IN THE last 12 months Pharrell Williams’ name has come to be a hallmark of pop genius.
From Daft Punk’s ubiquitous Get Lucky to Robin Thicke’s equally omnipresent Blurred Lines (whatever your views on its lyrical content and video) to his own Happy, it has been Pharrell’s year.
The LP has never really been his forte, though. Debut solo outing, 2006’s In My Mind, was rather more miss than hit and his one undoubted success, N*E*R*D*’s In Search of… is 13 years ago now.
GIRL changes all that. Two exceptions apart, it’s an almost flawless collection of supremely crafted dance pop that takes in influences from Prince and Michael Jackson to The Beatles. In fact, it’s the kind of album that you can imagine Jackson wanting to make were he still around today.
Highlights abound. On opener Marilyn Monroe he comes on like a one man funk Beatles – it’s reminiscent of their 1965 album track Girl – and you can almost hear Justin Timberlake dancing Jackson-style across the stage on the fantastic Brand New, the best JT/Pharrell collaboration since Rock Your Body.
The Prince-like Come Get it Bae and Lost Queen are similarly stunning, and Gust of Wind, which features Daft Punk, would not have been out of place on Random Access Memories. I can’t stop playing it.
Like this? Try these: Michael Jackson, Bad; Daft Punk: Random Access Memories; Justin Timberlake: Justified