Months on from him thinking his career as a solo artist was over, Pharrell Williams returns with his brand new album 'G I R L'.
He's now known around the world once more as that guy who produced one of the greatest/most annoying (depending on how you look at it) movie songs of recent years with 'Happy' from Despicable Me 2, and his collaborations with Robin Thicke and Daft Punk see him top charts all over the globe.
Now number one in the USA, there couldn't come a better time for Pharrell to capitalise on his popularity, and with features from some of the biggest names in the business today woven throughout this record (Miley Cyrus, Justin Timberlake, Alicia Keys), he's certainly on to a winner.
The celebratory mood of the record does everything 'Blurred Lines' didn't, in that he's not quite a predator who's demanding a woman satisfy his needs, but a man who loves everything about women, respects them and - though he's a self-confessed 'Hunter' in the third track of that name - isn't creepy or forceful.
Southern twang invades at times and it's a welcome change to the usual tone we hear from the versatile artist. He sticks to what he's good at a lot of the time - possibly a safe decision - but one that ensures every track can be listened to again (except 'Happy' which has absolutely been ruined by radio).
Miley is wasted on 'Come Get It Bae' - it's not an exciting track and the Daft Punk collab 'Gust Of Wind' which follows is far superior, as well as the Justin Timberlake 'Brand New' at the beginning of the record which is possibly the best on the collection.
'Lost Queen' is almost sweet - sexual references take it out of wedding song levels - and Alicia Keys adds a touch of class to 'Know Who You Are' - a nearly-reggae tune that'd sound great on the beach.
Final track 'It Girl' rounds out things perfectly - it's a smooth and sensual track with a soft but powerful beat that's a treat for the ears. His vocal is stunning, and he pushes it right to the places we want to hear.
On the whole, 'G I R L' is a stellar record with some moments of brilliance. Pharrell Williams isn't over. Far from it.
'G I R L' is out now.
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