Faith No More
N.E.R.D. provides an odd fusion of music, somewhere
between straight-forward rock, eclectic progressive music,
classic funk and the sex-laden hip hop genre. You could call
them rap-rock, but that definition is too confining. N.E.R.D.
seems to falls into the same odd genre that acts like the
Beastie Boys, Faith No More and Thought Industry
manage to hang about in. They manage to blend a number of
genres together and infuse it with an inventive style that
breaks them apart from the norm.
Drum beats are simple, but infectious. The vocals are a blend
of rap and what can best be described as harmonized talking
to a beat. Musically, the album infuses rock/funk with layers
of sound and style that at times feel bare and other times
feel completely full, but at no time feels weak or unfinished.
The album as a whole is delivered well, both musically and
lyrically. Rather than falling into typical lyrical stereotypes,
the album treads into subjects like relationships and drug
abuse, subjects that don't see much time in the hip hop genre.
Both Rock Star and Baby Doll are catchy and
a joy just to listen to. Things are Getting Better
is heavy with a pleasant funk, and tracks like Brain
and Lapdance have a wonderful beat and rock/funk fusion
to them. There are so many tracks that will get you to tap
your foot or nod your head to the beat that you can't help
but enjoy yourself.
I'll be honest: I haven't had this much fun listening to
an album. While some of the material may not totally feel
new and revolutionary (certain tracks feel familiar to older
Beastie Boys and Beck), the quality of the album
as a whole is worth a listen to. There's a level of inventiveness
that most of the mainstream seems to forget that they can
use. You owe it to yourself to at least check this album out.