MUSIC REVIEW: PHARRELL WILLIAMS G I R L
“In honor of the groove and all who’s surrendered to it
We say thank you, and we take it back” — Pharrell Williams/Marilyn Monroe from G I R L
I’ve been a fan of Pharrell (pronounced “far-EL”) Williams since the days of N.E.R.D. when I had N.E.R.D.’s 2001 song, “Run To The Sun” on my constant repeat list.
At midnight eastern time on Tuesday, 3/3/14, Pharrell released his second solo album, “G I R L“. Pharrell didn’t win an Oscar this year, but his song “Happy”, went back to number one with its inclusion on this album and his performance of it at the Oscars. And this new album is one of the best albums of 2014 so far (yes, I know its only March).
You can hear Farrell setting the tone for the album in the first 30 seconds of the first song, “Marilyn Monroe” and he says out loud: “different”. Check out his “manifesto” (shown below) for his “I Am Other” website and youtube channel, “dedicated to Thinkers, Innovators and Outcasts”
The music: Dance along, clap along, tap along, his songs are rhythmic, old-time R&B-contemporary-pop-hits, mixed in with the sounds and signatures of other musicians who make appearances including Kelly Osbourne, Justin Timberlake, Timbaland, Miley Cyrus, Daft Punk, JoJo, Alicia Keys, Tori Kelly and Leah LaBelle. Pharrell has a groove on, and he’s sharing it with all of us, daring us to get up and dance and embrace our differences, our “other”. Besides “Happy” (if you haven’t already, check out “24hoursofhappy.com” with hundreds of dancers, musicians and celebrities spontaneously dancing to the song and see if you can stay in your chair while you watch), my favorites so far (they’re all growing on me, in the few hours I’ve been listening nonstop) are a duet with Alicia Keys called “Know Who You Are“, and the first track “Marilyn Monroe”, but they’re all worth multiple listens.
I love the story quoted in Wikipedia about how this album came about:
“Williams provided vocals for French duo Daft Punk‘s 2013 album Random Access Memories. After he returned from the Paris recording sessions, he attended a meeting with record label managers, who said that the results were “spectacular” and that “Get Lucky” would be Daft Punk’s next single. They also made Williams an offer to record his own album, to which he agreed quickly, “overwhelmed that someone wanted to know what’s in my heart.”
By Pharrell WilliamsI serve and represent the OTHERS because I am one myself.
OTHERS defy expectations and stereotypes. We are curious, ambitious, energetic and have every intention of squeezing the most out of life. Above all, we are individuals.
OTHERS don’t fit into categories. We are not jocks. Or skaters. Or musicians. Or students. Or technologists. Or audiophiles. We want to be all of the above and then some.
OTHERS are a diverse group of optimistic, bright minds connected by technology and a desire to make our mark, who together can advance culture and even humanity.
OTHERS are not defined by demographics or geography. We have shared ideals, dreams and a vision for a new reality.
OTHERS believe individuality is the new wealth. Experiences are the new assets to acquire. Whoever is the most individual wins.
i am OTHER celebrates people who push society forward. The thinkers. The innovators. The outcasts. History has proven that it’s the rule breakers who have the power to change the world.
RESOURCES AND MORE INFO:
Spotify Playlist For Pharrell Williams/G I R L: Pharrell Williams – G I R L
ITunes Link For Pharrell Williams/ G I R L: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/g-i-r-l/id823593445?uo=4&at=11lbYM
Rolling Stone Magazine on how Arby’s bought his hat for $44,000: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/pharrells-mountain-hat-bought-by-arbys-for-44-100-20140303
Billboard Magazine on Pharrell Williams’ Oscar performance: http://www.billboard.com/articles/news/5923031/oscars-2014-pharrell-williams-gets-happy-with-jamie-foxx-meryl-streep
Pharrell Williams website: http://pharrellwilliams.com/
Pharrell Williams and Uniqlo t-shirt collaboration announcement: http://www.uniqlo.com/us/ut/i_am_other.html?utm_source=NL-20140304&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=WK10-030414-PHRWLM
Pharrell Williams “I Am Other” website (“dedicated to Thinkers, Innovators and Outcasts”): http://iamother.com/
Wikipedia entry for G I R L : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G_I_R_L