In Search Of... [Bonus CD-Rom Track]

In Search Of... [Bonus CD-Rom Track]

4.7 14
by N.E.R.D.
     
 

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Their secret recipe of loops and samples that suggest computer game noises has launched a thousand hit singles -- including Mystikal's "Shake Ya Ass" and Britney Spears' "I'm a Slave 4 U" -- but the Atlanta production team the Neptunes had a hard time putting together their long-awaited debut, recorded as the

Overview

Their secret recipe of loops and samples that suggest computer game noises has launched a thousand hit singles -- including Mystikal's "Shake Ya Ass" and Britney Spears' "I'm a Slave 4 U" -- but the Atlanta production team the Neptunes had a hard time putting together their long-awaited debut, recorded as the hip-hop/rock group N.E.R.D. Although In Search Of... had several scheduled release dates in 2001, the disc has since been completely revamped for its official unmasking. Having tossed out their MPC drum machine for this incarnation of the album, N.E.R.D.'s Chad Hugo and Pharrell Williams opted for live instrumentation, and the results make it worth the wait. The digitized funk of tracks such as the tongue-in-cheek "Lap Dance" and "Truth or Dare," featuring Neptunes muse Kelis doing her best Debbie Harry impression, have been replaced with crunching guitar riffs and analog synth grooves, giving the album a warmer, more homespun studio feel. The humorous, guitar- and synth-driven amateur porn anthem "Tape You" ("Relax girl, sip some of my Slurpie") and the sarcastic punk-lite jam "Brain" ("Do I even really love you?/Or do I love your brain?") are invigorated by the live reedit. On the other hand, the acoustic ballad "Provider," with its perfect pop melodies, sounds unchanged. That standout track takes fragments of blues, breezy pop, and alt-country to tell the poignant story of a Papi who was a rolling stone. Witty, hip, and sonically savvy, In Search Of... is the ultimate revenge of the N.E.R.D.s.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
N.E.R.D. are nothing if they're not clever, and they brilliantly constructed a back-story to accompany their debut album, In Search Of... As every rock critic in the Western world has said in his review of the album, they originally released the record in Europe, then decided it was crap, withdrew it, re-recorded it with a live band, and then released it worldwide. Now this story is probably true -- as the first album by the band driven by the powerhouse production team the Neptunes (though these are not interchangeable terms, as they went to great lengths to make clear in the promo interviews), there was a lot riding on this record, so it had better be right -- but it certainly helped them get valuable press, elevating this record to a near-event level. So, is In Search Of... worth the hoopla? Well, pretty much. Musically, it's a lively affair, breaking free of the signature approximated-Prince beats, as they borrow heavily from classic soul, breakbeat aesthetics, and postmodern alt-culture, tying it together with live beats. It pretty much deliberately does everything that most modern rap does not do, and it's hard not to embrace it for that very fact. Alas, there are flaws, mainly in the raps, which are hardly as nimble as the music; actually, they're rather clumsy and embarrassing, especially since they attempt to cover "socially relevant" issues (i.e., politicians are equated with strippers). Choruses that croon that "She needs me/Because I'm the sh*t" are hard to stomach, no matter how supple the music is (or how ironic the delivery), but if you can ignore that, In Search Of... does provide genuine musical thrills. Although, be forewarned -- it's easy to overrate this record simply because it deviates from the norm at a time when nobody deviates from the norm or has deviated from the norm in years. With better lyrics and a little less smirking hipsterism, it could have been the record it was intended to be, but as it stands, it's still a pretty terrific listen and one of the most adventurous, intriguing hip-hop albums in a long, long time. [This version includes a 15-minute CD-ROM track filmed live in performance at the Fillmore in San Francisco.]
Rolling Stone - Barry Walters
N.E.R.D. want you to open your mind, and if doing so they jeopardize their relationships with the roughnecks that made their careers possible, at least their conscience is clear.
Blender - Alex Pappademas
The year’s most inventively weird R&B album.

Product Details

Release Date:
10/22/2002
Label:
Virgin Records Us
UPC:
0724381152102
catalogNumber:
11521
Rank:
14579

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

N.E.R.D.   Primary Artist
Tammy Lucas   Background Vocals
Spymob   Background Vocals,Multi Instruments
Eric Fawcett   Drums,Vocals
Brent Paschke   Guitar
John Ostby   Piano,Vocals
Kelis   Vocals
Christian Twigg   Bass
Pusha T   Rap
Lee Harvey   Rap
Vita   Background Vocals
Malice   Rap

Technical Credits

Ty "The Guy" Braswell   Executive Producer
Rob Walker   Executive Producer
Pharrell Williams   Arranger,Composer,Producer,Executive Producer
Brian Garten   Engineer
Neptunes   Audio Production
Chad Hugo   Arranger,Composer,Producer,Executive Producer
Andrew Coleman   Engineer
Justin Clark   Art Direction

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In Search Of... 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
buy it, steal it. just get this album