ALBUM REVIEW: Black Eyed Peas – Translation

With the Black Eyed Peas back to their original line up made up of Will.i.am, apl.de.ap and Taboo, the dynamic hip-hop trio have taken a bold exploration into latin music for their eighth studio album. 

‘Translation’ is an experimental affair that will have you genuinely hooked from start to finish. Forever holding onto their hip-hop roots, they dive into this Latin influenced sonic in the same confident and passionate way they did with their electronic-pop exploration of ‘The E.N.D’ in 2009. 

Tastefully soaking in all of the key Latin elements, this fifteen track record feels like the ultimate celebration and an exciting representation of this genre while highlighting the successful modern day fusion it can have in commercial music. 

Lead single and opening track ‘RITMO (Bad Boys For Life)’ featuring J Balvin interpolates Corona’s classic hit ‘Rhythm Of The Night’ and immediately sets the bar high with each song bringing a heightened euphoric energy, along with an infectious rhythmic flow. 

‘Feel The Beat’, ‘Mamacita’, ‘Celebrate’, ‘Tonta Love’, and ‘Todo Bueno’ continue the high energy and euphoric hooks that will be stuck in your head immediately. But it’s the Shakira collaboration ‘Girl Like Me’ that instantly stands out. The rhythmic track is something you didn’t know you needed so badly in 2020. 

‘Vida Loca’ featuring Nicky Jam and Tyga is another unexpected banger that you won’t get out of your head. Interpolating ‘Super Freak’ by Rick James and ‘U Can’t Touch This’ by MC Hammer this is another song that could follow in the footsteps of ‘RITMO (Bad Boys For Life)’ and inject some nostalgia and a fresh wave of Latin vibes to commercial radio. 

Stepping away from the Latin sonic for one song, they close the record with the emotionally raw ‘News Today’ which hears them reflecting on the current COVID-19 pandemic. It’s a very personal and candidly raw way to close the album, and it’s very classic BEP with them relying solely on their powerful raps. 

“Did you watch the news today? Did you hear what they said? They say don’t worry folks, it’s all a hoax. The news is fake and it’s all a joke. The death toll’s rising with broken hopes. Now they got the cure and a antidote. Inject yourself with a bleach or soap. And a checks in the mail ’cause they know we’re broke” apl.de.ap spits during his verse. 

‘Translation’ is one of the Black Eyed Peas’ strongest and most cohesive records to date. It is also their most unexpected, and that’s why this album is so memorable. After a first listen you will want to press replay and hear it again because it’s such a fun collection that brings back the essence of the group you originally fell in love with on ‘Elephunk’ and ‘Monkey Business’.