Too often when we hear a Black Eyed Peas song we feel like we're adrift in a sea of Velveeta without a tortilla chip to steer us. We can't help but like their singles -- they're ingeniously engineered to lodge themselves in your head -- but we also can't help but feel a bit lame for liking them.
But after hearing their new single, "The Time (Dirty Bit)," from the group's upcoming album The Beginning out on November 30, we're going on the record to say that we are truly impressed. Not only did they snag (and kill it on) the hook from one of the best/worst songs of all time -- the theme from Dirty Dancing -- but after the chorus, the song transmutes into a straight up downtown dirty house track. So straight up, in fact, that a few of the people we played it for last night asked, "This isn't the real song, right? This is a remix?" No, friends, this is not a remix. And that's why we're so impressed. will.i.am is pushing harder and further than any other mainstream producer right now and with songs like "The Time" (and let's face it -- "Boom Boom Pow"), he's helping to rough up the generic face of Top 40 radio and we applaud him for it.