One wonders why Neptunes duo Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo felt the need to revive their shot at rap-rock stardom that is N*E*R*D. It’s been four years since the modest success of second album Fly Or Die, and the world hasn’t exactly been waiting with anguished impatience on their return. But here we have Seeing Sounds anyway, a half-hearted album that takes its inspiration – so Pharrell says – from a documentary about synaesthesia he watched on the Discovery Channel. When they weren’t being educated about sensorial phemomena, the duo did have time to ensure the production was as crisp as should be expected, especially on Time For Some Action and the Outkast-aping Everyone Nose. But the not insignificant problem with N*E*R*D as a rap-rock proposition is that they are neither great rappers nor a great rock band. Listen to The Roots if you want to hear the best this uneasy genre has to offer.
Out Now via Interscope