Pharrell Williams: GIRL

Posted March 13, 2014 by in Pop



4.5/ 5


Genre: , ,
Label: ,
Genre: Dance-pop, R&b, soul
Producer: Pharrell Williams
Label: i Am Other, Columbia
Format: Digital download, compact disc
Time: 46:54
Release Date: 3 March 2014
Spin This: "Marilyn Monroe," "Hunter, "Happy," "It Girl"


Almsot everything inside the disc is vital to keeping uptempo funky R&B alive. Clearly, G I R L is Pharrell's best solo album to date.


If you're going to complain about anything, get mad at the brevity of the disc.

Happy singer shows off wide range of funk and R&B, focuses on intoxicating grooves and pulls off his best solo album

by J Matthew Cobb
Full Article

Happy singer shows off wide range of funk and R&B, focuses on intoxicating grooves and pulls off his best solo album

Up to now, Pharrell Williams has proven to be a masterful producer. In the arena of solo artist his content seems a bit scrambled.  Like Ne-Yo, his best material has been showcased on other artists. When he drifted into hip-hop, he acted as smart sideman rapper in the Neptunes clan. His solo album, 2006’s In My Mind, exposed a few chronic missteps in his trajectory to fame. The album made very little noise, pushing Williams back into behind-the-scenes mode. Thankfully 2013 put him back into the spotlight with the arrivals of the Daft Punk’s Chic-polished “Get Lucky” and Robin Thicke’s summer hit “Blurred Lines.” Add the Despicable Me 2 jam, “Happy” to the mix and the seemingly ageless Williams quickly joins the small fleet of pop acts to pull off several Top 10 singles in a single year. But Girl (stylized G I R L), Williams’s sophomore solo disc, is proof that he’s now in control of his solo career. It seems as if Williams has put away his rhyme-spitting for now and focused on his dapper style of queasy falsetto murmurs and smooth contemporary crooning. He’s also spared his cleverest studio compositions for himself. Highlighted with uptempo dance tracks, the ten-track offering is masterfully bookended with an offspring of back-in-the-day funk featuring the kind of hooks that’s bound to mesmerize the ear of pop radio .“Marilyn Monroe” kicks off the album highlights the of The System’s Eighties electrofunk. He also praises the beauty of great heroines and shrugs them off in the same sentence (Not even Marilyn Monroe, Queen Cleopatra please, not even Joan of Arc/That don’t mean nothin’ to me/I just want a different girl”). The back of the album is documented with “It Girl,” a tune that surgically blends a soaring Curtis Mayfield-ish falsetto with sexy hip-hop soul. Halfway into the mix, Isley Brother guitar wailing takes over as if the gods of Blaxploitation cinema were taking over.

Based solely on the content inside the opening and closing cuts off the album, it is quite obvious that Williams has an infatuation for women, something that’s essential for a modern-day r&b album from a male. He stays true to the art and even configures something that resembles a concept album. The other tunes are just as entranced with woman worshipping, but keeps the emphasis on killer grooves. “Hunter” is playfully masqueraded in Franz Ferdinand disco-rock while “Come Get It Bae” transports guest singer Miley Cyrus into a clever taste of retro soul. “Gust of Wind” returns Williams into Daft Punk territory as the robotic duo import fluttery strings and cyborg chatter into something cooler than Justin Timberlake. Probably most entrancing is how the MJ-meets-Chic experiments on “Gush” makes X-rated passion feel so PG-ish. At first it might seem a bit out of place to see the inclusion of the tepid crossover hit “Happy” jammed in the middle of all these girl-loving offerings, but it’s a stumble that’s overlooked when understanding just how “happy” Williams is on this adventure. Girl proves he’s a better singer today and shows him channeling MJ-Off the Wall glamour without sounding desperate like most r&b stars. On top of that, he’s pulled off one of the best r&b albums so far in 2014. He’s as happy as he’s ever been.

About the Author

J Matthew Cobb

Managing editor of HiFi Magazine


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