A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
One of the most charming qualities of the Black Eyed Peas' last album, Elephunk, was its joyfully simplistic message of inclusiveness and world peace. With musical freshness and originality, the whole album seemed to shout out, \"Hey, look at us! We can be political AND have a party!\" If you were hoping for more of the same on MONKEY BUSINESS, you're likely to be disappointed. The music still sparkles, the performances are terrific, the cameos (James Brown, Sting, and Justin Timberlake) are inspired, but forget all that gooey peace-and-love stuff. The party has moved on to sex, drugs, and even some violence. Even in a genre where musical sampling is de rigueur, Monkey Business is notable for its lack of originality.
Is it any good?
If your family's comfort level includes tolerance of explicit lyrics, you might make a game of identifying the all-too-obvious musical influences on each song. You won't find a track on the CD where they're not pretty obvious, so it'll be easy and fun. There are some high points, of course. All of the performances are spectacular; the bubbling "Pump It" pays delightful tribute to surf guitar king Dick Dale's "Miserlou"; and how can you ever go wrong with James Brown? It's party fun, but nothing more.