Having fingers in so many pies is something few people can achieve to the height Pharrell does, he’s a singer, songwriter, producer, rapper, model, clothing designer, and the rest, it’s amazing he finds the time to create music for himself. Having near enough dominated the entirety of 2013 with hits like Get Lucky, Blurred Lines and Happy just to name a few, Pharrell releases the much-anticipated follow-up to 2006’s In My Mind with hopes of owning 2014 in the way he did with last year.
It’s clear from the start of G I R L that it is exactly what he’s already said, it’s a progression from In My Mind and will feature much more singing than rapping, having said that, Pharrell has a very distinctive sound which means fans of the old Pharrell will be just as happy with G I R L as new-found fans. Gush and the Miley Cyrus-assisted Come Get It Bae possess beats that wouldn’t be out-of-place on his debut, although, in the latter Cyrus gives it that kick needed to coincide with the rest of the album.
Brand New, featuring long-term collaborator Justin Timberlake is a highlight of the album showing obvious inspirations from the likes of Stevie Wonder and is a suitable early climax to set the tone for G I R L. Of course we know the prior successes between Pharrell and Daft Punk, and Gust of Wind is no exception, jazzy riffs blended with claps and auto-tune make this another high of Pharrell’s sophomore effort. Lost Queen is a more obvious example of Pharrell’s progression as a solo artist, opting for a tribal sound with a mellow singsong draped over the top it’s not a tune you’d usually associate with him. The song is separated into two parts, transitioned by waves crashing, which gives birth to a vocally helmed second part featuring a welcomed JoJo cameo.
One [possibly] negative point I found is that while listening to G I R L, I was surprised and disappointed once it was over, so soon. At ten tracks it’s quite a short album and you wish there was a little more of Pharrell’s new sound on offer. G I R L shows Pharrell challenging himself and moving into a genre he’s not previously been most known for, his transition from rap to R&B/Pop is fairly seamless and it seems as if Pharrell has found his true calling.