Pharrell Williams. The name itself really needs no introduction, just mentioning his name already does the work for me. Composer/writer/producer Pharrell Williams has recently dropped his debut album GIRL after eight years since his last album.
This actually says something about good music: being 41 with only two albums under his belt, he has been influential in the music scene for over 20 years. He has produced hits for heavyweights, as far back as Blackstreet and Mase in mid-1990s. Recently, he laced vocals for Daft Punk on the Random Access Memories album, Robin Thicke’s Blurred Lines and produced the Despicable Me 2 hit single Happy.
After all these recent hits, Colombia Records approached Pharrell to drop an album and he delightfully agreed, stating that, “ I am overwhelmed that someone wanted to know what to know what was in my heart.”
The GIRL album opens up with a very cinematic/funk-pop kind of song called Marilyn Munroe, which I actually see fitting properly for a James Bond film. Very hip and funky and has you daydreaming of two-stepping in a black and white suit and tie.
As the album proceeds, there’s a song called Brand New, which features old time friend Justin Timberlake. The song talks about the love for a girl, and trust me, both these guys do an excellent job in sharing the vocals. The song has beautiful lead trumpets that just add an old school feel to the song and a very bumpy vibe to it.
As the album continues, the music forms some type of futuristic nostalgia. You find yourself reminiscing about a future that hasn’t occurred yet while listening to these songs and picturing playing them for your friends or family at a get-together.
Which leads me to another highlight on the album, the collaboration with Daft Punk on a song called Gust of Wind. The production is amazing, the chorus drifts you away into the 80’s disco vibe and the lead guitar just makes you want to dance all night, under the lights of a disco ball.
There’s also a very good collaboration he did with the amazing vocalist Alicia Keys on a song called Know Who You Are. It has a soft reggae-influenced guitar, and supported by a beautiful piece of keys. A nice song actually. Personally, Alicia out shines Pharrell with the vocals, but his production and vocals earns him a good fight on the track.
All in all, the album is a hit. This album is something you can play 20 years from now and still dance. This is an album you can play for your kids and let them know what kind of music you listened to growing up. The album has an old 70s/80s feel but with a modern day touch that creates that futuristic nostalgia kind of feel.
It’s a well-structured album; production is insane and very mature. You can easily hear that such production requires time in the game and a lot of practice. The album is a must have.
Check out more on his website, pharrellwilliams.com
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