Posted on Friday, January 24, 2014 by fillups
Pharrell Williams is having one heck of an awards season this year.
All the current acclaim is for work that shows off Pharrell's skills at creating fun upbeat soulful tunes with absolutely first rate production. While not everyone knows his name, Pharrell has been changing the face of popular music both as a producer and a vocalist since the late 90's.
His skill at creating innovative music is apparent from his early recordings as a member of the rap group N.E.R.D. and his work producing as part of The Neptunes. The Neptunes' production was so successful that it created a Neptunes sound that led to them winning a 2004 Grammy for Producer of the Year.
Pharrell Williams has had a wide ranging career both as a singer and a producer that is worth exploring with these highlights.
In Search of... by N.E.R.D.
N.E.R.D.'s debut album caused a sensation with its nimble use of R&B that seemed to defy the rules of rap in 2002. It sounded like nothing that had come before. There are some unfortunate lyric choices that mar the album but muscially it stands the test of time.
Williams is both a vocalist and part of the production team.
Justified by Justin Timberlake
While not all the tracks are produced by The Neptunes, many of my favorites are. This includes the infectious "Rock Your Body" which really shows off the The Neptunes' polish as a production team.
The album scored a Grammy for Timberlake and The Neptunes as the Pop Vocal Album of 2004.
Hell Hath No Fury by Clipse
Clipse and the Neptunes were a long time collaborative team. This was Clipse's second album and their highest artistic achievement. The Neptunes create the leanest version of their trademark sound behind the rappers. The album is furious, cold blooded and worthwhile for anyone exploring rap music.
In My Mind by Pharrell Williams
By 2006, Pharrell had scores of accomplishments behind him. What he did not have was a solo album. This might be one of the reasons a lot of people are unaware of his name. In My Mind is his first solo release. The album is divided between R&B and rap and showcases Pharrell's range well.
Despicable Me by Various Artists
A winning combination of songs. This album shows Williams getting ready for his current award run. Not only does it show off his versatility in writing all the original songs for the film but he also collaborates with Robin Thicke here. Their later collaboration would be with the 2013 mega hit "Blurred Lines."
Discover more great music and movies by checking out the SCCLD Music and Movies blog.
Image from wikipedia.org