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September 4, 2006 | by  | in Music | [ssba]

Pharrell – In My Mind

The ‘moderate impact’ language warning on Pharrell’s debut, In My Mind, wins understatement of the year. Pharrell Williams’ (one half of production duo, the Neptunes) self-produced debutis weak, inconsistent and ultimately disappointing. Even with the Neptunes’ signature elements, the stripped back beats, percussive gasps/heavy breathing and funk inflected synthesized loops, all of which have been so successful in the past – the album fails. Pharrell’s lyrics and rhymes are unconvincing, and his subject matter painfully limited to his money, clothing label, history, the ‘Skateboarding P’ name or his drug-free status. This combined with his playa croons and sterile rap flows and the overdone ‘yessur’ Southern drawl motif makes for some very unimpressive vocal lines.

The first track, ‘Can I Have It Like That’, featuring Gwen Stefani, uses a stupidly simplistic call and response chorus between Pharrell and Stefani. He asks if he “can have it like that”, to which Stefani affirms. ‘Raspy Shit’ is the best track that does not feature guest appearances, despite its equally lame lyrics: “My money’s green like the helmet of a fascist.” However, this is saved by the looped vocal sample from ‘Drop it Like its Hot’. The most unbearable tracks are his second single ‘Angel,’ where he observes “She’s got an ass like a loaf of bread,” and ‘Our Father’ a painfully uneasy combination of Latino rhythms and sci-fi sounding keys with the lyrics based on the line “Jesus is my Playa, I’m telling you”, with Pharrell spurting of a list of blessings he wanted to thank his ‘playa’ for, which is basically him boasting his success. Again.

While Pharrell’s beats and production are usually fabulous, he should have saved them for another artist’s track and stuck to what he does best: producing for others and guesting on their tracks.


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