Friday, March 07, 2014

favorite song friday: pharrell and girl just want to have fun

Yes, I'm still on a Pharrell Williams kick, and you should be too. I just picked up his new CD, Girl, and am enjoying listening to it on repeat in the car. The ├╝ber-infectious "Happy" is smack-dab in the middle of things. It is still a stand-out tune, but there are other treasures as well.

Pharrell was all over the charts this past year with collaborations with Daft Punk on "Get Lucky" and Robin Thicke on "Blurred Lines" — both huge hit records. He has proved himself as a performer and producer, working with everyone from Mariah Carey to Britney Spears to Jay Z. Girl has Pharrell playing to his strengths as both a producer and performer. He pulls in some great talent on a number of tracks, but also showcases his smooth falsetto, great phrasing, and love of all musical genres on many of the tracks.



This one goes out to all the lovers
What can we do? We're helpless romantics
We can not help who we're attracted to
So let's all dance, and elevate each other — "Marilyn Monroe"

Girl has a retro-feel, with Pharrell sharing his love of classic Motown, 70s disco, 80's pop, and just about anything and everything that has a great beat. But the record never seems dated or a pastiche. Pharrell loves beats and knows how to use them. Some of the stand-out tracks include:

"Marilyn Monroe," which starts off the album.

"Brand New," with Pharrell and Justin Timberlake evoking Stevie Wonder and The Jackson 5 while they trade verses in this upbeat jam.

Honey, you got me feelin' (brand new)
You got me feelin' (brand new)
Like the tag's still on me
Got the tags still on me
Jumpin' 'round in your bag
Jumpin' 'round in your bag
So good morning, ooh girl
You are the feeling I'm jammin' to (brand new)
You are the feeling I'm jammin' to (brand new)
Like the tag's still on me
Got the tags still on me — "Brand New"

The supremely silly but always fun"Hunter" is definitely a nod towards the '80s as well as an homage to bands like Duran Duran, Blondie, and the B52s. It also comes the closest to evoking last summer's smash, "Blurred Lines."

Miley Cyrus turns up for vocals on a bouncy track called "Come Get It Bae."

And Pharrell apparently can't get enough of Daft Punk (or vice-versa), who join him on the groovy "Gust of Wind".

Other featured artists include Alicia Keys who duets with Pharrell on "I Know Who You Are," Timbaland, and Kelly Osborne.

Although "Happy" is undoubtedly the sunniest song on the record, it is impossible to listen to the rest of Girl and not smile. Celebrating women and music and love, Pharrell and Girl just want to have fun.

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