Pharrell Needs N.E.R.D

. Jun 14, 2008

So I was listening to “Seeing Sounds” in my car while driving around 1:30 am, the song “Happy” was on and I thought, “Damn, Pharrell needs N.E.R.D. just as much as N.E.R.D. needs Pharrell.” Personally I liked “In My Mind”, I’m not going to say it was great or groundbreaking or whatever, but I enjoyed it. However, the CD received mad criticisms and it just was not a big hit as its release came and faded, despite the dope rerecording with Questlove from The Roots. I believe the standout tracks from that CD were definitely “Young Girl/ I Really Like You Girl”, “Number One”, and “That Girl.” However, Pharrell’s solo debut seriously lacked something….Chad Hugo’s musical touch. If you listened to “In Search of…” and “Fly or Die”, “In My Mind” would probably catch you off guard.

Pharrell let go out of his eclectic influences; as it was more of a Hip Hop/R&B sound and there was no alternative rock sound on the album whatsoever. Furthermore, Pharrell depended on collaborations from Jay-z, Kanye West, Snoop Dogg, Pusha T, Slim Thug, Charlie Wilson, and Gwen Stefani (questionable choice) as if he knew that the album was not going to be enough with just himself on the tracks. Don’t get me wrong, I am not killing this album, I really enjoyed it…I’m just saying in retrospect there should have been more coming out of Mr. Williams.

Now, refer to the trilogy of N.E.R.D. releases, not so many collaborations and the sound is totally different. Pharrell is a cat that is mad creative and innovative, however on his solo album the creativity was definitely not there, but there was a void in originality on the album. I remember the first time I heard “In Search Of…”, I got the European Version of the album before the joint released in the States and I was just blown away from the sound of “Lapdance”, “Run to the Sun”, “Provider”, and pretty much the whole album.

“Seeing Sounds” brings back Shay and Chad Hugo, and Pharrell is revived with a fresh influential sound. Pharrell needs N.E.R.D., to further explain this point look at the songwriting on the album. Pharrell does pretty much all of the songwriting for the album, but for three of what I think are the better tracks on the album, “Everyone Nose”, “Anti-Matter”, and “Love Bomb” Chad had a helping hand. The unity between these three dudes balances the influences of each of them, as you can clearly hear the fusion between Hip-Hop, R&B/Soul, Rock, and that imaginative Neptunes sound.

Everything about this album is amazing, and my favorite part about it is the concept, I can’t think of a better way to start off the album as N.E.R.D. did with the intro. However….there is always a however, to be honest, one thing that annoys me about the album is that you do not hear any of Kanye or Lupe on it, but I know that is just my personal wanting to hear more of what that trio can do. This is a N.E.R.D. album, not C.R.S. though it would have been tight to have at least a glimpse of what they can do aside from the banger “Everyone Nose” Remix. So that is an unfair criticism, but I mean come on though; I know you all would have at least liked to hear Pusha T or Malice start out a verse on the track with that memorable, “Eghck!” Back to my point, I’m glad N.E.R.D. got to work again after a brief hiatus as they put out some quality work. Having heard the album spin around probably a hundred times now I give it my stamp of approval. It’s an Ill Vibe, give it 5 stars.