Pharrell Williams keeps it happy on 'G I R L'

Darryl Sterdan, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:45 AM ET

Pharrell Williams
G I R L
(Sony Music Canada)

Hats off. Between the runaway successes of Robin Thicke’s Blurred Lines, Daft Punk’s Get Lucky, Despicable Me’s Happy — and the various Grammy trophies, MTV awards and Oscar love they’ve generated — uberproducer Pharrell Williams is probably having the best year of his professional life.

And for a guy who’s produced hits for everyone from Britney and Beyonce to Justin Timberlake and Miley Cyrus, all while seamlessly crossing over from the hip-hop streets to the mainstream pop charts, that’s no small feat.

So it’s no wonder his perfectly timed and expertly executed sophomore album (and first solo release in eight years) G I R L is a star-studded, unstoppably upbeat celebration of life, love and yes, sexy ladies like Marilyn, Cleopatra, Joan of Arc and you too, boo.

You want hard-hitting topical lyrics, serious introspection and mood music? You’re in the wrong place. Fresh, fun, funky, fat-free, freewheeling and fast-paced, most of G I R L’s 11 songs are fuelled by the same combination of tightly propulsive rhythms, exotic stylistic touches, ear-catching sonics and inspired sampling that have helped Williams rule the airwaves this year.

And it only seems fair that plenty come sweetened by payback-time cameos from Justin, Miley, Daft Punk, Alicia Keys and others. The latter also happens to be a smart play, given that Williams has never been the most expressive or distinctive vocalist on the planet.

But it doesn’t matter if his creamy crooning is mostly utilitarian. Or that his lyrics careen wildly between “half good and half nasty” — one second he’s proclaiming that your love has “got me feeling brand new like the tag’s still on me,” and the next he’s promising to “leave those panties in flames.”

After the dust (and the smoking underwear) settles, the playfulness of Pharrell’s production and presentation never fail to keep the mood positive — and keep sexual and sexist lines from getting blurred.

He’s happy and you know it. Clap your hands.


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