A sequel of sorts to last year's 'The E.N.D.', 'The Beginning' sees the Peas expand on the electronic dance sound they explored on its predecessor. Sadly, it's not for the better, as the whole thing comes across as unoriginal, unimaginative and rarely even succeeds in delivering the kind of energizing Saturday night club tunes an album like this is designed for.

An unashamed party album, 'The Beginning' is all whirring, bending synths, monotone Auto-Tuned vocals and repetitive choruses. Some of the electronic sounds used are downright irritating, but not half as irritating as the choice of samples. The use of the chorus from the Dirty Dancing classic 'The Time Of My Life' (already one of the most overplayed songs in the history of music), blatantly takes advantage of the fact that people like what they already know. Yet its evils seem positively tame in comparison to the drivelling repetition of 'Love You Long Time' with its mindless lyrics endlessly circling above the backing track to KC and The Sunshine Band's 'Give It Up'. Sounds ridiculous doesn't it? And it is.

Of course, there's nothing wrong with being ridiculous, per se. Ridiculous is often a whole lot of fun, but the fun is sorely lacking on 'The Beginning'. Yes, Will.i.am is still strangely likeable and Fergie's vocals add range and versatility, but with songs that go nowhere, that's little consolation.