Sunday, March 25, 2012

Dig On N*E*R*D's "In Search Of..."

P&B brings you the "Dig On" Classic Album Series.  We'll delve into our vaults to discuss the records that have profoundly impacted our musical tastes.  The albums we present are considered essential to anyone's record collection. In the end, you can't understand the present (or future) until you "Dig On" the past

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Neptunes' Alter-Ego Project Provides The Perfect Soundtrack to 'Guys Night Out'

The Neptunes production crew, made up of the Virginia-based duo of Pharell Williams and Chad Hugo, took the R&B, Hip Hop, and Pop music worlds by storm with their signature production style starting in the late 90s and well into the 2000s.

Their production sound is instantly identifiable.  You always know a Neptunes produced track when you here it.  Smash hit songs such as Usher's "You Don't Have To Call," Jay-Z's "I Just Wanna Love U (Give It To Me)," Justin Timberlake's "Like I Love You," and Snoop Dogg's "Beautiful" are just a few of the joints that come to mind when thinking of that classic Neptunes flavour.

But the album that P&B recommends you have in your collection (if you don't already) is the one the Neptunes released under their alter-ego side project N*E*R*D (pronounced "en-ee-are-dee," and the acronym stands for No one Ever Really Dies).

N*E*R*D consists of Williams and Hugo, along with their childhood friend Shay Haley.  This debut album was officially released in 2001, but an interesting back story will give you more context.

Having originally released the album in Europe, In Search Of... initially featured the electronic-based production that The Neptunes were becoming known for.

However, after apparently wanting it to sound slightly different than their current production style, the group decided to re-release the album with live instrumentation provided by Minneapolis powerpop band Spymob, thereby giving the record more of a "rock" sound.

The result is a blistering party record containing some of the best guitar and live drum sounds committed to tape in the last decade or so.

Right from the opening track (and first released single) "Lapdance," the album freaks its slinky, grimy funk and rauchy riffs all over the listener's ears.  The beats pack such a relentless punch, and classic rock influences can be heard all over the place.

This is the perfect record to put on before a night of drinking.

The song themes do have more of a male-oriented focus....I've met a few ladies that have absolutely hated this thing because of it's lyrics (i.e. track 5 "Tape You")

But the goal here is to not take what's being said too seriously.  In Search Of.... is all about fun, fun, and more FUN!

Even Tyler, The Creator - leader of the screwball California hip hop crew Odd Future - has been quoted several time as saying In Search Of... is his all-time favourite LP.

Although N*E*R*D has never duplicated the "lightning in a bottle" captured on this debut album (to be frank, they've gotten progressively worse with each subsequent release), "In Search Of...." will always live on as party-starting, 'kick out the jams'-style recording.

Fellas.....turn this album up really LOUD, get yer 'pre-drink' on, and get ready to hit the town!

Track Listing:

1.  Lapdance (featuring Lee Harvey and Vita)
2.  Things Are Getting Better
3.  Brain
4.  Provider
5.  Truth Or Dare (featuring Kelis and Pusha T)
6.  Tape You
7.  Run To The Sun
8.  Baby Doll
9.  Am I High (featuring Malice)
10.  Rock Star
11.  Bobby James
12.  Stay Together



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