by Inlander Staff & r & Pharrell Williams In My Mind 2 STARS & r & As one half of the producer duo the Neptunes, Pharrell Williams is thus one half responsible for Justin Timberlake's success; ODB's quasi-opus Got Your Money; that one Britney Spears song; and, apparently, some 43 percent of all the pop music being spun on commercial radio (as recently as 2003). One spin through In My Mind, though, and I feel like Pharrell and I are just about square.
As the Neptunes, Pharrell creates the foreground, a hook and some chords, leaving partner Chad Hugo to fill in the spaces. It's the marquee gig, but it's a remarkably incomplete one, as this Hugo-less album demonstrates. There's no cohesion here, only Pharrell trying to assert himself as the real brain behind the hits. It's catastrophic.
Even the Kanye collab sucks because it's not a real collaboration, it's Pharrell cock-blocking at every turn. He wants us to know this is his show alone. It's endemic of an entire album made as a monument for Pharrell Williams' insuperable opinion of himself. And it's a failure for exactly that reason.-- Luke Baumgarten & r & CHECK OUT: "Keep It Playa"
Dark Side of the Cop & lt;a href= & quot;http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=rQy1MLe70wI & amp;offerid=78941 & amp;type=3 & amp;subid=0 & amp;tmpid=1826 & amp;RD_PARM1=http%253A%252F%252Fphobos.apple.com%252FWebObjects%252FMZStore.woa%252Fwa%252FviewAlbum%253Fi%253D129584534%2526id%253D129584529%2526s%253D143441%2526partnerId%253D30 & quot; & Dark Side of the Cop & lt;/a & 4 STARS & r & So we've already had a lot of fun with Dark Side of the Cop this week. (Starting on page 37.) In all seriousness, though, we're deeply impressed with this album. Concept aside, what oneish-man-band Marco Panella has created is a formidable stacking of melody upon melody. The whimsy of these continually morphing tunes are propelled by deliberate beats in a way that recalls the often paradoxical preoccupation of the 1980s with both lilting tunefulness and the square simplicity of electronic sounds, helping create a fully fleshed-out concept that weaves clever wordplay, ideas and colloquialisms into a uniform and lyrically cohesive narrative.
It's a simple enough story (boy follows girl to ends of earth), but it's pulled off with panache. "Shaky Little Rules" is a dyed-in-the-wool single, "Paradise Lost and Found" is a genuinely beautiful song, and "Like a Realist Painter (Interlude)" is the maker of a concept album thumbing his nose at the self-seriousness of concept albums. This is incredibly self-assured for a first record. -- Luke Baumgarten & r & CHECK OUT: "Paradise Lost and Found"
The new one is smart and funny and action-packed, and it’s bigger and better and sleeker. And Downey does it again, this time ramping up Stark’s arrogant wisecracking, telling anyone who’ll listen (mostly women) that, via the creation of his powerful Iron Man suit, he’s brought years of uninterrupted peace to the world.