Today marks the official release of Pharrell Williams’ first solo album since he dropped In My Mind in 2006. It’s hard to believe that one of the greatest producers and creative minds of our time has only released two albums on his own, though he’s been a prominent force in the music industry for over ten years. According to GQ magazine, Pharrell considered In My Mind a major failure- it was outsold by ex-Destiny’s Child member LeToya Luckett’s album of the same year, if that puts it in perspective.
Pharrell has come a long way since 2006- and if you’ve been a big fan of his for awhile, your thoughts on his new album will likely be interesting.
G I R L has ten tracks and features collaborations with Daft Punk, Alicia Keys, Justin Timberlake and Miley Cyrus. It’s a feel-good record Pharrell made in the spirit of “celebrating women.”Pharrell created a fun, upbeat album that has great potential for mass appeal. Many of 2013’s most popular songs suggested a movement toward music that could be enjoyed by a broader fan base than in years past. Despite the controversial message behind “Blurred Lines”, it was one of the most popular songs on mainstream radio, and Pharrell has specifically mentioned in interviews how much 60 year old women love it. “Hold on We’re Going Home”, another one of 2013’s most celebrated tracks, possesses similar qualities- elements of a different musical era, slightly disco-infused- and the ability to appeal to a younger and older crowd who aren’t necessarily as down with profane and promiscuous lyrics as the average twenty-something.
G I R L is appealing, but if you’re like me and were hoping for a revival of The Neptunes or N.E.R.D. sound, you’ll be disappointed. G I R L is the kind of album you can throw on and play straight thru- no stand-out terrible tracks. My issue is there aren’t any bangers either. I appreciate the album’s collective sound- it’s groovy. It reminds me of summertime. It’s kind of cool that your mom and her friends will probably be into it. There’s certainly a place out there for this type of music- but hopefully 2014 will bring us some major jams Pharrell has a hand in creating that just didn’t fit in with the collective sound of this album.
Stand out tracks:
Gust of Wind