Following on from his previous album #willpower and his last non-album single It’s My Birthday, will.i.am with his latest single, Boys & Girls. Despite there being a two year gap between singles, will.i.am’s formula still hasn’t changed much; the sound is similar, there’s a featured vocalist on top of the track and it all melds together to create a somewhat stale pop song.
Boys & Girls in particular presents itself as a crash course in minimal pop, using the same looping bass line and beat throughout the entire song. The only thing to really change in its chorus is the addition of some toy piano sounds playing along to the vocal melody, which by itself doesn’t do much to differentiate the song’s sections. In order to split the sections from each other, will.i.am takes lead on the verses while his guest vocalist Pia Mia carries the chorus hook. The song’s lyrics are similarly minimal, though—The girls wanna play with boys and the boys wanna play with girls is about as deep as it gets—which leaves the chorus feeling weak overall.
While Boys & Girls is listenable, there aren’t many redeeming factors that make it worth looping. Its flimsy attempt at an inclusive message shows some thought went into it, but overall it’s a standard will.i.am single—Aside from the lack of energy that was previously found in some of his more enjoyable songs like Scream & Shout—and without any amazing or catchy moments to draw listeners in it’s ultimately just forgettable.