Will.i.am gets personal, playful with style intact

It has been three years since the Black Eyed Peas’ last release, and six years since Will.i.am’s last solo effort, but the funky and stylish master of production has not skipped a beat. He has been keeping rather busy, producing for industry heavyweights like Nas, Talib Kweli, Common and fellow Pea-mate Fergie. However, Will is back with his autobiographical project Songs About Girls, which tells the story of his rise to celebrity and his rocky eight-year relationship with a former flame.

Songs About Girls kicks off with the melodic and jumping yet sullen “Over,” in which he recalls the break up. Will then goes on the rebound with the album’s single, “I Got It From My Mama,” in which Will tries a little to hard to make a club hit and ends up with a re-used concept over a boring melody. A few tracks later, “Get Your Money” boasts a bossa nova-styled beat behind Will’s playful lyrics about a stripper he has the pleasure of meeting. Toward the end of the album, he sings the melancholy and contemplative “Fantastic” about his past, his life at the present and the way he wishes things were. In the closing track of the album Will leaves us with a thoughtful message about our unconscious approach to saving the slowly-dying environment.
Any music fan can appreciate the musical and creative talent Will.i.am possesses and has shown to the world. Occasionally, when an artist takes such a long leave from solo projects and performs about subject matter so dear to him, the end result may not be exactly what he aimed for. That being said, Will.i.am is a consistently talented musician, singer and lyricist, and though his album may not be his personal best, it is undoubtedly one of the best of the year.

Daniel Buyanovsky may be contacted at d.buyanovsky@umiami.edu.