I’ve been a fan of Pharrell and his genre distorting ways but when it came to his group, N.E.R.D, I’ve had mixed feelings. On the one hand their experimental ways can produce some of the most refreshing sounds out there, but on the other there’s a lot of throwaway stuff that didn’t make it to the A-listers for a reason. With the general genre-less direction music is headed in I wasn’t sure if their sound would still sound as innovative and ahead of the curve as it did in the past. Short answer is, it doesn’t, their sound is still different from most of the mainstream, but a lot of acts have finally begun to catch up with them. This makes No One Ever Really Dies sound like thier most commercial project to date. However, it is also their most enjoyable listen, thanks in large parts to some fantastic guest spots; and songs I initially didn’t favor much grew on me in the context of the project as a whole. It’s not nearly as impactful protest music as they’d like you to believe but it is a wild ride nonetheless.
“We unite through the chaos (only for the purist) Tell them to obey ours My cerebellum threw a rebellion from AR’s (room for the boom stick) The day I have a J.R., I tell him the worth of God only, and quit his day job (motherfuck the bullshit)”
Have you heard No One Ever Really Dies? What’d you think about it? Do you think their sound is as forward looking as it once was? And has the rest of music finally caught up with them? Let me know in the comments below and be sure to leave your own ratings and reactions to the album.
N.E.R.D's long awaited return isn't nearly as impactful protest music as they'd like you to believe but it is a wild ride nonetheless. On another note, it's taken nearly a decade for the rest of music to have even remotely caught up with their experimental sounds, so that's a testament to their vision in itself.