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The thrid album from Grammy Award winning producers and songwriters Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo, and longtime friend and creative wunderkind, Shae Haley, is a blistering
mash-up of booming hip-hop beats and rollercoastering rock riffs, rumbling crunk rhythms and scintillating soul music.
Whereas their first album, “In Search Of…,” was an imaginative, exploration of identities, and their second album,
“Fly or Die,” sought out the range of genres and sounds that have influenced the group, “Seeing Sounds” grinds everything
together, evoking a sound that is un-tethered by preconceptions and convention. It is also an album that amplifies
the style and attitudes that have made Pharrell, Chad and Shae transcendent cultural icons.
Personnel: Brent Paschke (guitar); Charles Parker , Igor Szwec, Emma Kummrow, Gregory Teperman (violin); Peter Nocella, Davis A. Barnett (viola); Jennie Lorenzo (cello); Chad Hugo (horns, keyboards); Eric Fawcett (drums, background vocals).
Audio Mixer: Neil Pogue.
Recording information: Chalice Studios, Los Angeles, CA; South Beach Studios, Miami, FL; The Hit Factory Criteria, Miami, FL; The Record Plant, Los Angeles, CA.
Pharrell Williams, Chad Hugo, and Shay Haley are back for more genre-bending funk rock and experimental hip-pop on SEEING SOUNDS. The album title reportedly refers to synesthesia--a rare neurological phenomenon that results in a mixture of the senses--but, like all of N.E.R.D.'s sonic excursions, album three might be better named after schizophrenia! The boys continue to expand on their already eclectic musical foundations, each song defying the standards established by its predecessor. Pharrell does his best Lil Jon impression on "Anti Matter," as fevered shouts of "What!" pepper the marching-band drum track. "Spaz" meshes a Beastie Boys-esque rhyme scheme with a hyper Drum `N' Bass background. "Yeah You" is a leisure-suit lounge take on Cake's brand of deadpan rock, while "Sooner or Later" works like a tongue-in-cheek lampoon of a tear-jerking Brit-Pop ballad. From start to finish, SEEING SOUNDS is an audible rollercoaster that refuses to be classified.
Rolling Stone (p.82) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "[E]xperimental and expansive: Specked with ostentatiously weird grooves, 'Spaz' and the speedy, jazzy single 'Everyone Nose' are destined to go down as some of 2008's most interesting hip-hop cuts."
Spin (p.104) - 3.5 stars out of 5 -- "[With] six amazing minutes of Hendrix-like splendor called 'Sooner or Later'....They kick like a bucket of Red Bull."
Entertainment Weekly (p.66) - "In their hyperkinetic hands, even integrating an acoustic stand-up bass with electronic beats seems perfectly natural." -- Grade: B
The Wire (p.64) - "[T]he fuzzed-out guitar lines and elastic basslines carry a comparable electric charge to the dayglo synths of hyphy, and SEEING SOUNDS shuffles its deck frequently enough to keep things in perpetual motion."
Time for Some Action/Intro
Everyone Nose (All the Girls Standing in the Line for the Bathroom)