Pharrell Williams – G I R L


By Andrew

Pharrell Williams is obsessed with women. Its like every song he writes is meant to be for the ladies to swoon and faint to, as if, by some incredible measure, his pseudo-misogyny and sexism under the guise of infatuation is the new “black”. Far from it in fact, with every note of this album making me wonder whether the boy has ever left the man, or more importantly, has the boy never become a real man?

GIRL is pretty much the only four letters you need to understand this album. Its about girls, for girls, in love with girls, behind the bike shed kisses with girls and the odd handjob from girls. (Getting creeped-out yet?) Well I am. Pharrell Williams has been in the industry for many years now from his early days in the Neptunes production moniker through to now as just himself, his mantra has always been N.E.R.D. (Noone Ever Really Dies), but GIRL makes me wanna called it SPRND instead. (Some People Really Need Disbanding). I have this suspicious feeling his reappearance is a marketing exercise just to sell this album, and people will fucking buy it, and apparently so do the critics.


There’s a real resurgence towards Disco and funk in this album and if by magic, will instantly remind people of his “legend of the phoenix”-like rise from the fire (are you getting it now?) Daft Punk RAM entries. Along the same infatuation/misogyny tip, the majority of the album subject material is reminiscent of his abhorrent appearance on the Robin Thicke ‘Classic’ Blurred Lines (erk). But the production duo of the Neptunes are responsible for some of the best album and single releases in modern RnB and pop music over the last decade and a half; you would think Williams would make and keep the best music himself, but alas no.

Probably the strongest song on the album is the disgusting chipper track ‘Happy’ which incidentally comes off a soundtrack for Despicable Me 2, a children’s movie. I just don’t want to find out Williams is harbouring kiddie fiddler tendencies because its gunna be awkwardly apparent from his work choices he was showing us the signs of his sickness/obsession with ‘Girls’. Anyway, that’s just fucking slanderous and I take it mostly back, but questions won’t just be asked by my cynical mind.

Elsewhere in the album, the reggae tipped ‘Know Who You Are’ is pretty cool for what it is. Positive, laid back and cruisy. Most of this awesomeness is not William’s doing, at least vocally, that thanks goes to the always crazy good, Alicia Keys. And speaking of guests, this album has production and guesting coming out of its arse. Even if it is JoJo (remember her?) and Daft Punk (Can’t forget them?). Check the list:

  • Hans Zimmer – strings arrangement
  • Kelly Osbourne – background vocals (“Marilyn Monroe”)
  • Justin Timberlake – vocals (“Brand New”)
  • Timbaland –      beatboxing      (“Brand New”)
  • Miley Cyrus – vocals (“Come Get It Bae”)
  • Daft      Punk – vocals (“Gust of      Wind”)
  • Francesco – electric guitar (“Gust      of Wind”)
  • JoJo – vocals (“Lost      Queen”)
  • Alicia Keys – vocals (“Know Who You Are”)

Probably the other one word you could use to describe this album is positivity. Its literally oozing out of this album, and for someone with more money than most people know what to do with; this is no doubt how you would feel. For the rest of us slaves to the 9 to 5, the infectious positivity is bordering on sickening. There is definitely a positive reverence to the image of the ‘GIRL’ in modern society and for that I can’t fault Williams, but coming after Blurred Lines, it’s a wonder such a stark paradox of ideals could be delivered by just one man. To be harsh, this album is at its best a collection of saccharine odes to the history of pop music and at its worst, a plagiaristic and no thought out repeat of his more bland entries from his last album in 2006.


Overall, this album is about two things. Positivity and girls. That’s pretty much it. If you are the type of person who needs that in their life then go for it. I’m going to leave this one where it lays for some twelve year old girl to pick up and blast on repeat for the next year. Hopefully, for both our sake’s nowhere near our houses out in the slave lands of 9 to 5.


6/10 Sweet, sweet girl-loving nerds {Abrasive Andy}

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