Urban music is currently undergoing a street-fascination phase that it doesn't seem to be shaking anytime soon. R & B singers are posing as thugs and crooning about everything from pimpin' to babymaking and hell, rappers can't even battle each other without idle death threats being shouted out in every verse. Gone are the original elements that made the music so irresistible, including the fun factor - and Will.I.Am knows this. The Black Eyed Peas frontman took his act out of the underground to the limelight of TRL with a series of hip-pop tunes that annoyed many, attracted millions. On his third (yes, third) solo outing, the eclectic but talented producer/rapper/singer/ harnesses his creative forces to render the satisfying Songs About Girls, a florid blend of Pop, R & B, and Dance while keeping one finger on Hip-Hop's imperative pulse.

Songs About Girls is exactly what it claims to be: an album dedicated to the highs and lows endured during relationships. But with the numerous musical arrangements the album has to offer, rarely do we get a redundant moment. Leading off with the break-up narrative of "Over", the funky drum breaks hardly invoke any thoughts of sadness. On "She's A Star" Will chants "You be lightin' up my life/Light up my life/Light of my life...." over a dreamy midtempo jewel that highlights craftsmanship on the boards and in the booth. "I Got It From My Mama" and "The Donque Song" (featuring Snoop Dogg) equally showcase the flavor of the Peas' success with their crossover appeal that manage not to be overly corny. But its not all party & bullshit for this thespian. The most cohesive track arrives in the form of "S.O.S. (Mother Nature)" where Will makes his bid for chairman of the EPA. The subdued production allows the message to come in crystal clear with lyrical urgency such as "People killin'/people dying/people lying/people blind/people don't see the sign watching money all the time/get the pennies, get the dimes..."

Aside from the one or two moments where Will.I.Am has his dancing shoes on too tight, namely the flamboyant "Impatient," Songs... is a prime example of what creativity and the confidence to make music that doesn't follow trends with expiration dates will bring. By enlisting fellow producers Polow Da Don and Fernando Garibay to expand the sound, and keeping guests to the bare minimum, Will.I.Am scores a home run that's sure to please his existing fanbase, as well as add to its growth. But when he caters to the hood, his stock is likely to soar to unreachable heights. Until then, he still remains one of the most sought after producers in the business and Songs About Girls is a clear explanation why.

will.i.am's remix of "I Got It From My Mama"

"I Got It From My Mama" Video

For more information, visit http://will.i.am.