Album Rating

N.E.R.D. – No One Ever Really Dies (Album Review)

You know what’s funny? I feel like there was a time that N.E.R.D. was one of the weirdest acts in music, as they put a s–t load of focus on creating some of the most zaniest tunes you will ever hear. Since then, lots of artists have adjusted to their sound, which means musicians aren’t afraid to show that inner N.E.R.D. that they have dislodged  somewhere in their mainstream heavy hearts. So with that being said, I am excited to hear some of our favorite artists go toe to toe with their sensei on this album, as they aim to pay homage to the groundbreaking band.


TOP 5

 

5. VOILA

To get Gucci mane La Flare to cooperate on a track like ‘Voila’ is truly a magic trick! How Pharrell was able to manipulate him into thinking a spunky ass track like this would be good for his trap resume is truly impressive! Thankfully, his part is short, as Pharrell handles majority of the vocal duties, providing the track with this ‘beachy’ sound that will make you want to dust up that Speedo that you can no longer fit.

The instrumental turns gritty at the end, and that is where Wale comes in; I don’t like his part at all…. it amazes me that on an album that encourages artists not to fit in, Wale manages not to fit in at not trying to fit in (SMH).

 

4. 1000

The ‘Cool Kids’ and the ‘Nerds’ have found common ground on ‘1000’.

Much like the rest of this album, ‘1000’ adds a bunch of noises together to create this outer-spaceish sound that will confusingly hype you up. When Future’s part hits, the songs does turn a little more hip hop sounding, as the ATL rapper spits these tough bars over the heavy-hitting portion of the beat. He does impose his will quite a bit on his verse, something that you probably didn’t see coming at the beginning of this song.

 

3. DEEP DOWN BODY THRUST

I don’t care what y’all think, this song is hot!

‘Deep Down Body Thrust’ probably sounds the most normal on this album, as it has a consistent rhythm and Pharrell’s contributions aren’t that weird (Actually, what the f—k does a deep down body thrust got to do with anything?) So why do I love it? Because it has this nostalgic feel to it that for some odd reason gives me flashbacks to my middle school days. In my opinion, it’s the epitome of some nerdy/Daria s—t that brings back memories of being stuffed in a locker by the football players for liking that one beautiful ass cheerleader that happens to be in my science class.

Fatboy Slim meets Juicy J? I think so.

 

2. DON’T DON’T DO IT

Pharrell, Frank Ocean and Kendrick all on the same song? F that, ya’ll can do it all ya’ll want!

Fake N.E.R.D. fans will be confused as hell when they hear this song, but the real fans like myself know that these are the type of tunes the group used to make. ‘Don’t Don’t Do it’ is funky, it’s got this animated feel to it, and it makes elevator music sound super bad ass! Pharrell shines bright as the tracks boy wonder on it, both soothing our minds and blowing them.

Kendrick Lamar is at the end of this song, and he provides it with this random ass verse in which he raps fast as s–t. Does he need to be on the song? No, but it’s Kendrick, so no one on this planet will complain.

I hope those N.E.R.D.’s never grow up!

 

1. LEMON

Pharrell’s best sound might be that whole D-Boy s–t that he used to give Gwen Stefani back in the day, because he sounds like a natural on them. I feel like songs like these allow him to show his creative side, as he is able to portray himself as a character that you will probably never meet in person.

Rihanna absolutely kills her verse! Her flow is on point, her lyrics jump out at you, and she absolutely nails the whole D-Boy persona that the song craves. Rihanna, you are officially that n—a!

This is as explosive as a comeback will get.


SONG BY SONG BREAKDOWN

1. LEMON (5/5)

2. DEEP DOWN BODY THRUST (5/5)

3. VOILA (4.3/5)

4. 1000 (4.3/5)

5. DON’T DON’T DO IT (5/5)

6. ESP (4/5)

7. LIGHTNING FIRE MAGIC PRAYER (3.8/5)

8. ROLLINEM 7’S (3.7/5)

9. KITES (4/5)

10. SECRET LIFE OF TIGERS (3.9/5)

11. LIFTING YOU (4.5/5)


OVERALL RATING

(8.3/10)

 

How fun is it to relive some of your favorite childhood memories for 51 minutes? I mean seriously, this album channels those fantasy-like thoughts we all had as children, combining the wildest of topics with the randomest of sounds. It’s truly remarkable to hear, and reminds us all that we should never limit our children’s ability to imaginate.

You know what I love about this album? N.E.R.D. was able to get some of our favorite musical heroes to come out their comfort zone, which results in the creation of some of the most interesting  features I’ve ever heard in my life. It’s almost like watching those episodes of Scooby Doo that randomly featured Batman (That happened, right?)

While the vocal contributions from everyone involved on this album is astounding, I think it’s the instrumentals that steal the show! They have so much character associated with them, which means the artists rarely even have to do anything to make the song come alive. It’s amazing to listen to, as for the first time in a while I can say I heard the true definition of an instrumental for 11 songs straight.

Pharrell’s star-power is still as sturdy as it was in the early 2000’s! He still sounds like he has this strong love for music — a love that famously had him proclaim to the world that he doesn’t hear it — he sees it! with the pretty bizarre (Maybe there is a better word to use here) music that you get on this album, I can definitely comprehend what he’s talking about. So is this music meant to make you bounce up and down or swag out? Somewhat. However, I think the best way to really enjoy it is to view it from the VA singers wild perspective. (And yes I said view, not hear)

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