Monkey Business

For 2003's multiplatinum Elephunk, the Black Eyed Peas recruited sexy crooner Fergie and ditched ponderous rhymes in favor of smooth hooks, transforming themselves from the world's most boring rap group to hip-hop's brightest popsters. Monkey Business is just as bright if not quite as fun as Elephunk, calling in Justin Timberlake, James Brown and Sting for a series of party-starters and hijacking Dick Dale's "Miserlou" for the opening "Pump It." Some cuts are dragged down by soul-pop cliches, but "Don't Lie" is a breezy, grooving romantic apology starring MC Will.i.am, and "My Humps" is an irresistible, butt-stupid ode to Fergie's ass. If anything, Business is too breezy — but from a group that once burdened us with rhymes about how its "technicalities die hard like battery," that's not such a bad thing.