Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Pharrell - In My Mind

After one long year of innumerous delays, here it is, finally, the first solo album from Pharrell Williams, best known as the frontman of super-producers duo The Neptunes or rock band N*E*R*D. In the last decade, he was partly responsible for some of the biggest music revolutions operated inside the mainstream. Britney Spears, Kelis, Nelly, Jay-Z, Snoop Dogg, Justin Timberlake, Gwen Stefani? Just some of the big names that, at some point in their careers, were helped by The Neptunes magic touch. And now the big question: does he still have it? And the big answer: Yes! Divided in two parts, the first half of In My Mind is all hip-hop, with intelligent and sophisticated beats, exploring a multitude of atmospheres, while the second half is a homage to r&b and soul music, assuming influences from Prince, Michael Jackson or even Chaka Khan, full of catchy and addictive songs. And, of course, we have his production skills, which are intact: vintage samples, old-school keyboards, geometric sounds, a scientific attention to details and an addictive vibe. So although this album has been critically panned in most of its reviews, i believe that has to do with other factors, beyond the music itself. Verdict: Underrated project of the year.

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