No One Ever Really Dies

No One Ever Really Dies

by N.E.R.D.

CD

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Overview

Subversive and socially conscious aspects have been threaded throughout N.E.R.D's jocular jams and ornate fantasias since 2001. "Politicians is soundin' like strippers to me," flippant as it was, stood out in their debut single "Lapdance." Later works involved anti-war, anti-bullying, and pro-conservation messages obscured by indiscriminate musical whims. NO ONE EVER REALLY DIES, the first N.E.R.D album in seven years -- and first material since duly nutty contributions to The SpongeBob Movie -- turns it up, fueled almost exclusively by societal turbulence as experienced and observed by Pharrell Williams. As a consequence, it's the closest N.E.R.D has verged on being a solo vehicle for Williams. He produced the whole thing and wrote almost every line not delivered by the featured artists, a crew of nine starring Rihanna, André 3000, and Kendrick Lamar. (Chad Hugo plays keyboards on only four songs and picks up one credit for additional production, while Shay Haley is typically secondary on vocals.) Williams and company change the style with almost as much frequency as Son of Bazerk, marking abrupt turns mid-song, spitting out brawling pop-punk and caustic fusions of new wave and synth funk, throwing in jittery footwork, comparatively straightforward hip-hop, and a little reggae. Those old Neptunes steel drums make a return, too. The energy level is high and restless, in a near-permanent state of agitation, heightened with machine beats that judder and bounce, synthesizers that plink and probe, and Williams' animated protestations. The rollicking temperament gives all the material, and that includes "Don't Don't Do It!," regarding the fatal police shooting of Keith Scott, a replayable quality. Tied together with recurring declarations of "mad ethnic right now," sampled from Retch's 2016 viral clip, the album is all raucous resistance to issues ranging from anti-immigration to police brutality to transgender rights. When Williams barks "You fuckin' with survivors!" like an activist Rockwell, he perfectly summarizes the indignant optimism that dominates the best N.E.R.D album since the original version of In Search Of....

Product Details

Release Date: 12/15/2017
Label: Sony
UPC: 0190758019024
catalogNumber: 580190
Rank: 144282

Album Credits

Performance Credits

N.E.R.D.   Primary Artist
Mary J. Blige   Background Vocals
Brent Paschke   Electric Guitar
Chad Hugo   Synthesizer,10-string Guitar,Moog Bass
Rhea Dummett   Vocals,Background Vocals
Alexandra DePersia   Vocals
Helen Williams   Vocals,Background Vocals
Mike Larson   Vocals
Thundercat   Bass
A$AP Rocky   Background Vocals
Phi Hollinger   Vocals,Background Vocals
Mette Towley   Vocals
Cara Delevingne   Vocals
Mamose Moo   Vocals
Rocket Williams   Vocals
Summer Uika   Vocals
Hana Hollinger   Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Kuk Harrell   Vocal Producer
David Swenson   Engineer
Jan Fairchild   Engineer
Pharrell Williams   Composer,Producer,Executive Producer
André Benjamin   Composer
Chad Hugo   Programming,Additional Production
Andrew Coleman   Engineer
John Muller   Engineer
Hart Gunther   Engineer
Rhea Dummett   Vocal Producer
David Kim   Engineer
Darryl Johnson   Engineer
Marcos Tovar   Engineer
Eric Eylands   Engineer
Ramon Rivas   Composer,Engineer
Jordon Silva   Engineer
Olubowale Akintimehin   Composer
James Hunt   Engineer
Mike Larson   Programming,Engineer,Vocal Producer
Ken Oriole   Engineer
Iain Findlay   Engineer
Thomas Cullison   Engineer
Jacob Dennis   Engineer
Todd Tourso   Art Direction
Matt Tuggle   Engineer
Pres Rodriguez   Art Direction
Brendan Morawski   Engineer
Nayvadius Wilburn   Composer
Thomas Graham   Engineer
Todd Hurtt   Engineer
Matt Schaeffer   Engineer
Phi Hollinger   Art Direction
Josh Sellers   Engineer
Ben Sedano   Engineer
Miguel DaCruz   Engineer
Sean Klein   Engineer
Masayuki Hara   Engineer
Kon Anders   Engineer
Madoka Kambe   Engineer

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