The Black Eyed Peas occupy a curious position: They're a bit too polished and video-friendly to be street heroes, but they're too weird for urban radio. The Peas manage to move in both directions on "Bridging the Gap." Underground heads and mix-show DJs will be pleased with the Premier-produced "BEP Empire" and the trio's lyrical criticisms of materialistic, hollow rappers on "Bringing It Back" -- yet this album is even more accessible than their first.
Although they don't always follow their own advice ("Get Original"), the music for the most part is impressive. Live instrumentation brings a dense, organic feel, with breaks and tempo changes. While they do have shortcomings as MCs, the Peas' musical excellence makes for an enjoyable listening experience. Fans of Dilated Peoples and Macy Gray will find "Gap" a solid joint.
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