N.E.R.D. releases their third studio album this week, the follow-up to 2004’s Fly Or Die, entitled Seeing Sounds. Shae Haley, Pharrell Williams, Chad Hugo and are definitely back for the revenge of the nerds…
Since N*E*R*D came on the scene with their debut album, In Search Of… (back in ‘02) I’ve been a fan of theirs. Lyrically, melodically and musically, I was super impressed by them, even in high school. And in 2004, they dropped the classically retro, but still fresh Fly Or Die, I feared that N*E*R*D would suffer from never releasing another album, nevertheless, I was pleasantly surprised with the release of Seeing Sounds.
The new album is everything I expected it to be and more. When the first single, “Everyone Nose” first leaked, I was really excited. All the energy in the song had me in love immediately, and as more information about the album surfaced and Pharrell announced that the album was going to be titled Seeing Sounds, I knew that they came back hard.
“The Neptunes is what we do, but N*E*R*D* is who we are. It’s our life,” says Pharrell.
Seeing Sounds finds the band still touching new creative surfaces. Pharrell still takes the reigns for lead vocals, both rapping and singing on the album, but I definitely think you can hear a freshness in their sound. For me, there was never a dull moment in the album. I didn’t get bored, or skip any tracks. It’s a cohesive effort that shows their growth as writers, instrumentalists and performers (I’ve loved the energy of their performances). Stand-out tracks include the raucous “Anti-Matter,” the climactic “Sooner Or Later,” as well as “Kill Joy” and “You Know What.”