N.E.R.D.
In Search Of


4.0
excellent

Review

by incubotic USER (10 Reviews)
April 27th, 2006 | 25 replies | 14,701 views


Release Date: 2002 | Tracklist


Background-

N*E*R*D are a hip-hop/rock band comprising of Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo of The Neptunes and their friend Shae Haley. The Neptunes of course are the producing duo responsible for most of the successful hip-hop/ R'n'B acts in the charts in the last 5 or more years. With N*E*R*D the band, they went for a different type of music in order to differentiate their two 'groups'. In fact they recorded the original album for a 2001 release but rerecorded it with the funk-rock band Spymob in order to give the music a more of a soulful rock edge to it.
Lapdance and Rockstar were the albums two biggest and most famous singles, Provider was also released to more moderate success. Rockstar was also famously remixed to great effect by William Orbit soon after its release.

The Review-

1. Lapdance- Pharrell claims this song is about politicians who will do anything for money like strippers, despite the fact that it lyrically at least sounds very much like most brainless bump'n'grind songs. Anywho its an awesome song and among the albums best. The thumping guitar bass line throughout the song is distinctive and doesnt tire and the guest female chorus of 'Oh Baby You Want Me' is pretty stellar. As far as party tunes go this is almost flawless- 4.5/5

2. Things Are Getting Better- A change of pace with this more chilled out soulful rock track. Its an uptempo song and whilst it has a similar vibe to the previous track its much more relaxed and as can be guessed from the title its got an opptimistic 'lifes getting better' kinda theme to it which is cool- 4/5

3. Brain- The same guitar effect is used from Lapdance, however it still sounds quite fresh and its got some refreshing lyrics too- 'Do I really even love, or do I really love your brain?' perhaps an ironic spin on the normal lyrics of these kind of songs. Anyway its another great tune with a fast beat which really makes you wanna move- 4.2/5

4. Provider- This is in my opinion the best track on the album. Its got a mellow feel to it with an acoustic providing most of the tune over a slow drum beat. Lyrically its superb about just trying to earn a living to provide for your girl and not becoming like all the other dropouts- 5/5

5. Turth Or Dare- The same or a very similar baseline from Lapdance reprises here but with the guest vocals of Kelis and some string arrangements. Its an ok song in a similar vien to the Lapdance and Brain in that it would sound out of place at a club. Personally while its obviously a good song it feels abit too similar to some of those previous tracks and for me is abit tiring- 3.2/5

6. Tape You- Verse wise this track is a little mediocre but when the chorus kicks in its got a cool, different vibe to the other tracks and has some nice hooks and a catchy synth, electronic part over the chorus. 3.8/4

7. Run To The Sun- Again this track is a little more chilled out and again has its own individual sound to it. Like track 2 its a kind of soulful track with another effortlessly catchy tune interspersed. Its nothing standout but its a good song that could like most of the songs here be the best track on many of their peers in the charts- 3.8/5

8. Baby Doll- This isnt one I listen to alot really but its not bad I guess. Its got another fast drum beat and an almost 70s vibe to it in the guitar riff running over the chorus and an exotic quality somewhat- 3/5

9. Am I High- Another one often skip actually, though its not bad really- the chorus with its beach boy style harmony is decent enough. It features Mase and again does have quite a catchy tune in a way but one of the few more average tracks- 3/5

10. Rockstar- One of the biggest hits and discusses the poser type rockstars of today and perhaps those whose time in the spotlight has past. The verses don't have quite as much of a tune to them as I would have liked but they work with Pharrells muffled shout and the chorus is very, very cool with its damning lyrics 'you think you dont have to ever quit.. you think the light will be everlit, its almost over now' over a driving synth tune. I actually in some ways prefer the more tuneful Orbit remix but the orginal song here is still superb- 4.5/5

11. Bobby James- Another change of pace with a song which reminds me a little of Provider in its chilled out, story lyrics and classical guitar riff. The chorus is again delightfully particularly towards the end with female backing vocals. Its at once a very chilled out soulful tune but also tells a sad story- 4.2/5

12. Stay Together- Really great closer. The song is kinda a psych piano tune sounding similar to The Beatles 'Strayberry Fields' in its instrumentation. The chorus is also very orginal with its dissident progression and vocal harmonies with very soulful cries of 'lets stay together girl' in a James Brown or Otis Reading kind of way. Its a really great track and not like anything else on the album- 4.5/5

Key Tracks-

Provider
Lapdance
Rockstar

OVERALL- 4.2

Closing Comments-

Overall this is a superb modern hip-hop album from some of the guys responisble for shaping much of modern popular music. Its even more amazing considering these guys roll out hits almost daily for other artists that they have the creativity to create their own masterpiece. The album isnt perfect- its more average in the middle and some tracks have similar effects in them, however each track does really have its own vibe and its own tune to it. The first 4 and last 3 tracks are obviously the best but theres not much wrong with those in between them either- Run To The Sun and Tape You are quite cool in their own way. For me this is the best hip-hop album of the last 5 years, well actually its restrictive to just call it hip hop or r'n'b because its quite rocky in a way and has elements of electronica in it.

This is I'd have to say an essential purchace and will work just as well at a party as it will to listen to on your own. I urge strongly you to buy this album and also to catch them in concert cause they are the best band Ive seen live, and Ive seen quite alot- Incubus, Chillis, Greenday, Rolling Stones, Weezer and many others. Their follow up- Fly Or Die was quite good but has nothing on this one.

(Note- The band has said they broke up due to being unhappy with their record company but they retracted that statement later)



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user ratings (113)
Chart.
3.7
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Liberi Fatali
Emeritus
April 27th 2006



1588 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I was surprised when I first heard this album, and actually digged it a fair bit. I dislike the direction Pharrell has gone since their breakup, but it doesn't detract from his work in N.E.R.D.

Iai
Emeritus
April 27th 2006



3553 Comments


I heard the bulk of this round a mate's house, and yeah, I was impressed. The only version of "Rockstar" I knew at the time was the remix, though, and the version on here was a bit of a letdown. "Provider" was the biggest shock for me, though. It could easily have been a country song, which is something you'd never expect from NERD. But they really pull it off.

The Sludge
April 27th 2006



2169 Comments


This is a pretty decent track by track review. Nice on the backround information and the phenominal closing statment. Possibly could have spiced things up with boldening the songs, or something like that. I always have been intrested in these guys, but havent heard much other than Rockstar. Thanks for your review on reminding me that this album existed and now I'll probably try them out.

Zesty Mordant
April 27th 2006



1196 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I like this album, though the Neptunes' reign is kinda over now. The use of live instrumentation is really cool too. My favorite songs are "Lap Dance", "Bobby James" and "Am I high".
Alright review. The analysis of the songs are pretty good but you might want to try and start moving away from the track-by-track format.

Neoteric
April 27th 2006



3243 Comments


Rockstar is a cool if a little boring song. I like some of these guy's work but not so much that I'd go out and buy an album.

incubotic
April 27th 2006



78 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

You think its better to do an overall review rather than track by track Zesty? I can see the logic there- is that generally seen as a better method here? I was under the impression track by track was the way most people reviewed.

Spat Out Plath- If your interested in adding some hip hop to your collection I recon this is a decent way to start as it is very accessible, maybe try downloading Provider first and go from there.

Also how do I use bold in my reviews, I couldnt see an option?

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
April 27th 2006



16083 Comments


I think Plath knows his way around hip hop, but meh.
This was a pretty good review of an album I really find to be average. Pharrell is a good producer, but his best work was with Clipse.
And its just [b].

incubotic
April 27th 2006



78 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Im sure he does i wasnt tryin to be condescending or anything just alot of people here are mostly into rock thats all and yeah I know alot of people think that Clipse album was awesome though I havent got it

morrissey
Moderator
April 27th 2006



1688 Comments


This is a hip-hop album, but the Neptunes/Pharrell/whatever are pretty varied in their influences so obviously isn't solely a hip-hop album. But calling these guys rock is like calling the Black Eyed Peas a surf band because they sample Dick Dale. Not quite.
"Rock Star" is a great song. The rest is just alright. I really like Pharrell/the Neptunes though.

vuergara
May 7th 2006



35 Comments


I don't know what it is.. But I just find these guys extremely annonying.. It just seems to me that they are plastic (meaning they are pretentious in front of the camera) and that they are trying too hard to portray themselves as "COOL"..
I have enough respect for them though to keep my rating of their album to myself.. I believe that if I posted it here, it would be too ill-mannered...

RoshanC
November 12th 2007



219 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I didnt think i would like this album that much, but recently got into it. It was suprised at howgood it was. I think its the best hip hop album since Wu Tangs 36 chambers, bar The Coup, who are incredible.

Spamue1G
July 27th 2008



1292 Comments


I saw these guys live, man I was impressed! I'm surprised at the bad reviews I've seen. Maybe they're just much better live than in the studio, I'll check out a few songs and maybe this album too. Good review by the way.

Nuvo
November 23rd 2008



13 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

lol i remember this from when i was a kid lol couldn't stop listening to it

cirq
July 7th 2009



9263 Comments


Ooo baby you want meeee?

MUNGOLOID
July 8th 2009



4290 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

very underrated pop album.

Deathcar
November 24th 2009



1534 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

They've gone downhill since this, but this was a wicked album back in the day.

joesmoe4000
July 1st 2010



369 Comments


a brillant and highly underrated album

Digging: Mick Jenkins - The Water[s]

BigPoppaDiesel
January 26th 2011



150 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

they kill it live!

jefflebowski
October 21st 2011



8112 Comments


the original version of this album rules

Digging: Pantha Du Prince - This Bliss

MUNGOLOID
October 21st 2011



4290 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

to this day, still haven't heard the original. it's like a fucking rarity to find a physical copy of it.



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