N*E*R*D : Fly Or Die
N*E*R*D's debut In Search Of . . . sunk without trace until it was re-recorded and relaunced off the back of the skate-friendly video for Rock Star, and the immense dance floor-friendly remix of said tune by Jason Nevins. The revamped In Search Of . . . was a mash-up of silky R&B and nu-metal drums and guitar - certainly a different spin on the rap-rock hybrid, and in places very good indeed.
Fly Or Die keeps the live instrumentation of In Search Of . . ., but this time the session guys are replaced by N*E*R*D themselves, which gives the disc an often primitive feel, despite typically expansive production; production credited to The Neptunes of course, who make up two thirds of the N*E*R*D line-up.
One thing's for sure; despite Pharrell Williams' fluid vocals and the aforementioned slick production, a lot of Fly Or Die's songs don't feel finished. Hopefully this is a limitation of the band's fledgling musicianship, and not an issue with the song writing. If it is, the next N*E*R*D CD may well be worth having. If not, Williams and co-Neptune Chad Hugo should probably stick to their day jobs.