May 16, 2007

Drink Coasters: Pharrell - In My Mind (July 25, 2006)

I have to start this blog by stating the obvious: I have a lot of love for the Neptunes' production work. Chad Hugo and Pharrell Williams have produced many beautiful musical babies together. They have made some otherwise mediocre artists sound great (see: Noreaga, um...well, come on, Noreaga! You gotta give me that one), and they have made the club banger (a prerequisite on any mainstream hip hop album) a most bearable listening experience.

Another example of stating the obvious: In My Mind guzzles the cum out of a goat's testicles, and regurgitates it into its mother's mouth while french-kissing her. That is to say, it sucks, it's awful, and also kind of grotesque and obscene.

Pharrell seems to have made two major mistakes during the making of this shitstorm. First off, he believed that someone actually wanted to hear a solo album by a guy who is known for his production work. That may work for Dr. Dre and Kanye West (notice how I didn't say Timbaland), but most producers stay behind the boards for a reason. Okay, I'll grant that Pharrell's flow has gotten better over the years, and his verse on the Clipse's "Mr. Me Too" is pretty great. But still.

Secondly, the album wasn't produced by the Neptunes. It's produced by Pharrell by his damn self, just like all of the "Neptunes" production work these days (Clipse's Hell Hath No Fury, the Snoop Dogg songs on his last album, etc.). Nobody seems to know where the hell Chad "Chase" Hugo has up and gone off to, but he is sorely missed, as the beats presented here lack...oh, what is it, I just had it...oh yes, melody. And originality. (For an example in what I'm talking about, listen to a few songs off this album, and then try to find Kenna's New Sacred Cow, which was produced solely by Chad Hugo. You'll see what I mean.)

In My Mind alternates between rap and R&B, both genres equally lacking in adequate representation. There's no real reason for Gwen Stefani to appear on "Can I Have It Like That", the first track and single, other than payback for Gwen's huge-ass hit "Hollaback Girl" (which also sucks). Slim Thug also appears out of obligation; the same would go for Snoop. Nobody cares about Nelly anymore, which is why it's so surprising to hear him pop up on "Baby". Jay-Z's cameo on "Young Girl" is short and terrible, and we have to put up with Skateboard P getting his bullshit Prince on for what seems like twelve minutes before we can even hear Shawn's verse. Speaking of which, the final (but not soon enough) track is the awkwardly-titled "Skateboard P Presents: Show You How To Hustle", which is the most annoying name for a song that I've come across in about an hour (although it's better than some of those bullshit fucking emo song titles). This song admittedly contains the album's best beat (utilizing an organ and a simple drum pattern at first), but the chorus consists of some no-name studio singer talking about showing you how to hustle "so you can style all these n----s" (repeat 3x). The problem is, Pharrell isn't a fucking hustler; he's a self-professed band geek with a fucking skateboard. Which is fine, nothing against that, and the early Neptunes beats still are a force to be reckoned with. But if he's going to pretend he's a hustler, maybe he should, I don't know, get a rapper on the track who actually is a hustler (but not Rick Ross, because "Hustlin'" is annoying).

In My Mind is such a gawdawful album, I don't understand how ?uestlove is supposed to salvage it and turn a remixed album in to Interscope. Pharrell should pull himself out of his mind and get back behind the boards (see how that could be a skateboard reference? Clever!). As a safeguard, I would also put Chad's face on a milk carton or something, to at least stir up some interest. Avoid this like the fucking bubonic plague.

-Max

(Don't agree with the above review? Leave a comment below. Don't be shy!)

5 comments:

  1. I agree with you 110%! this album is another super hyped "woo its a new classic" type of album..so it has some hits big deal!! excpecting some new great reviews :) (i just like reading them )

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  2. lol, wow. you made me laugh and want to vomit at the same time (regurgitated goat's cum? inventive! and ew). anyway, i'll definitely be reading more from now on.

    thanks for the comment on my blog - i'm still new to this blogging stuff so it's nice to know people are reading. keep up the great work!

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  3. Really? I liked this album.

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  4. before i read your review... i'm preparing to be upset. it took me a minute but i love this album.

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  5. AnonymousJuly 03, 2009

    Couple of slow tracks are truly great but overall I agree, Pharrell should stay behind the boards. And after UMC I thought he's better take a year off or completely go away..

    Still love his early work though

    kormega

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