Good day to you ladies and gents, time for an album review that I was meant to have done around 3 months ago, I am of course talking about G I R L by Pharrell Williams. Now I feel like this album came out of nowhere as I never knew it was coming out until around a month before it’s release and I got really excited to see what the man would come up with as I have been waiting for some new material from him for ages especially after the songs he did for Despicable Me 1 & 2. So how does G I R L fare? Well read on and find out.
G I R L is Pharrell’s second solo album, his first, In My Mind was released in 2006 to very mixed reviews though it did spawn some decent singles and I love some of the unreleased tracks from that album. Since Pharrell’s last N*E*R*D album in 2010 he hasn’t made any new material besides artist collaborations and small singles contributing to film soundtracks. And after Pharrell’s success in 2013 with Daft Punk and Robin Thicke, it seemed a bit bizarre that Pharrell wasn’t busting out material of his own, but then in March of 2014 Pharrell released a new album which for the most part was pretty well received by critics and fans.
I listened to the album stream on iTunes and then about 3 or 4 more times after I got the album between April and June, so I really got a feel for the album and to be honest it good, but not this super amazing album some have made it out to be. Now don’t misunderstand me, I do have a lot of love for some of the tracks on this album as Pharrell has clearly adopted a few things from his collaboration with Daft Punk and others which has helped craft this album, however upon initial release some people said that this was Pharrell’s best work ever or just miles better than his last solo effort and honestly I don’t see what these people are going on about. While G I R L is more cohesive album that his last solo effort, some of the tracks don’t sound much different from the material that Pharrell has done in the past when it comes to hip-hop and R&B. I do appreciate this album’s sense of style as it does have a few jams that are good for chilling and/or dancing and it has an eclectic form of music genres including R&B, disco, funk, pop and hip-hop kind of feel due to the music production behind it.
Now let’s talk about the tracks:
“Marilyn Monroe” is the opening track on the album and it is very nice, cute and is a great way to get into the groove of this album and I do like the lyrical content. “Brand New” was my first favourite song from the album as it has such a feel-good sound and seems like the kind of song you’d listen to while on holiday. The combination of Pharrell and Justin Timberlake is fabulous and I really wish this song would be released as a single already. “Hunter” was the first track I heard from this album (besides “Happy” obviously) and I really like it, it seemed like it has a very disco/funk feel about it and after someone noted the similarity to Diana Ross’ “Upside Down” it is impossible to be unheard. This song just sounds like a cool jam, nuff said.
Now let’s talk about “Gush“, I love this song, sure it’s primarily about sex, however it has a gorgeous sound you can jam to and the music along with the chorus make this a fairly addictive song. Now some have complained about the sexual nature of the lyrics, but to be honest it isn’t that bad. It is mostly implied sexual acts than full-on words like “I’ll fuck your” or something like that, to me this is no different to Pharrell’s previous solo work or N*E*R*D* material. “Happy” is the song that some will know from Despicable Me 2, but most will know as the single that was released at the latter part of 2013 that would never stop playing because it was everywhere. To put it simply the song is nice and catchy but kind of annoying after being played repeatedly for an extended time period. “Come Get It Bae” is the song I feared because of Miley Cyrus’ involvement, however the song ended up be a nice surprised as she and Pharrell together have come up with a quite fun and playful kind of song.
And then there’s “Gust of Wind” which features Daft Punk. This was a song I was really hyped for before listening and while it is one of my favourites for sure due to the music and lyrics, the use of Daft Punk’s talents were really wasted just doing the voice stuff for the chorus and that’s it, that was disappointing. “Lost Queen” is pretty much the weakest of the tracks as it doesn’t have the same kind of charm or fun as the previous songs, it’s just a bit slow and boring. That being said the hidden track “Freq” is pretty decent. “Know Who You Are” which features Alicia Keys is a nice track which has a beautiful sound and wonderful vocals. And finally we have “It Girl“, the album closer which is just kind of there. It’s a nice track with a cool instrumental sound which, but that’s the only thing it has going for it.
My favourite tracks:
- Marilyn Monroe
- Brand New
- Come Get It Bae
- Gust of Wind
- Know Who You Are
So in conclusion G I R L by Pharrell is good album, but not a great one. I believe that there is a lot to love about some of this songs, however I don’t believe this album has a lot of staying power and I can easily say that I still love some of Pharrell’s older work more. I would still recommend this album if you’re a fan of Pharrell in any capacity.
Rating: 7.5/10 (A feel-good and funky collection of songs that make for a fun listening experience)
So what did you think of G I R L? Did it meet your expectations or were you disappointed? Also I’d love to know if you’re a long-time Pharrell fan or a newer one and tell me in your opinion ow this album fared. Whatever your thoughts are be sure to leave them in the comments below and I’ll see ya on the next review yo.