Sunday, September 23rd, 2018

National Review: #willpower by will.i.am

Posted on April 29, 2013 in Album Reviews, Arts & Culture
By Sam Hill

Let’s just say that will.i.am’s fourth solo album #willpower will never be trending on Twitter, despite its not-so-subtle marketing scheme of the album’s title.

You’d think after founding the Black Eyed Peas, releasing three previous solo albums, winning seven Grammy Awards and being given the position of creative director of innovation at Intel Corporation that will.i.am could make some good, interesting music, but he can’t seem to do it in this album.

#willpower is simply a collection of bass dropping, electropop club tracks, laden with Auto-tune and recycled drum tracks. It’s the perfect album to throw on if you’re hosting a party, have a boring, narrow taste in dance music and everyone is already blackout drunk when they arrive. The world needs music like this, yes, but that’s what we have masked 14-year-old boys with a cracked version of Fruity Loops and a Youtube account for.

Want to know what songs you should check out? Just look for whatever Top 40 pop star you’re already in love with and listen to whichever song they’re on. will.i.am packed this album with a star-studded team to guarantee it’d stay on the charts while he goes back to being a judge on The Voice. #willpower features Britney Spears, Miley Cyrus, Chris Brown and Justin Bieber. Needless to say, these songs will make up the majority of the next Now That’s What I Call Music compilation. There are 13 featured artists on 18 tracks. It’s almost as if he was trying to disguise how bad this album was with hot artists.

On top of that, the lyrics are absolutely laughable. It’d be more enjoyable to listen to the album not knowing English than to hear will.i.am rapping or singing about how “tonight is the night” or drinking too much at a rave. The album’s opening track “Good Morning” is actually really interesting. “When life gets tough, remember we were never born to die” sings will.i.am over a soft ambient synth, “Good morning, wake up and live the life / And don’t forget to dream the dreams.” And after you wake up, you’re apparently supposed to spend all day in the club. It’s an interesting introduction but the rest of the album fails to follow through.

If you’re looking for some impersonal escapist fun to get drunk to over the summer, will.i.am is your man. But if you’re looking for something meaningful, don’t think twice about this album. Don’t even make a joke about his name or Twitter. Trust me, it won’t end well.

As sucessful as will.i.am has become, I think we all need to remember that he made one of his first paychecks off a song titled “Let’s Get Retarded.” Think about it. I’m looking at you, Intel.

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