Friday, March 14, 2014

Final Grade: A-

I really got down with G I R L.  The fact that Pharrell is making an effort to bring back soul-inspired music is something I can definitely get behind, and the fact that he's bringing it to popular music is even better.  The album is fairly consistent top to bottom, with only a couple songs coming out as definite hits.  I think I like the first half of the album better than the second, but tracks like "Lost Queen," and "Happy" help hold it down.  "Brand New" w/ JT is definitely my favorite feature on the album, and one of my favorite tracks overall (but you know how much I luh me some JT).  Pharrell is really great at making simple compositions sound complicated and intricate, which is a great ballance.  He doesn't have the greatest voice, and isn't the most lyricall-savy writer out there, but he knows how to make you groove, and that may be the most important factor of them all.

Thursday, March 13, 2014


Come Get It Bae

Gust of Wind

Lost Queen

Know Who You Are (Duet with Alicia Keys)

It Girl

Songs of the Day

God, I've gotten so terrible at this blogging thing.  Anyway, because of this, I must finish the album today because I'm going to Jamaica tomorrow, and yall wont be hearin diddly from me.  So, we've got 6 tracks to finish out the rest of G I R L: "Happy," "Come Get It Bae," "Gust of Wind," "Lost Queen," "Know Who You Are," and "It Girl."
I must say, "Happy" has been my jam for a minute, so I'm surprised that it's just now getting big.  Guess it was too good to be a Despicable Me 2 soundtrack exclusive.  I really love this song, which is why I'm happy I don't listen to the radio because I bet it's already over played by now.  This song makes me feel happy whenever I listen to it, so it's aptly titled.  I love the harmonies going on in the chorus - they really make the tune.  And everyone loves a good song to clap to.  The track is simple, upbeat, and is really fun to listen to.  Way to go, Pharrell.  
"Come Get It Bae" goes right along with the feel of the album, and I'm so down with it.  The percussion going on throughout the track is dope (especially considered it's comprised of claps and hitting what sound like buckets).  Pharrell's always been good with that kind of shtuff.  Again, we've got simple, and not very awe-inspiring lyrics, but we all know it's about the grooves on this album.  We've got some help from Miley Cyrus on the vocals (although she does not get a feature), and she sounds fine.  A female vocal adds a little depth to the track, so she helps out with that, but she's not doing anything extraordinary.  Cool, cool.
I love the old school R&B feel going on in "Gust of Wind," it's an easy groove to...well...groove with.    I must say, Daft Punk in the chorus doesn't really tickle my fancy (the vocal effect seems a little too much for the groove), but it makes sense considering their Grammy winning collaborations on Random Access Memories.  I would have been cool with just Pharrell.  Love the strings going on in the back, definitely a cool feature of this track.  I'm glad Pharrell knows his vocal limitations, because I think the track would be clouded by something too fancy (which is probably why I'm not convinced by the feature).  I dig, I dig.
The African-inspired "Lost Queen," is a dope track to slow the album down with.  The vocals remind me of some Graceland kind of goodness.  I really dig how simple the whole production is with just the vocals and percussion.  Even the slight synth additons in the chorus seem like too much to me, but they're not overly bothersome.  "What planet are you from, girl/ and are there others like you there?" - the answer is no, no boo there are not ;) Love when the vocals do that little skip, like on lines like "find you, find you, find you."  Chill, good shit.  But then there's a whole B side to this one!  We exit with the ocean into a sexy slow jam.  Man, this is such a dope groove (like I'm surprised), all thanks to the Rhodes sound going on the keys (I'm such a sucker for Rhodes).  "You've gotta go inward to experience the outerspace that was built for you - you gotta go inward," aight Pharrell, I see you with your inuendos.  You gotta love a good B side.
"Know Who You Are" is probably my least favorite groove/overall track on the album, but it's not bad.  The groove has a slight reggae feel to it, which makes it easy to just bounce to.  It sounds kind of sunny, if that makes sense.  This is a duet with Alicia Keys, and she's sounding good.  I have been somewhat fed up with her sound since "No One" (it sounded like she was yelling the whole time), but this sounds more like her older self, so I'm down with that.  Other than that, the track is kind of boring, and a little square compared to the rest of the album.  It's certainly not a bad song, it just doesn't give me a stank face like the rest of the tracks.  
"It Girl" isn't my favorite track either, but it gets back to the cooler feel that was on the rest of the album.  I'm not sure what filter is on Pharrell's voice, but I dig it - it's subtle.  This is a cool groove to walk down the street to - it's chill while still remaining interesting.  The B section is pretty dope, especially the single note guitar line that goes flat for a second - I dig that.  All the little subtleties going on are pretty sweet to, especially considering it's instrumental.  The two grooves together make me like the song as a whole.  Cool stuff, for sure.