Monday, January 17th, 2011

Black Eyed Peas – The Time (Dirty Bit)

Do you remember when we used to review Yuck and The Vaccines? Man, I miss those days…


Katherine St Asaph: Wikipedia, defining “dirty bit“: “The cache tracks which of its locations have been written over and marks these locations as dirty… when those data are evicted from the cache, [there is] an effect referred to as a lazy write.”

Anthony Easton: There is nothing dirty about this, so I am not sure why the parenthetical statement, but I am also not quite sure what is going on — the ambition reminds me of an Escalade that is fully tricked out and insanely loaded. Why does it need those Tron blue running lights, why does it need five DVD screens, why does it need rims and black on black tires, and solid gold accents? It doesn’t, but hip hop rococo requires a cult of both one-upmanship and extreme orientation, and this is the ne plus ultra of at least pop hop rococo. One wonders what is left.

Doug Robertson: When they declare “dirty bit”, what they are basically saying is “There’s a good bit coming, honest” and, even though their self proclaimed “dirty bit” is pretty derivative and isn’t going to be troubling the environmental health agency any time soon, it does at least add a bit of interest to a song that is otherwise squarely targeted at the crowd who have taken the Black Eyed Peas to their hearts with the same enthusiasm they’ve shown for pink sparkly things with flashing lights and anything slightly rudely shaped.

Tom Ewing: A good rave record spoiled. Everything that makes this recognisably the Black Eyed Peas rather than, say, DJ Bass Yeti from Groningen — the rapping, and the slightly timid pace — lets it down. Everything else is good, including the basic idea and the guy going “RADIO MEGA” or whatever. Still unsure whether telegraphing your banging sections by going “Dirty bit!” is amazing or annoying or both. Let’s say both and mark accordingly.

John Seroff: This is utterly, irredeemably terrible.

Zach Lyon: Somewhere between unnecessary and repulsive: the former isn’t harsh enough and the latter makes it sound like it’s actually affecting in some way. I think I’ll go with inconvenient.

Chuck Eddy: I had to pull out my trusty Joel Whitburn book and look up who did “(I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life”; never been a real big Bill Medley and/or Jennifer Warnes fan, I’m afraid. Anyway, the hodgepodge here structurally reminds me of sundry Hi-NRG Euro trifles from decades past that, while forgettable, were at least Hi-NRG and Euro. Beyond that, I don’t get if “dirty bit” is meant to make us think “naughty bits,” “dirty bitch,” something pertaining to computers, or all three.

Pete Baran: So if the bit after they say “Dirty Bit” is the dirty bit, does that make the karaoke trudge through “(I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life” the clean bit? Cos that’s the bit that makes me feel dirty.

Jonathan Bogart: Somehow I’ve managed to miss the original in all these years and had to be told about the Dirty Dancing tie-in. But it doesn’t sound any different now that I know: Fergie’s chopped-and-spaced vocals and that rubbery arpeggiator are what I wanted from it, and what I get.

David Katz: If “I Gotta Feeling” played the role of curtain raiser to the night out, then “The Time (Dirty Bit)” shoots for its functional opposite: a space to bask in the pleasure of a great evening well spent. It masters the essentials of such a persona, and that Dirty Dancing chorus has never sounded better than against’s backdrop of vast ravy synths and autotune. Shame the Peas can’t sustain the drama and momentum of its canny sample; the track mutates into rote electro-squelch when it should promise a rousing crescendo.

Al Shipley: In “I Gotta Feeling” they made their own chart-topping cheeseball euphoria in the proud tradition of “(I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life,” so covering it outright feels kind of flat and on-the-nose, no matter how much silliness they smear on top of it.

Jer Fairall: Don’t they know that “I Gotta Feeling” already has a permanent spot in any wedding DJ’s lineup?

Martin Skidmore: I never liked “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life” in the first place, so a new version with added autotuning is of little interest to me. There is a nice grinding synth line, but really the bulk of this that isn’t the covered chorus is very forgettable.

Iain Mew: It’s amazing how quickly The Black Eyed Peas have gone from “Boom Boom Pow” sounding unique and exciting to sounding so tired and lazy. Not even being bothered coming up with their own retread chorus about having a good time is a new low.

Alfred Soto: The cuts and tempo shifts are exciting in themselves, but I don’t hear a song, and Mick Jagger and “-errrr” rhymes don’t count.

Kat Stevens: After staying at my best friend K’s house in 1994 I developed a severe rash and swelled up like a balloon. It was bad enough for the doctor to make a house visit and prescribe me some steroids (as well as some antibiotic cream for the mild acne covering my face, which to this day my confused mother remembers as being so hideous that I needed steroids for it. Scarred for life but not by acne, ho-ho!). We narrowed down the cause of the hives to my earlier consumption of cauliflower cheese at K’s — being a fussy eater, I had never eaten cauliflower before and had only done so on this occasion to be polite. However in retrospect (after accidentally imbibing the dread veg in several separate samosa incidents with no ill effects) I think it was actually a delayed reaction to the hideous Dirty Dancing marathon K had subjected me to two years earlier, on the first nervous occasion I visited her house. A Dirty Dancing ‘marathon’ involves watching the film not once but TWICE, the second time IN DANISH, WITHOUT SUBTITLES, then playing the soundtrack tape on repeat until bedtime. I was so anxious about making sure K would still be my friend and not turn out to be Jessie J in disguise that I couldn’t bring myself to complain or leave. Perhaps this was why everyone except K hated me, because I didn’t understand about Dirty Dancing? I had to stick it out, no matter how wretched it was. It seems inevitable that the build-up of repressed feelings that culminated in the Noxious Brassica Endurance Test of 1994 would end in a severe allergic reaction. Now, finally, I can have my revenge on that cauliflower: the Black Eyed Peas have shat all over the precious nostalgic daydreams of the people on my Facebook friends list who I’ve not spoken to for a decade, pummelling out the schmaltz and feeding the still-warm corpse of Patrick Swayze through a mincer. Every time I hear this song I pump my first in the air and give a firm schadenfreudic “YES!” and wonder whether self-proclaimed luddite K will ever bother signing up for Facebook. If she did, the first thing I’d ask her would be “are you horrified at the existence of “The Time (Dirty Bit)” or do you embrace it fully?”. My second question would be “what the hell sort of mental Danish recipe does your mum use for cauliflower cheese?”

3 Responses to “Black Eyed Peas – The Time (Dirty Bit)”

  1. kat wins.

  2. “…and not turn out to be Jessie J in disguise” — best thing so far this year.

  3. My first thought when hearing this song was “you would really, really have to hate “Time of My Life” to like this song.” And I was proven right!

    This is the Black Eyed Peas’ worst song. Worse than “Imma Be.” Worse than “My Humps.” I do not make that statement lightly.