Interscope - 2003 - 59 minutes

The Black Eyed Peas represent the same pacifist/socially conscious hip-hop that A Tribe Called Quest had down to a tee. While ATCQ rode a minor wave of ubiquity, BEP have always just on the brink of making the break into the profitable hip-hop market. 'Elephunk' is their most commercial album to date but it's an awkward hotchpotch of styles that tries everything from R'n'B, Latin and ragga spins on hip-hop in an effort to hit the jackpot. If they hadn't spent so much time incorporating so many musical genres, the overall quality of the tracks might have been better.

Tracks like 'Let's Get Retarded', 'Shut Up' and 'Latin Girls' are poorly-executed pap and there are far too many female R'n'B backing vocals. Even drafting in hip-hop's golden boy Justin Timberlake for 'Where is the Love' can't save this. To be fair, there are some redeeming moments; 'Smells Like Funk' is a gettin' jiggy version of 'Putting on the Ritz' and 'Sexy' is probably only as good as it is because of co-writer Antonio Carlos Jobim.

BEP can't seem to decide what kind of hip-hop act they want to be - but they are capable of better than this.

Sinéad Gleeson

Tracklisting: Hands Up - Labor Day (It's a Holiday) - Let's Get Retarded - Hey Mama - Shut Up - Smells Like Funk - Latin Girls - Sexy - Fly Away - The Boogie That Be - The APL song - Anxiety - Where Is The Love