N.E.R.D. are fusing white college rock with jazzy hip hop and a fair share of plain weirdness. Outkast have gone there before and arguably with more striking results.
The talking point on ‘Seeing Sounds’ is ‘Everyone Nose (All The Girls In The Queue For The Bathroom)’. It’s poppy and it has more than it’s share of Outkast style weirdness. On the remix of ‘Everyone’, the trio around R&B producer Pharrell Williams duffs its collective baseball caps to the hottest hip hop sound around, Detroit’s ‘Juke’ style.
The hits on ‘Seeing Sounds’ for me are the rocking ‘Windows’, which makes more than a passing nod at The Knack’s rock classic ‘My Sharona’, and the mad ‘Kill Joy’. The latter is a Beastie Boys style jazz funk vamp with a touch of Latin Rock thrown in for flavour. The ballad ‘Sooner Or Later’ has a strong hook and benefits from its minimal arrangement.
On the rest of the album, N.E.R.D. are alternating between chasing that Outkast sound and playing with a bit of jazz funk. At the end of the day, ‘Seeing Sounds’ is a pretty mixed bag of tricks. As an album, it sits in between the catchy debut ‘In Search Of’ and the less consistent follow-up ‘Fly Or Die’.
There are enough songs on here that are worth a spin. If you are an old 80’s Soul Boy, you might want to check it out. Everyone else should go straight to ‘Everyone Nose’ and ‘Windows’.
Listen Here to ‘Seeing Sounds’ and download the album from the iTunes Store.