West Coast Connection Forum

Elements => The Vault => Album Review => Topic started by: Crenshaw_blvd on February 21, 2002, 05:22:43 PM

Title: In Search OfN.E.R.D.
Post by: Crenshaw_blvd on February 21, 2002, 05:22:43 PM
Despite their incredible success last year, production gurus the Neptunes weren't content to be pigeonholed as hitmakers for the hip-hop/R&B A-list. And the Virginia duo, plus vocalist Shay, also weren't content with the first version of their own genre-hopping debut, scrapping it at the last minute and recording everything with live instruments instead. That was apparently an attempt to put more distance between In Search Of and the Neptunes' chartbusting sound, but if you compare this version with the rejected album, you might wonder what all the fuss was about.

The changes are mostly subtle and not always for the better; oddly, the Beatlesque pop tunes "Run To The Sun" and "Stay Together" benefit least from the live makeover. But on harder-edged tracks like "Lapdance" and "Truth Or Dare," the real drums and guitars point up the surprising similarities between the Neptunes' trademark club bangers and metallic head bangers, and further challenging black radio with the jittery new wave rhythms of "Provider" is a laudable move.

While their hitmaking formula is responsible for countless success stories, the talent, smarts, and overall quality of this album prove the Neptunes are infinitely more interesting than most of their clients.