The Time (Dirty Bit) – Not Quite The Time of My Life

Normally I would be the first person to admit that I like the Black Eyed Peas.  My inner music snob groans at that, but I tend to tune him out more often than not.  I like their early-Fergie stuff like My Humps and whatnot.  I really like The E.N.D., and listen to it all the time.  It’s more electronic and less rap, and I really like that.  When I listen to the Peas, I know that I’m gonna have a good time.

And I really like their new song, for reasons I’ve already discussed here.  But this is about the music video.  And to be frank, I don’t like it.

If you haven’t seen it, basically it starts with Will.I.Am singing, and becoming digitized.  Like pixellated.  Throughout the video, various dancing hotties and band members begin normal, and then become pixellated.   Interspersed throughout the drunken rave are scenes of Will.I.Am using a Blackberry version of an iPad to film Chibi versions of the Peas that aren’t there.  And that’s about that.

So on one level, I guess I like it.  Like I said, I come to the Peas for a fun time.  This is a fun song, with some sweet dance moves and people having a generally good time.  So that’s fun.  But if that’s the whole point, why do all the digitalizing and stuff?  It feels like they’re trying to say something (as they often do) but I’m not sure what it is.

My theory as to what they’re saying is as follows.  Throughout the song, the vocals become increasingly synthesiszed.  Throughout the video, the people become increasingly synthesized.

So is this just a statement about the futuristic times we live in?  That we are advancing technologically to the point where we have iPads that can do just about anything?  It wouldn’t be the first time their theme has been about the future.

Or is it a satire?  A criticism of our culture.  That musically we have become increasingly dependent on AutoTune?  That our celebrities are reduced to some sort of caricature of themselves?  That we are so over-saturated with technology that we literally vomit it all over the dance floor?  And that classic 80s cheesefest songs are exploited at an alarming rate?

I’d like to hope that they’re making the second argument, but who knows?

So at the end of the day, I like the song a lot.  The video isn’t my fave, but it’s got some cool dance moves in it, and if I can just turn my brain off, it’s fine.


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