N.E.R.D. No One Ever Really Dies | Production Rating: 5/10
- LEMON: With 808 drums complementing a processed woodblock riff, there isn’t much to be hyped about. This is simply made for dancers to catch a groove to. Let’s move along..
- Deep Down Body Thrust: Reminiscent of the early 70s surf rock, this beat pushes the boundaries where dipping back generations before us with a new-school twist actually works in their favor. N.E.R.D. not being one to slack in the production, hits us at the last minute with the beloved transition back to a trap vibe. I’m here for it..
- Voila: With the guitar riff driving the track alongside a busy 808 drum programming, this track GOES. They’re definitely reminding us they still embrace the early N.E.R.D. sound and not afraid to bring it back. Adding Gucci to the mix didn’t hurt but the reggae infused transition in the end sealed the deal for me. Fire!
- 1000: Beginning the track with Pharrell’s signature 4 count start, the Future-featured track gives off the after-school band vibe. Another busy 808 drum beat to not be proud of. N.E.R.D. adds a hard hitting kick drum and clap for Future’s verse that I really wish they kept going for the duration of the track. Nevertheless they throw in some bright-pads half way through to liven it up a bit.
- Don’t Don’t Do It!: Smoothing it out to vibe we all know and LOVE, it’s quickly substituted out for the double time rhythm prevalent in the last 4 tracks. Outside of the infectious baseline that continues throughout the track and solo’d in K. Dot’s verse, there’s nothing great here.
- Esp: Esp plays into the garage rock sound N.E.R.D. is known for. Though it’s nothing transcending, the breakdown at the last minute caught our ear and attention on sight.
- Lighting Fire Magic Prayer: With the melodic lead playing throughout the duration of the song it leaves a lot to be desired. Clocking in over 7 mins I’d hope for more of musical journey but instead was fed a couple different drums sequences. 7 tracks in I’m starting to get a little disappointed in the collaborative effort from Pharrell and Chad.
- Rollinem 7’s: 808 bass-line + Consistant snare hit + random voice chant = you guessed it, disappointment. Maybe I should try and lower my expectations before the next track plays. Oh wait..there’s decent beat change up for the 2nd half with a 3 stacks verse. I’ll take it.
- Kites: Not sure what to think of the tribal voice chant mixed with the random drum programming on this one so I’ll just move along.. 🙁
- Secret Life of Tigers: Yeah…No
- Lifting You: Assuming the aim was make a play on 90s reggae, it was executed while eventually falling short after an attempt to double time the beat with a minute left on the clock.
After a 7 year hiatus I’d admit my expectation was pretty high. After playing this album from front to back I was left with major disappointment due to lack of progression. From the 808 abuse to the lack of melodies I can’t say this is a project that gets a repeat. Let’s try again in 7 more years. *Plays Nothing*
Written by BeePeeEm