Album Review: Pharrell Williams, “GIRL” (2014)

It’s no wonder that the lead single off Pharrell William’s new album is titled, “Happy”; he’s just had one of the biggest years of his career.

He was responsible for two of 2013’s number one singles, thanks to his collaborations with Daft Punk and Robin Thicke (for “Get Lucky” and “Blurred Lines”, respectively). With all the buzz, Grammy awards, and radio play surrounding both songs, it was no surprise when Pharrell announced that he’d be releasing his own album this year.

While Pharell does phone in some help from his famous friends on GIRL, there’s still no mistaking that this is HIS album, and he’s the star. The breezy “Brand New” is the duet with Justin Timberlake that we were hoping for on Timberlake’s 20/20 albums last year, while Miley Cyrus appears on “Come and Get It Bae”- a bouncy pop anthem that admittedly sounds like a retread of “Blurred Lines.”

Image of Pharrell Williams provided by kallerna [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons

There’s much better moments on the album, though. While Pharrell was able to lend some funk to “Get Lucky”, Daft Punk has lent some of their electro-goodness to “Gust of Wind” and the latter is just as electrifying as the former. “Lost Queen” is a dizzying two-part number with a throbbing beat and a chorus that always manages to get stuck in my head (“I think you are a lost queen/Let me serve you, serve you/Remind you that you are a lost queen.”) Of course, there’s the aforementioned first single, “Happy”, a brilliantly fun pop song that just begs to be sung along with.

Pharrell Williams has already cemented himself as a brilliant producer, and no expense is sparred on his own album; each song is perfectly polished, with beats that’ll just want to make you dance. If this album doesn’t just catapult him to further super stardom, I’ll be surprised.

Rating: 200px-4_stars.svg

Track Listing
1. Marilyn Monroe
2. Brand New (feat. Justin Timberlake)
3. Hunter
4. Gush
5. Happy
6. Come Get It (feat. Miley Cyrus)
7. Dust of Wind (feat. Daft Punk)
8. Lost Queen
9. Freq
10. I Know Who You Are (feat. Alicia Keys)
11. It Girl

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