Tag Archives: black eyed peas

Video Saved the Radio Song: The Black Eyed Peas Take the Lead of the Top 40

4 Apr

What, no whipped cream ejaculating bras? The Black Eyed Peas lesson us in how to make an average song a hit via video

Before it was overloaded with shows about pregnant teenage girls, we wanted our MTV. And we got it. I don’t want to bore you with the familiar phrases about how Michael Jackson’s Thriller revolutionized the music industry but it was once more of a force than it is today. Its effect can also still be felt today. Music videos are ubiquitous, every advertisement acts like a miniature music video and celebrities launch whole campaigns for a few minutes of headline-grabbing video. Think Lady Gaga, think elaborate stunts as Katy Perry’s website has been ‘abducted’ in anticipation for her latest video with Kanye West.

What I’ve found with the rise of videos is their ability to change my opinion on a song. The Black Eyed Peas are a prime example of this. I’ve often found their creativity fascinating, even if it doesn’t always hit the mark as I said in my article about the UK Top 40. They’ve often proved themselves to be ambitious performers, and I don’t think you can deny that they have a certain visual panache. And often, this visual style really sways me on a song. To wit, their 2009 hit I Gotta Feeling was, I thought, a pretty solid single. It had a great introduction, an anthemic chorus and an uplifting if not wildly original message: partying is good. What really hooked me to their song was the video. Like Adidas‘ advertisement, they portrayed a party I really wanted to go to. Not the tacky, sunglasses and coloured cocktail-d parties that popular music normally shows but a cool one. With rave paint. And girls with laptops. And a vandalising miniature bicycle. Take a look by clicking here and tell me you don’t want to be on the guestlist.

Whilst we’re on the topic of I Gotta Feeling, I’d like to say how it perfectly encapsulates everything about a night out. The excited, slow-motion of getting ready. The slightly nervous, joking journey to the party. The alcohol-infused, ear-busting hours of dancing. The hour of coming down in the garden outside. It’s all there. And it’s done with the same style that Kingsley Shacklebolt praised Dumbledore for his dramatic, phoenix-centred exit in Harry Potter. Such ability to refer to Harry Potter is probably why I’m not on a plus one to these parties more often.

I Gotta Feeling you're gunna buy this one: The Black Eyed Peas sell their party-ready lifestyle in their new video for 'Just Can't Get Enough.'

Moving on, we reach the Black Eyed Peas’ latest foray into hit singles. It’s called Just Can’t Get Enough. It’s fun, Fergie sounds nice in it and it’s already in my head. What’s really great about the record though is the video. Take a watch by clicking here, and then we’ll discuss:

Despite a reference to a pseudo-intellectual and often-dull film (like, Inception is sooo many mindfucks ago, Will!) I’m very fond of the video. Although it’s full of flashing and beeping, it has an oddly wistful atmosphere. There’s the meaningful camera shot of aeroplane time tables. Meaningful shots of trains zooming by. Meaningful shots of Fergie in nothing but a shirt, meaningfully looking out over Tokyo. Now, that may make me sound like I’m mocking the video but I’m not. Like most popular music, I’m buying into something where my tongue remains superglued into my cheek. It’s a lifestyle we want to buy into, where everyone’s goodlooking, everyone wears sunglasses and everyone has a drink in their hand.

So that’s that. My first ( and probably last public) ode to The Black Eyed Peas and their videos. I’d loved to hear your guys’ opinions on the subject and how you view an upcoming video release. Do you shudder at the thought of Lady Gaga’s next ouvre or do you relish the twitter traffic caused? Also, as much as I love I Gotta Feeling and Just Can’t Get Enough, they’re by no means my favourite music videos. That’s going to be another article. Until then, happy listening.