their time. But here we are, back in hypocrisy-land.


Dua Lipa 5 awesome; 3 good; 1 OK; 2 meh of 11 =

45.5% awesome; 

17.3% good

Awesome good avg = 31.4%

81.1% OK & up)

The album reminds me a little of the ‘Bring It On’ Soundtrack.  Nothing ground-breaking here, but a fun listen all the same.  There are glimmers of potential on this album.  And when Dua Lipa embraces her own voice, that’s where things go right.  This artist reminds me of a hybrid between Katy Perry’s California-girl lite pop and 1980’s vanilla, Debbie Gibson. And too often she veers into the easy, superficial sound rather that challenging the status quo of pop. 


Aloe Blacc (8 awesome; 1 good; 1 ok; meh; dislike of 10 = 

80% awesome; 

10% good; 

Awesome good avg = 45% 

100% Ok and up)


Overall, a very strong album.. Each song builds on the last, and it fits a cohesive theme.  I’ve heard Blacc use his voice more and would have liked to see more low and super-high notes, but it still left me with a lot of feeling.


Fiona Apple (all good–heavy intellectual = 100%)

(8 awesome; 4 good; 1 ok; meh; dislike of 13 = 

61.5% awesome; 

30.8% good 

Awesome good avg = 46.15%

100% OK and up


I initially was happy to see Fiona Apple releasing music again, because it’s been a long drought, and she’s historically an artist I like.  And on first listen to the album, I could see there was a lot going on and it should be good.  Do I like to listen to it the most?  No. Do I think Apple had the most technically sound and spectacular album of 2020?  Yes.  I think she deserves album of the year Grammy.  But Apple doesn’t just hand it to you.  You have to work to understand and appreciate Fetch the Bolt Cutters.  And it’s also intentionally not that sweet and pretty and pleasing to the ear.  Apple has made known she can sing beautifully, and play piano with virtuosity, but here she chooses not to.  So it’s a little work to listen.  But also a cerebral masterpiece.  Smartest work of 2020–and that’s saying a lot with folklore on the scene.


Kesha (14 awesome, 2 OK of 16 = 

87.5% awesome; 

Awesome + ok avg = 

93.75% good

100% OK and up)


Black Eyed Peas: Translation Album Review

15 Dec

RITMO:  Takes a sample of an old favorite and twists it.  Spanish. “Do it like whomp there it is” it’s  such a good reference.  Takes a lyric from the same early ‘90s time period of the sample.

FEEL THE BEAT:  I’m not familiar with the sample song on this one, but it’s also got some Spanish language as part of a modern twist.  Socially, I like the addition of Spanish even though I can’t understand any of it (bad Arizonan) because ‘Hispanic’ is the fastest growing demographic in the U.S.. I like the rap breakdown.  I like all the references, like J-Lo and grande that just take you back to the 1990s.

MAMCITA:  Good beat on this one.  The Spanish portion is fun to listen to, and dancy and sexy even with the language barrier.  The female parts are empowered and fun, not to mention an ear-worm.  More interesting word play, which is really smart.  “Sweat like wasabi” and “wet like tsunami” are two examples of smart writing.

GIRL LIKE ME:  Possibly the catchiest bit on the album is Sharkira’s wail on the “eye-e-eye”.  I like how the lyrics are very complimentary toward Shakira.  I like the check-ins of different types of Hispanics (what’s the correct term now, I read nobody really likes “LatinX” except Latin-trans).  With Selena’s name called out.

VIDA LOCA:  Everyone who lived in the 1990s knows this beat, and it’s sentimental and catchy simultaneously.  Also, taking some Ricky Martin lyrics for this cements the throw-back.  I do NOT, however like the, “it’s my life Bitch” peppered frequently throughout.  Whether it regards a female or not, “bitch” is a derogatory term for women, historically (or used to emasculate a man) and it drops the whole album a level for me.  It could have been anything different and still conveyed the point they’re trying to make.

NO MANANA:  I don’t really know the difference musically between all the different Latin groups.  This one reminds me of a Miami club though, very dancy.  The rap interludes strengthen the song.  And the distortion and slow downs are interesting.  The driving beat lends to the club feel.

TONTA LOVE:  There is not enough female rapping in music, so i like this.  It’s still soft-clubbing, but with a dreamy element that sets it apart.  The “la la la” “fa la la” and “cha cha cha” are effective attention-getting devices used to emphasize, and complete phrases.

CELEBRATE:  I’m pretty sure the sample song is a Gloria Estafan song, but there might be a 2nd sampled instrumental piece.  And here is some Spanish I can understand.  That vamenos andale` andale` is something Speedy Gonzonlaz would routinely say on Looney Tunes, so I can gather what the lyrics mean.  Not that it has precluded enjoyment of the album to not get the Spanish translations.

TODO BUENO:  If there is a weak song on the album, it’s this one so far.  I don’t know if listening-fatigue set in or if it says the same thing too many times, but I tuned out a little on this track.  I do like the extended rap portion.

DURO HARD:  An explicit song.  Too incessant.  Needs more lyrics.

MABUTI:  The sample is insanely catchy.  I like the car speeding noises and auto-tune for a millennial audience.  This is one of the songs that works best when updated and given a Spanish-language flair.  

I WOKE UP:  I like the name checks for the NBA players.  There’s the weed verse.  There’s the wealthy celeb verse. But it’s way too many repetitions of one phrase–to the point of annoyance.

GET LOOSE NOW:  The repetition is used to effect.  Hand claps and snaps give this song a street feel.  When they get faster, it increases the tension in the song.  It’s a simple word play (vs. singing, or even rapping) which goes with the sample “ooo yay”.

ACTION:  The trills and vocal snare ( tah tah tah tah tah) aren’t overdone as they usually are in songs.  The rap section is riveting, because there are references sprinkled throughout.  There are a lot of vocal (onnawannapias?) in this one that remind the listener of other songs that had that sound.  I think it’s another interesting way to reference other material, aside from sampling the song, saying those lyrics, mentioning pop culture from that time period.  This album features all of that, so it’s very inventive they can take it a step further.

NEWS TODAY:  A Covid-19 song was tacked on to the end of a finished album.  It doesn’t go with the rest, which is very homogeneous.  Though, I can tell the song was stuck in, it’s a nice ballad, with relevant lyrics, and it’s timely.  It would have been nice to seperate it in some manner, like making it a secret song–which WOULD have gone with the theme of this album.  The 1990s were full of secret tracks.  There also could have been a voice memo telling the listener, this wasn’t really part of the album, but the band felt it was imperative to include it, because–2020.  I’ll just imagine that was there…

Every song could just blend together on this album.  The theme is perfectly executed, where the individual songs can hold up on their own, but the album could be played and the listener might never know when one song ended and the next began.