Pharrell Williams, the producer extraordinaire who has produced for the likes of Jay-Z, N.E.R.D, Robin Thicke, Gwen Stefani, and a slew of other artist released his second studio album “G I R L” March 3, 2014 on the heels of his catchy single “Happy”, a song that was part of the “Despicable Me 2” film soundtrack.
While we’ve come to know Williams because of his production, the production of this album falls flat.
To be fair, I hold Williams to a higher standard than I do most producers because the work that he produces is stellar and is beyond the curve of what is being produced today or in any era of hip-hop and R&B. So when “G I R L” was released, I was disappointed because the sounds were not revolutionary as I have come to know Williams’ music to be.
The track “Happy” sticks out as the only track that shows off his musical prowess. The track features a group of singing voices that elevate the word ‘happy’ making the listener feel like spring has arrived and flowers are in bloom. Sonically, the song takes the listener back to time when they had no worries and were playing kickball with their friends at recess.
This track, however, is not the only one that was elevated above the rest. “Marilyn Monroe” the opening track gives a dark 70’s disco vibe, but falsely sets the tone for the rest of the album. Overall as a collection of songs, the album didn’t work for me because it started to feel monotonous and similar despite the varying textures in sound. As singles listened independently of each other, each track has it’s own special quirk that can be appreciated. I give this album 3 out of 5 stars.