[REVIEW] N*E*R*D NO_ONE EVER REALLY DIES
This week has been fulfilled with music of generations past. With the plethora of music that has come out, the only thing now is the quality of the substance presented. One piece of work that stood out was the highly anticipated album NO_ONE EVER REALLY DIES by N.E.R.D. The last project they put out was Nothing back in 2011. With the many years that have passed without N.E.R.D implementing their sound on generations, it is exciting to see what they have in store for us today.
N.E.R.D has always created its own kind of sound with combinations of different genres, creating something new that is above the mainstream. The first track off their album, which has its own dance challenge, is “Lemon”. This highly-powered song with high tones, energetic beats and alternating flows allow for the listener to not only dance but choreograph their heart out to their desire. Also a special treat is Rihanna’s verse off the track, showing again that Pharell’s production genius pushes the limits of any artists.
Transitioning into “Deep Down Body Thurst”, this toe tapping infatuation of a song gives you life to enjoy the dance floor all night. It comes with a strong piano riff that creates a rhythmic feel that allows for any person to keep in touch with the dance floor. With the song mesmerizing you with its alternating piano riffs, you can easily find yourself enjoying a good time.
Future over the past couple years has been a big part of the music game, so to have “1000” coming in on track 4 featuring Future shows that N.E.R.D is staying relevant. The electronic and energetic song brings you the originality of N.E.R.D but also combines with Future’s aggressive rap style when incorporating deep beats and intoxicating bass, giving you a song that stands on its own. When pushing the limits Pharell, Chad, and Shae always embrace new sounds and new concepts, while also still using their original Neptunes feel.
After being winded from “1000’s”, you can calmly transition into the political and social aspect of “Don’t Do It.” In a video on Tidal, Pharell explained to the listening group that, “this song is to bring attention to things such as police brutality and social injustice.” There have been many incidents where minorities have been on the opposite end of a gun barrel, we have seen numerous of times that this eventually becomes the last thing that they see.
“Don’t Do It” brings these overlooked instances into the light by creating a melodic and catchy tune that integrates the listener into a wake up in the morning feeling, and transitions into an amplified aggressive and tense situation that will be the last you (victims eyes) will encounter. The transition of the beginning of the song all the way to the end shows how ones day can turn in an instant without any warning. It gives the listener the emotion of these incidents and allows for you a peak into the victim’s eyes. In the first verse Keith Scott is the story that Pharell speaks about, and then names the cities that have had the same encounter with Police.
To bring attention to something you need not only a story but also a separate viewpoint as well, and who else can do it better than Kendrick Lamar? Lamar spits the last verse with a high-powered delivery and potent bite with intentions to inform the “Ghost” (people) while also aggression to warn the “Pac-man” (police). With the combination of Pharell and Lamar the song definitely gives you the feeling of the Black Community or any citizen that has had a negative interaction with the Police.
Additionally N.E.R.D brings their own sound back on “Rollinem 7’s” featuring Andre 3000. Yes, I said Mr. 3000, 3Stacks, the infamous ATLien. This song truly is one of their original sounds as it brings the fused elements of multiple genres transitioning and combining into a cohesive element. The incorporated skits and musical outlets allow for the listener to take the journey which Pharell as he places them down for them one by one. With Andre 3000 bringing his own flare into the mix the song gives you the lucky feeling of only Rollinem 7’s.
Moreover the album wraps up with “Lifting Up” featuring Ed Sheeran. Containing a Raggae type of feel, Lifting Up allows for the listener to lay back and roll one. Ed Sheerans vocals ring to the reggae beat and tantalizing drums while at the same time putting the listener into an island feel for the end of the project. To wrap up the listening party on Tidal, Pharell expresses the last song as one to uplift the listener further saying “when they are talking about you, they are lifting you.” This lift can be positive or negative but what you do with that assisted lift is up to you.
As a whole, the album comes together as every N.E.R.D album has done before. It cohesively contorts the factions of every genre and blends them into a piece of artwork that we as a masses search for throughout time. This album attacks social, political, personal and even at times economical states of mind happening in this time period. It challenges the music industry and pushes the envelope to create something that no one has thought of and create it in a light where others will enjoy listening as they have enjoyed creating. Finally, N.E.R.D has always had an electro feel mixed with a conscious lyrical aspect that cohesively combines into just great ass music, and NO_ONE EVER REALLY DIES meets the bar for their legacy.