Can you decipher the form of an album from its guest appearances? Pharrell Williams’ debut, In My Mind dragged his frazzled jazz-funk sound into lacklustre territory and featured the likes of Jamie Cullum, Slim Thug and Gwen Stefani. A perfect sample of 2006’s pop zeitgeist or an artist flailing around to find his own musical identity? A bit of both perhaps. Following guest spots on Get Lucky and Robin Thicke cause célèbre Blurred Lines he’s back with an album that snaps up Miley Cyrus and Justin Timberlake for ‘features’. Yes, it’s his Big Pop Moment where his trademark musical flourishes (sci-fi synths, weird chord changes) have been streamlined into fat-free pop funk. Fine, but relatively pedestrian when you’re credited with sculpting the sounds of the future. Only a few moments – Happy, the Daft Punk-featuring Gust Of Wind and I Know Who You Are – sound truly out of the ordinary.
Here’s the album trailer:
And the video for Happy: