Some people hate N.E.R.D., and I don’t know why. Maybe the concept of respecting something you don’t enjoy is foreign to them, especially when that Billionaire Boys Club kid Pharrell is involved. To many, their schizophrenic style seems forced (if not fake). Were N.E.R.D. trying too hard to be all things to all people? Not exactly. Though their brand of mushy, multi-?genre melodious funk does have a place in the mainstream, the Neptunes’ outsourced productions always made a larger mark on the masses. After the Fly Or Die album tanked, N.E.R.D. faded away. Until now.
A streamlined slab of silky, soul-?soaked rock music, Seeing Sounds succeeds in capturing the best experiments on their first two albums while injecting new-school sequences into the mix. It’s all here: surf rock, drum ’n’ bass, hip-?hop, doo-?wop, heavy metal, ska, jazz, electro, 80s pop and grunge with Pharrell’s quirky-?cool vibrato alternately evoking the voices of aliens, Michael Jackson, Estelle and Andre 3000.
Expect a few of these uptempo inventions to invade your summer, like it or not. Who cares that it’s about girls on coke? The Ron Carter-?ish upright bass on Everybody Nose is straight groovy, baby! Plus, their bridges are always so heavenly.