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Album Review | POP

will.i.am, ‘#willpower’

Say what you will about will.i.am, he has a knack for crafting earworm tracks that are impossible to shake, in part because of their ubiquity, but also his ingenious pop-craftsmanship (and, here, nearly every hit-maker in the game). Even flaccid stabs at returning to the “I Gotta Feeling” territory like “Hello” are stacked with hooks. Which isn’t to say it’s an enjoyable song, just admirable. Better is “This Is Love,” a trance track featuring Eva Simons with detours into hip-hop and pop club diva melodrama. Chris Brown’s vocal on “Let’s Go” makes for an exuberant banger, with will.i.am breaking up the momentum in his typical retro backpacker cadence and the type of synth-hook that will be endlessly remixed. It’s a focus-group approach to constructing a hit, only topped on the remix version of “Scream & Shout” with Diddy, Hit-Boy, Lil Wayne, and Waka Flocka Flame to cover as many fan bases as possible. The creeping track captures one of Britney Spears’s most memorably detached and charismatic takes in years. As intended, there’s a little something for everyone. (Out Tuesday)


ESSENTIAL “Let’s Go”

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