Rockin’! Sort of…
Hillary Brown: Is this where we are now, as a culture as well as musically? Are we really that into disco? The Peas reliably have their numerous fingers pretty well on the pulse of the American music public, so it must be either that we’re all attempting to Ecstasy (or Mountain Dew) our way out of our collective problems or that they’ve made a huge mistake. I vote the former.
Dave Moore: Starts off as some kinda homage to Katy Perry soundtracking a movie about accidentally getting married in Las Vegas (oh, Ryan Reynolds, what have you gotten yourself into this time?). Winds up boshing at gunpoint as they command us to have fun with the affected enthusiasm of a wedding DJ. Wait a sec — “Mazel tov! L’chaim!” Make that bar mitzvah DJ. Does that explain it? But…they’re partying through the Sabbath! No, no, this doesn’t add up at all…
Michaelangelo Matos: “Ch-ch-ch . . .” Damn it — I wanted him to go all the way and say “. . . Chia!” But really, if you’re going to arouse the inspiration of a nation of folks who wanna “Go out and smash it/Like oh my god/Jump off that sofa/Let’s kick it — hard/Fill up my cup (Drank!)/Mazel tov (L’chaim!)” — that’s really cute, guys — why set it to the most ear-spraining keyboard clonk this side of the Marc Acardipane catalog?
Talia Kraines: I was originally impressed at how much they’d ripped David Guetta off, but then realised it was actually his own production. How random. This is a big party song that could only make someone feeling very grumpy not get in the mood for some fun times. Mazeltov!
Anthony Easton: For the first time in pop music history, dancing may not be a metaphor for fucking.
Keane Tzong: “Tonight’s gonna be a good night”, will.i.am intones cheerfully over what can only be described as disco-karaoke-Journey (a positive for me; probably a negative for everyone else). He and the rest of the Black Eyed Peas spend the next four and a half minutes fulfilling this prophecy with a load of old shouting. It shouldn’t be brilliant, but it somehow manages to be a near-perfect mixture of utter thoughtlessness and the Peas’ unique brand of slavering, rabid dedication to “fun.” Never change, guys.
Al Shipley: As the song progresses, and my mind searches for comparison points for this weird amorphous piece of pop, it leaps from 808s & Heartbreak to clockwork Dr. Luke pop/rock to Smashmouth to ’90s techno pop. But eventually I stop overthinking it, and just give myself over to this great big brick of cheese and I’m soaring over a landscape of theme restaurants and mini-golf courses, drifting in a groove that’s somehow both melancholy and celebratory. I’m not sure yet, but I might be OK with this song owning the summer.
Edward Okulicz: More than mildly retarded pastiche of mid-90s radio pop with added repetitiveness, giving way to extremely unbecoming bosh rap which might have worked if Fergie’s asides didn’t sound as if she were heavily tranquilised in the studio.
Anthony Miccio: I didn’t think it was possible to make an emotional dance track too cheesy for me to adore, but…wow. That Fergie is still audible on the track makes will.i.am’s apparent desire to be Kelly Clarkson all the more ridiculous.
Rodney J. Greene: The Peas can’t decide whether they’re rocking the stadium or the club and drop something that might not be suitable for either. I imagine most dancing to this takes the form of intervals of graceless pogoing between longer segments of waiting for something to happen.
Chuck Eddy: Pre-game music to play while drying off after your shower, or driving to pick up your buddies. What’s weird is that the super-relaxed AutoTune part sounds more like something you’d listen to on the way home. Then there’s the endearingly unconvincing group chorus jumping off of sofas. And then Fergie, who really packs a punch in comparison. Like Omigod. Mazeltov. Live it up. Fill up my cup. Another hit; they totally have a gift for this dumb crap. But no “Boom Boom Pow.”
Tom Ewing: “Boom Boom Pow” was intriguing rubbish – a bunch of ideas in desperate search of a spine. This is as much of a lucky dip, but the Peas turn out to be really great at corny love-in power-pop. Not that that should surprise anyone – lest we forget, “Where Is The Love?” was similarly wide-eyed and soft-centred before everyone got sick of it. “I Gotta Feeling” will doubtless pall in the same way but right now it’s what, say, MGMT would sound like if they weren’t crippled by their own bad faith.
Alfred Soto: The guitar, which sounds like the Peas lifted it wholesale from a Franz Ferdinand song, is ear-catching, and Fergie seems never to have heard Katy Perry’s “Hot N Cold.” But this track spends too much time trying to generate a hysteria that neither the beats nor the vocals can support.
Jonathan Bradley: This aching new wave pulse is too gorgeous to be slathered with Fergie’s graceless shouts of “drank!”, as if her sorority were throwing one of those parties where all the white sisters pretend they’re ghetto. And yet, this tune is filled with such a fleeting joie de vivre, an exaltation of a moment passing even as it is cresting, that I can’t be too censorious of it.
Doug Robertson: Despite the fact that modesty isn’t a trait you would normally associate with the Peas, this is essentially a more ‘street’ and slightly less arrogant version of a Take That song, but where they declare it to be the greatest day, all that Fergie and friends can promise is a good night, and even then their lack of passion about it leaves you feeling that they’ll only be able to live up to that claim if they manage to keep enough money aside to pay for your bus fare home. That said, this more subtly vulnerable side, as opposed to Fergie’s solo “Look at me, I’m goddamn vulnerable!” style antics, is a lot more appealing, and, as this track builds and gets into its groove, you suddenly realise why they ever made it big in the first place.
John M. Cunningham: 
Martin Kavka: 
Ian Mathers: 
Alex Ostroff: 
Martin Skidmore: