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  • Writer's pictureRJ Pirchinello

All-Time Favorite Albums - WEEK 2

Updated: Aug 11, 2020



....and I'm back!! Since i am blogging these things, I ask for patience please, I am trying to get these out one very two days...for my time is not as luxurious as I wish it was, and that is a good thing. ;)

We’ve all seen this at some point this year;

“I’ve been nominated to do this by (name of person) Day x of 10 days. 10 all time favorite albums, in no particular order. What really made an impact and is still on your rotation list, even if only now and then. Post the cover, no need to explain, and nominate a person each day to do the same.”

In case you missed my First round of albums, here they are:

Day 1 - Depeche Mode - Violator

Day 2 - 2001 ( The Chronic 2001 ) Dr. Dre

Day 3 - Jeff Buckley - Grace

Day 4 - Miles Davis - Kind of Blue

Day 5 - The Beatles - The White Album

Day 6 - Radiohead - OK Computer

Day 7 - The Fugees - The Score

Day 8 - Daft Punk - Discovery

Day 9 - Ballads- John Coltrane

Day 10 - A Tribe Called Quest - Low End Theory

My Second Round

Day 1- Prince - Purple Rain

I now begin my Day 2!!

We all know the hits:

  • Wreckx N' Effect - Rump Shaker-1992

  • SWV - Right Here - 1993

  • Jay-Z - The City Is Mine - 1997

  • Kid Rock - Cowboy - 1999

  • Moby - Honey - 1999

While they were cranking out hits for other artist, some of you might not know, between 1999-2001, Chad Hugo and Pharrell Williams, aka the Neptunes, found time to do their own creative endeavor:

N.E.R.D. In Search of...

Released August 6th, 2001, (and re-recorded for a rock oriented sound by the band Spymob and re-released in March 12th, 2002, it is this version I am talking about) to say it practically went unnoticed at first is an understatement. The air waves at the time were dominated by Boy Bands, Female Pop Starlets, sprinkled with your crossover Dance / Pop tracks, along with the band Creed (remember them?) Here is the top 10 from the week the re-release of this album dropped, courtesy of this awesome weekly top 40 site:

( you will more likely have to scroll down to the date of March 16th, just an FYI )

US Top 40 Singles For the Week Ending MARCH 16, 2002

This Week / Last Week / TITLE / Artist(Label)-Weeks on Chart (Peak to Date)

1 1 AIN’T IT FUNNY –•– Jennifer Lopez Featuring Ja Rule (Epic)-12 (1) (2 Weeks at #1) 2 2 ALWAYS ON TIME –•– Ja Rule Featuring Ashanti (Murder Inc./Def Jam)-18 (1) (2 Weeks at #1) 3 3 HOW YOU REMIND ME –•– Nickelback (Roadrunner)-28 (1) (4 Weeks at #1) 4 4 IN THE END –•– Linkin Park (Warner Brothers)-20 (4) 5 6 WHEREVER YOU WILL GO –•– the Calling (RCA)-19 (5) 6 5 HEY BABY –•– No Doubt Featuring Bounty Killer (Interscope)-15 (5) 7 8 WHAT ABOUT US? –•– Brandy (Atlantic)-8 (7) 8 10 BLURRY –•– Puddle of Mudd (Flawless/Geffen)-13 (8) 9 7 U GOT IT BAD –•– Usher (Arista)-26 (1) (5 Weeks at #1) 10 12 CAN’T GET YOU OUT OF MY HEAD –•– Kylie Minogue (Parlophone)-8 (10)

FWIW, this song was the #11 at the time:

11 9 MY SACRIFICE –•– Creed (Wind-Up)-21 (4)

So why in the hell would I tap this as one of my top 10 albums? I'll tell you why, it was a well needed breath of fresh air. THIS...sounded nothing like what was popular in 2001-2002, in fact, I'd go so far to say it was their "F'ck it" record. They knew how their bread was buttered, they didn’t have to worry about derailing their careers by releasing something unexpected, alienating their base.

What they also knew, they are musical bad assess. This album smacks of confidence, deftly applied hooks, grooves, and melodies. As I stated before, I really feel this record was a statement to everyone: “Here’s our shit, if you don’t get it, we really don’t give a f’ck, because we know it's the shit.”

To break from the norm of their hit producing machine, and release something that was a risk creatively…took balls. Granted, they wouldn’t have done it if they didn’t believe in themselves musically and also from a business perspective. Worse case scenario, if this record failed, they will still be the hit making producers. However, if this record even moderately succeeded, it would bust open new money generating creative opportunities for the duo….and boy did it ever.

"Lapdance" is the first track, immediately the listener knows there's a little dark side to this song. this piece also somewhat sets the tone of the album, be prepared for a little aggro music coming.The chorus just is just a straight up head banging groove. It is also a great track to put on your exercise playlist!

"Things Are Getting Better" is a shout out to 60's-70's upbeat soul, with modern production added to it. It also grounds the album in a sense like the duo was saying "See, we are not all Dark" with a wink....

The third song "Brain", goes back to the more aggressive tone of the album, but not too heavy, in fact I would say it is a lighter touch than "Lapdance". It also helps the hook is hypnotic AF

"Provider" has grown on me over the years. It features acoustic guitar, and a laid back groove, sprinkled with a bossa nova beat in it.

"Truth Or Dare" aaaaaannnnnddddd just like that we are back to the aggro vibe! One can't help want to get off their ass and just start doing their groove thang.I especially love the outro of the song, it goes on it's own adventure to the 70's and just says there, nice touch.

"Tape You" is straight up a fun little pop groove. I'll let you wikipedia what the topic of the song is:

"Run the Sun" is probably one of my least favorite tracks, and that's only because it is very repetitive in my humble opinion, and really doesn't hit a peak so to speak. It does have a great net-soul sound though, harkening to some 70's funk grooves and textures, so it does have that going for it.

"Baby Doll" is my 60's groove jam! This is the point in the album where you really begin to understand this is an eclectic journey that is not slowing down anytime soon. Featuring a classic Neptune's hook, fun, infectious, and head bobbing, it is a welcome addition.

"Am I High" is sort of the aggro ballad of the album if that makes sense. The synth textures mimic a brass section, adding to that in your face sound, It is the chorus though takes you to that floating, flying through the clouds, reminding me of Joe Jackson's "Stepping Out".

"Rock Star"....yeah this is THE AGGRO anthem of the record....reminiscent of Beastie Boys rock/rap, letting the folks know, "you can't be me, cause I am a rock star" and yeah...they ain't lying.

"Bobby James" ah yeah....this is the smooth jam groove of the album, but lyrically, it's subject matter is a little heavy to say the least. Talking about a teenager who succumbs to addiction and their life as it stands now.

"Stay Together" the last track is what I like to call their "Beatle" tribute track, circa "Sgt Pepper/ Magical Mystery Tour" Era. It is fun, but it too gets a little repetitive at times.

Listening to this album in 2018,(Now 2020) some will say it doesn’t sound all that groundbreaking, and honestly, I would somewhat agree. However, I would also also plead it's case. 17 years have passed, and many of the ideas, hooks, whatever, that Chad and Pharrell concocted for this album have been borrowed, revisited, and used one way or another in contemporary music. It doesn’t sound fresh or groundbreaking now, because IT IS normal to our ears. “In Search of…” inadvertently paved the way for how modern pop music sounds, not a bad accomplishment for a record that was released without a fanfare.

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