54 of 60 people found the following review helpful
Pharrell Williams moves in a commercial direction with "G I R L",
This review is from: G I R L (Audio CD)
In his two decade career, Pharrell Williams went from being Teddy Riley's protégé to one of the most respected songwriters and producers of his generation. As one half of The Neptunes, he and his partner Chad Hugo has worked with just about everyone that can be named within various genres. While leading the funk-rock outfit N.E.R.D., Williams wanted to attempt a solo career. He did so twice- once on the 2003 single "Frontin'" and again in 2006 with the release of his long-delayed Interscope Records debut "In My Mind". Musically, the album was well-produced- but the songwriting left a lot to be desired. He split duties between rapping and singing, all the while consuming himself with the limited scope of topics such as sex and wealth. When the album tanked, Williams returned to N.E.R.D. and his short run as a solo artist had been all but forgotten. N.E.R.D. quietly released their fourth album "Nothing" in 2010, which became the unofficial swan song for the group. As time went on, Williams continued to produce on his own- both under his own name as well as under The Neptunes. However, a change was not too far behind for him.
After scoring the soundtrack to the animated film "Despicable Me", Williams found himself on three of the biggest hits of 2013. The first of which was Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines", followed by his appearance on Daft Punk's "Get Lucky" and his song "Happy". The Daft Punk connection led to Williams being offered a recording contract with Columbia to record his sophomore effort "G I R L" . This time around, Williams eschews rapping for singing but has noticeably toned down the sexual content. Opening the album is the catchy "Marilyn Monroe", where he looks for a woman with less style and more substance. He chases down a woman in the club on the quite catchy "Hunter" and includes the song "Happy" from the film "Despicable Me 2". Pop singer Miley Cyrus contributes background vocals on "Come Get It Bae", while Alicia Keys delivers a guest appearance on "Know Who You Are". The song "Lost Queen" leads into a hidden track, which is the ballad "Freq". However, the album's biggest surprise is the song "Brand New", which reunites Williams with Justin Timberlake- who haven't worked together in a decade due to a fallout over label issues. Overall, "G I R L" is a listenable album from Pharrell Wiliams. While it's pretty much what one would expect from him, one couldn't help but to notice that a decent record by Pharrell would have made a great album for N.E.R.D.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Mar 5, 2014 2:31:28 PM PST
Nice review of the album. I'm glad you know about N*E*R*D and mentioned them in the review because I too thought this sounded a lot like it could be one of their albums as well. Just an FYI though, since I saw you mention 'swan song' in the review, N*E*R*D is still around. Pharrell mentioned in a recent interview that they're working on new music at the moment. Again though, great review.
In reply to an earlier post on Mar 6, 2014 3:07:39 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Mar 6, 2014 3:08:08 AM PST
Perverted Alchemist says:
Thanks for that little tidbit, Dustin. I thought N.E.R.D. was on the outs, so to speak, due to the very limited involvement of Chad Hugo over the past couple of projects. I'm glad to hear them doing another album.
In reply to an earlier post on Mar 6, 2014 5:57:58 PM PST
So did I. I just assumed after Nothing did...well, nothing, that they were over too. I read an article about this album a few months ago and he mentioned about them being in the studio as well. Who knows when we'll see an album because they always take their time on N*E*R*D, but it's nice to know they're still together working on something that'll be released eventually, lol.
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