Nothing | N.E.R.D
In an industry tethered to tired samples and easy beats, N.E.R.D.’s homemade instrumentals are invigorating. The trio creates rhythms reminiscent of ‘70s funk, with melodies that are as fresh as the vocals are smooth.
The album opens with “Party People,” featuring T.I. The first few seconds sound like a standard dance mix: repetitive and flat. If you listen closely, however, the riff is dynamic, enhanced by a brass section that is surprising and refreshing. Combined with T.I.’s fluid verse, we see what the rest of the album has to offer: a synthesis of modern hip-hop and funk. Additionally, the album covers a wide range styles, from upbeat, high-energy pulses to smooth crooners like “Life As a Fish.”
The lyrics may be a little vulgar for some tastes, but the “Explicit Content” sticker is on the cover for a reason. If you can get past that, N.E.R.D’s new album is innovative and definitely worth a listen.
For fans of: The Neptunes, Kid Cudi, Lupe Fiasco
Tracks to download: ‘Party People,’ ‘Help Me,’ ‘God Bless Us All’