In Search Of...
our score: 4.5 out of 5.0
Are Getting Better (for Music)
last few years, a new genre of music has erupted on the scene.
Rap-rock first became known in the mid 1980’s with the collaboration
of RunDMC and Aerosmith’s rendition of “Walk This
Way”. It was an immediate hit and the nature of its diversity
caught the attention of many different audiences.
this combination of rough guitar riffs, rhyming vocals, and hard-hitting
hip-hop beats has been replicated over and over to no end, each
time trying to capture the same freshness that Aerosmith and RunDMC
once had. We have seen this throughout music in the last ten years
with the arrival of bands such as Kid Rock, 311, Limp Bizkit and
a small group of producers known for coming up with obscure, tasty
beats for the likes of Britney Spears and P. Diddy (amongst others),
has made their presence known for capturing the same zest that
the founders of rap-rock developed. They are Pharrell Williams
and Chad Hugo, other wise known as N.E.R.D (No One Ever Really
Of… is a prime example of what rap-rock has the capabilities
to be. The Neptunes take the obligatory rock guitar and basic
hip hop beats and insert something extra; and with the added use
of turntables to provide loops and synthesized instruments N.E.R.D.
go beyond what previous contenders have brought to the table.
In the first
single, “Rock Star,” (an angst-filled anthem to posers)
Williams and Hugo supply edgy vocals and energetic beats that
guarantee to get adrenaline flowing. Yet N.E.R.D. also show their
potential to provide smoothed out tracks, with “Run Into
the Sun” maintaining the hip-hop feeling but also adding
unbelievably deep lyrics once unheard of in this genre, let alone
popular music. (“Yesterday I tied two rocks together to
symbolize our lives/and threw them in the ocean/ now they’re
on the ocean floor coastin’/till they stop rollin’”)
the new flavor, In Search Of…brings to the genre,
the mandatory atrocious tracks are nonetheless included. This
can’t be more blatant than in songs like “Tape You”
which explores the more graphic yet, surprisingly honest side
of propositioning one’s girlfriend about taping her engaging
in lesbian sex. Not only are the lyrics juvenile (“Now go
kiss her boobs/and you kiss her boobs too/get your finger dashin’/lights,
camera, action!”), but the synthesized high-pitched loop
is somewhat annoying.
All in all,
with their witty lyrics, unrefined beats, and first-rate production,
Williams and Hugo have shown what imagination, honesty and ingenuity
could result in. N.E.R.D. isn’t just what rap-rock has been
waiting for, it’s what popular music has been waiting for.
liked In Search Of...
2. Things Are Getting Better
5. Truth Or Dare
6. Tape You
7. Run To The Sun
8. Baby Doll
9. Am I High
10. Rock Star
11. Bobby James
12. Stay Together