Posted April 8, 2014
By NATALIE GOENAGA
It’s safe to say that 2013 was the year of Pharrell. Whether it be stealing the spotlight at the Grammy’s with his big Arby’s hat or sitting at No. 1 on charts across the nation with “Blurred Lines” or “Get Lucky,” Pharrell finally got lucky with his newly released album “GIRL.”
Pharrell had has much success as a songwriter, producer, rapper, musician, record producer and fashion designer, but unfortunately has never made a name for himself with one of his own albums. He is part of The Neptunes, a group of producers who have been friends since high school and who’ve taken Robin Thicke to new heights, written hit songs for Britney Spears, Nelly, Jay Z, Justin Timberlake, and others.
Besides singing on “Blurred Lines,” “Get Lucky,” and “Lose Yourself to Dance,” all big hits in 2013, Pharrell finally established himself as a solo artist with the No. 1 hit song “Happy” featured in the hit movie “Despicable Me 2.”
The song’s euphoric, funky vibe gives a taste of the 10 songs on Pharrell’s newly released album “GIRL,” where all there really is to do is listen and enjoy yourself.
Each song is soaked in a happiness and groves with beats that make your eardrum melt into a pool of funk. “GIRL” is so different and refreshing, especially in a day in age where the radio is played by the manufactured pop produce of Miley Cyrus, Kanye West, Justin Beiber, and Drake. It’s like tasting fresh, cool water on a hot summer day. All you want to do is dance along and relax with a smile on your face while listening to Pharrell and his many eclectic beats.
What’s truly magical in particular is the use of actual instruments like the trumpet, drums, guitar all heard so perfectly clear over the smooth sounds of Pharrell and a couple of featured artists including Justin Timberlake, Miley Cyrus, and Alicia Keys. The entire album still carries the cool, fresh, funky vibe Pharrell is known for but also hints of his love of R&B and classic acts like Michael Jackson, Marvin Gaye, and Stevie Wonder.
While the album is totally what one would expect from Pharrell (especially hearing some of his earlier work on featured tracks) that’s exactly why it’s so refreshing. With Pharrell you never know what to expect exactly, but know that it will be different, it will be catchy, it will be joyful, it will be a hit and you will like it.
It’s very clear that Pharrell loves girls, hence the title of his album. The way he approaches it, though, is not in a creepy or degrading manner, he genuinely appreciates women and their bodies and their souls and through the beats and lyrics of these songs he makes his point.
The album begins with “Marilyn Monroe,” a track about a girl more precious than her or any other one of Hollywood’s biggest bombshells, other favorites (besides “Happy”) are “Brand New,” featuring Justin Timberlake and “Lost Queen” which sounds something out of a South African romance story.
Back in 2001 Pharrell and the Neptunes released their first album as N.E.R.D in Europe and later they recreated their sound before making their debut in the U.S. While the album did OK, Pharrell and The Neptunes kept doing what they did best — producing.
Pharrell has had plenty to keep him busy throughout the years. He is an art connoisseur and has worked closely with Japanese artist Takashi Murakami, bringing him to Miami’s Art Basel in 2009 and 2013. He is the co-founder of Billionaire Boy’s Club clothing line and Ice Cream Footwear, and has a wife and son. He debuted his first solo album, “In My Mind” in 2006 that was shortly forgotten, but finally 2013 was the year of the genius that is Pharrell.
- Artist: Pharrell Williams
- Album: GIRL
- Released: March 3, 2014
- Label: i Am Other and Columbia Records
- Producer: Pharrell Williams
- Genre: R&B, funk, dance-pop
- Price: $10.99 on iTunes
- Personal Rating: 9/10