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Fly or Die
     

Fly or Die

4.8 31
by N.E.R.D.
 

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Unlike In Search Of..., originally made primarily on N.E.R.D.'s various machines and then reconfigured with assistance from funk-rock band Spymob, Fly or Die is kept almost entirely in-house. The ridiculous cover, along with first single "She Wants to Move" -- and its accompanying video, including a

Overview

Unlike In Search Of..., originally made primarily on N.E.R.D.'s various machines and then reconfigured with assistance from funk-rock band Spymob, Fly or Die is kept almost entirely in-house. The ridiculous cover, along with first single "She Wants to Move" -- and its accompanying video, including a literal translation of the line "Her ass is a spaceship I want to ride" -- thankfully provide little indication of the album's true makeup. And the moments where the Star Trak hand sign gets flipped to a set of devil horns are mercifully fleeting, though "Backseat Love" is undoubtedly problematic -- it plays Dumberer to "She Wants to Move"'s Dumber. ("Lapdance" was Dumb.) The rest of the album isn't just noteworthy for subject matter that skips through child-parent relationship sketches, ecological reveries, and protest songs; the bright, bold Neptunes glaze that normally coats their chart-aimed singles of all stripes is applied to material that will leave many people baffled. The album sees N.E.R.D. rummaging through parts of their record collection that don't normally bubble to the surface in their production work. Most disarming of all is "Wonderful Place," a seven-minute trip divided into halves. The first shows a chipper Pharrell striding through a sunny meadow, marveling at the natural wonders of the planet in spite of its troubles; with a horn-punched chorus ("My soul's in my smile/Don't frown, just get up get up") and other subtle splashes of Baroque pop elements, it owes equally to Burt Bacharach and the Left Banke. This dissolves into a fading whistle, only to give rise to a dramatic, synthetically orchestral and acoustic-folk tale about a near-fatal family fishing trip. Any parent of the past, present, or near future will be stirred, especially once Pharrell goes falsetto to emphasize the relief of the nearly drowned baby being rescued by his mother. Instead of pausing for effect, the album goosesteps into "Drill Sergeant," yet another two-parter. Half power pop bounce and half tumbling, doomsday pummel, the song pulls no punches with antiwar sentiments that target the government and media, and when a teeth-clenched Pharrell talks about his fear of blowing up, you know he's not talking about fame. Despite the heavy subject matter in a third of the songs, the album nonetheless carries a lighthearted, fun-loving lilt. At face value, Fly or Die is a rather straightforward rock record. To N.E.R.D.'s credit, no one else could've made this particular rock record. Ideas come by the bushel, hooks arrive when least expected, embedded jokes get discovered like Easter eggs. Nobody can tie all of these things together and make them glow quite like this. Apart from a ploy to get some rotation at your local mall's Hot Topic (Good Charlotte's Madden brothers make an appearance), they didn't appear to make this record for anyone but themselves. So while Fly or Die is one of the most creative and ambitious moments of the Neptunes' career, it might also be their least understood.

Editorial Reviews

Rolling Stone - Rob Sheffield
The results may not be masterful, but they sure are weird. It's fascinating to hear these rap geniuses go undercover as a bar band you might hear rocking Journey covers in a bowling alley.
Entertainment Weekly - David Browne
Fly or Die is craftier and more multilayered than its predecessor. In the vein of Aja or Katy Lied, N.E.R.D.'s album is a set of clever, complex, studio-crafted pop -- complete with musicianly, smooth-jazz licks -- that doesn't owe allegiance to any once genre. (A-)

Product Details

Release Date:
03/23/2004
Label:
Virgin Records Us
UPC:
0724359145709
catalogNumber:
91457
Rank:
15036

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

N.E.R.D.   Primary Artist
Lenny Kravitz   Guitar
?uestlove   Drums
Pharrell Williams   Group Member
Chad Hugo   Group Member
Andrew Coleman   Guitar,Leader
Joel Madden   Vocals
Benji Madden   Vocals

Technical Credits

P. Williams   Composer
Rob Walker   Executive Producer
Bob Michaels   Executive Producer
Pharrell Williams   Composer,Executive Producer
Chad Hugo   Composer,Executive Producer
Andrew Coleman   Engineer
Gary Lewis   Images
Michael Galardi   Director
Jane Morledge   Art Direction

Customer Reviews

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Fly or Die 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 31 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Fly Or Die Rocks like everything else NERD puts out. Their music is so different from veryone else's. It's different to see a group of producers/performers come up with something new and different for every song that comes out. They represent eveything in true artists. Usually i will buy an album and listen to one or two songs on it then forget about it. With theirs there is never a skipped track. Keep on ROCKIN guys you do it the best!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This album is something you have to own. I have been waiting ages for this album to come out and it was definitely worth the wait. Before this album came out I found that you could listen to it on there website and after listening to it a couple of times I was hooked. Alot of albums I listen to tend to have a couple of tracks I don't like as much as the rest of the album but theres only one track on this album I don't listen to as much as the others and thats track 9,Thrasher. Now don't get me wrong its a good track but I just don't think its as good as the other ones. Although I say that now but when I first heared some of the other tracks on the album I wasn't sure if I liked them are not but now that I've listened to them all alot I think there all good. So maybe if I listen to that track more I'll start to like it just as much.
Guest More than 1 year ago
THIS CD IS GREAT! N*E*R*D HAS REALLY DEVELOPED ALOT FROM IN SEARCH OF... THIS CD IS FILLED WITH SO MANY EMOTIONS. IT JUST MAKES ME FILL LIFTED IN SO MANY WAYS. THE DRUMS & NEW THINGS THEY'VE TRIED ARE REALLY COOL! AND I DON'T MEAN JUST "COOL" I MEAN REALLY COOL-LOL-. AND THE LYRICS ARE BRILLANT! THE BOYS HAVE DONE IT AGAIN, AND I GIVE THEM MADD PROPS! THEIR DREAMY AND OUT OF BODY SOUND WILL CHANGE A TRUE MUSIC FAN! I HAVE A FEELING THIS CD WILL GO NUMBER 1, & I HOPE SO BECAUSE THEY REALLY DESERVE IT & THEY'VE COME SUCH A LONG WAY! : )MY FAVORITE SONGS ARE JUMP, BREAKOUT, THE WAY SHE DANCES & CHARIOT OF FIRE.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Whether you have always been a N.E.R.D. fan as I have, or if you are just getting turned onto them this album as well as the others are a must. I can 100% say they are musical geniuses. They make you want to enter the N.E.R.D. zone, and you will keep coming back for more! A MUST HAVE.... Open your mind, and enjoy.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Where do i begin...shall i start on my love for Pharrell or on this Beautiful piece of art....yea ok seriously This is a great album Well done Pharrell and other people lol...love MAYBE, beautiful lyrics and great feel good song, of course SHE WANTS TO MOVE...TUNEEEEEE!!!Cud dance to it all nite and love all the rest of the songs...DONT GIVE IT UP and pharrell U NO*doing the star track symbol*we shall meet one day!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This album is packed full of quality music. No cheap gimicks can be found here. N*E*R*D has shown everyone what can be done when Live instruments and a diverse taste of music are used on one Studio Album. You'll hear a sound from them unlike anyone out there. They'll make you want to dance to their infectous beats and sing along with the chorus. It isn't very often when you hear music that isn't just catchy but makes you wonder how they were able to put these songs together with so many layers of melody and syncapation without making it feel like it was forced together. You have to here these songs from start to finish to understand what I mean. "The Way She Moves" is the best example of this. Put away your one hit wonder album that you bought and pick this soon to be classic (Along with thier first album) album.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This album is classic. NERD brings sounds together from hip-hop, rock, and jazz and brilliantly layers them. This album is quite refreshing and brings intelligence back into pop music
Guest More than 1 year ago
ONCE, TWICE, HOWEVER MANY TIMES- N.E.R.D. HIT'S THE SPOT! "IN SEARCH OF..." AND NOW "FLY OR DIE"- I CAN'T EVEN PICK A FAVORITE. THIS CD IS SUPER HOT AND SPICY WITH FUNK FOR YOUR SOUL. YOU'RE SURE TO BURN UP YOUR CD PLAYER WITH THIS ONE! WANNA FLY AWAY PHARRELL? ONE LOVE- N.E.R.D. SHAUNTELL HEMUSETSUGARGIRL@AOL.COM
Guest More than 1 year ago
Usually, the infamous producing team The Neptunes had a certain sound that fit all the artists they produced for. However, when it came to producing "themselves" as N.E.R.D., putting them in a genre is harder than it seems. From "In Search Of..." to "Fly Or Die", N.E.R.D. has grown as a group as well as individuals. Every track on "Fly Or Die" takes you on a trip about life. And when matched with the enhanced CD portion, the playlist pictures just make the experience that much better. But dont think that N.E.R.D. would just leave you with 12 tracks to love. There is more to "Fly Or Die" than meets the eye. Hidden tracks are loaded on this album, some of which I wish were tracks on their own. My personal favorite would be "Wonderful Place" and the hidden track that follows it. If you want listen to something different than "mainstream" music that is promoted today and listen to something quite unique, "Fly Or Die" is for you.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Fly or Die is a master piece produced by N*E*R*D. This album has a range of genres, mainly rock and rap, although these are two completely different genres they work well together. The songs have great bass lines and funky guitar riffs. This is a great album, a must have for anyone who has or hasn't heard of N*E*R*D
Guest More than 1 year ago
Fly or Die wasn't exactly what i expected but still tight! The songs are hot and so is Pharrell! The cd is definately worth buying so go out and BUY IT! peace
Guest More than 1 year ago
I really dont know how anyone can give this album a bad review after hearing it. Unless there stuck on ONE type of music..usually those are the people who dont go well with change... I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS CD TO ANYONE WHO IS WITH DOUBT OF BUYING IT..ITS THE HOTTEST ALBUM OUT.. A TRUE THUMBS UP!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
if you like rap, hip hop, rock or alternative rock theres something for you in this cd. very good album
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved the old album & love this one even more! What I love is how their sound is so different, not mainstream. With N*E*R*D you never really know what to expect, except something funky & way too cool!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I just bought "fly or die" yesterday and i have to say it is the best album ever! My favorite song is "JUMP" and "she wants to move".I suggest u buy this cd now
Guest More than 1 year ago
i love this cd ilove it ilove it ilove it i hear it about 100 times a day every day
Guest More than 1 year ago
Fly or Die is another amazing album made; "In Search of..." This will be by far one of the best albums of 2004!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have at most 4 albums in my car at any one time... Since its debut, N.E.R.D.’s In Search Of has been one of those albums [and the other 3 have Neptune’s production]. The tracks played by Spy-Mob were raw, energetic, edgy, with a recklessly violent element in them. Tracks like Lap Dance, Truth or Dare, Brain, and Tape You displayed a raw perversion we could all identify with. The lyrics and sound jumping from edgy sexuality to almost criminal fantasy. Tracks like Run to the Sun and Baby Doll showed a refined relaxed cool befitting the stylish Pharrell. Rock Star brazenly proclaimed the status of the edgy trio. Bobby James and Am I High bounced between the beauty and beastly aspects of drug use. This was the kind of album that dared me to put on the coolest shades I could find, stroll into a bank, coolly rob it while flirting with the teller, and then strut out with the young heiress at the front of the line as my hostage/lover. This album espoused cool and badass at the same time. For those of us musically incompetent enough to enjoy Lapdance [sorry to the critics, we do exist], the stand out tracks on the Album are Backseat Love and surprisingly enough the radio track She Wants to Move. But the rest of the album seems to be lacking something. While listening to the album I waited for the adrenaline and cockiness that was pumped into my head by songs like Lap Dance, but I never felt the rush. So what happened? What is this poppy Beatles wanna-be dribble that bears the beguilingly edgy title of Fly or Die? Could it be that Spy-Mob was providing N.E.R.D. with its criminally edgy style? Don’t Worry About It [a song that mixes Hendrix-like Guitar Rifts with Beatles smooth] sets the tone for the rest of the album: lyrically brash but musically mellowed. In fact, for the first few seconds, I thought my CD player was broken and playing a slowed down version of Brain. Tracks like Wonderful Place embody the demeanor of the group: ready to explore the truths of the world but lacking the anger and unquenched appetite that gave so much fire to their previous album. It seems that after a few years on the block, N.E.R.D. has matured to the point where it no longer needs to shout its perversely honest message over scorching Rock n’ Roll tracks. It seems the trio has left Fred Durst’s angry Rap/Rock style behind, and has instead interwoven their social commentary in lighter more melodic tracks. Whether this is a good thing depends on your perspective. Frankly while listening to songs like Thrasher, I’m waiting for the group to switch musical tempo when describing the relationship with this bully. Instead the music is subdued. “F*** em up” repeats the chorus… but in the end it’s just taunting. I wanted to hear one of the scorching tracks from In Search Of play in the background as Pharrell described the beating he gave the bully. To put it bluntly, this album is musically lobotomized. While the music is well played and great if you’re looking to smoke a joint and giggle about how cool rock was in the 60’s, it lacks the energy of their previous work. It feels almost as if in trying to be cool, the trio has cooled the emotional edge that made their first album the confident adrenaline rush it was. Since it feels as if this album borrows from Kravitz, the same way Kravitz borrowed from Hendrix, I’ll measure it against his works. It’s like listening to Lenny Kravitz before his breakup with Lisa Bonet. If you liked American Woman or Fly Away then stick with N.E.R.D’s first release. If you’re looking for aesthetically Neo-Flower child funk with a Hollywood quality message this is the album for you. P.S. Shae has to say something sometimes.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Must have!!!! If you liked In Search Of, then you will like Fly or Die. They still keep their blend of music from hip hop to alternative. This album is by far the best $15 I have spent on a CD this year.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Fly Or Die is a great album!If you have yet bought the album, because you may have enjoyed the last album?Then you should really reconsider!You have no idea what your missing!!The album is great musically and lyrically!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Very good album. Has a little of everything in it: rock, hip-hip, rap, everything worth listening to. Especially "She Wants to Move" and "Jump" with the Maddens from Good Charlotte. Anyway, it's a really good cd.
Guest More than 1 year ago
when i listened to this ablum about 2 days ago on VH1 i was expecting a great album just like their first (In search of ..) however i was not expecting this cd to be as terrific as it truly is. the cd literally makes you want to get out of your seat and dance, cry, and smile because of it's cool style. there are wonderful drum breaks and of course the unique tone of pharrell's voice, which is very sexy. i think right now this is my favorite cd, the only aspect of the cd i'd change is the track named "thrasher" which is wonderful but way too similar to the queens of the stone age song "no one knows" .... besides that song, which i also admire ... the cd is a classic and i think anyone who likes music will appreciate
Guest More than 1 year ago
the N*E*R*D guys' new album is , may i say, fabulous! when i first heard it i was thinking that it was not as good as In Search Of.... but now i think it really rocks. buy the album if you wanna be soembody, cos its great!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I really love this album! the tunes on it are so great ive never heard an album like it! N.E.R.D are so talented. i reall cant stop listening to it i advise every one to go and buy a copy before they sell out!