N.E.R.D. In Search Of...
Grade
B+
 
Also Try
Beastie Boys
Beck
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.

- - Kinderfeld

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