N*E*R*D, 'Nothing' (Star Trak/Interscope)

6
Nothing
Critical Mass
Release Date: November 2, 2010
Label: Star Trak/Interscope

by Mikael Wood

"I bet this song make no sense to you," Pharrell Williams sings on "God Bless Us All," and it's difficult to imagine him sounding any less worried by that fact. Like N*E*R*D's three previous albums, Nothing collects all the zany ideas that Williams and his Neptunes partner, Chad Hugo, couldn't convince their production clients to try: schmaltzy Love Boat horns ("Perfect Defect"), fuzzy psych-rock guitars ("Help Me"), even a lengthy sample of congressman Patrick Kennedy flipping his shit on the House floor ("It's in the Air"). Nutty? Yes. Compelling? Occasionally.

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