Despite being in the charts for almost twenty years, Pharrell Williams’ vice like grip is showing no signs of letting up. “Happy” is still playing everywhere. Giant hats are a thing now. That great Paloma Faith song “Can’t Rely On You” is firm radio favorite. Tuxedo shorts at the Oscars! He co-wrote and co-produced “Blow”, one of the best songs on the Beyonce album. But here’s far from down, with at least five more songs on the verge of release that are ensuring the summer still very much belongs to Pharrell.
KYLIE MINOGUE – “I WAS GONNA CANCEL”
After some faffing about, it’s been confirmed that the Pharrell-produced song will be single number two from Kylie’s latest album. There was always a chance that someone as slight as Kylie might be overwhelmed by Pharrell’s production, but she still manages to shine through the electro-keyboard and wedding bell and opera singer chorus. The “Go! Go! Go-o-o-o!” bit sounds an awful like the “Go! Go! Go-o-o-o!” bit from Beyonce’s “Green Light” song, which was also produced by Pharrell, but maybe that’s just us…
ED SHEERAN – “SING”
Truth be told, Sheeran’s first album wasn’t exactly our bag, but he’s certainly switching things up for his new album “x” (or “multiply”, if you’d rather). New producers on board include Rick Rubin (Jay-Z, Kanye West, Eminem), Benny Blanco (Katy Perry, Kesha, Nicki Minaj) and, of course, Pharrell. The first single of the new album is “Sing”, produced by Pharrell, and it sounds quite a bit like Justin Timberlake’s “Like I Love You” during the verses, but kicks off in a direction for the chorus. This is going to be EVERYWHERE this summer. Prepare yourselves.
ALICIA KEYS – “IT’S ON AGAIN” featuring Kendrick Lamar
Having already been nominated for an Oscar for the last song he wrote for a movie, it makes sense to go back to that well, especially since he’s co-scoring the movie with music maestro Hans Zimmer. This time he’s letting vocal powerhouse Alicia go front and centre, letting just her amazing range take the reins, with little more than a hammering drum beat and some orchestral stuff during the chorus to back her up. Pharrell knows when to take a lighter touch on the production, and this is very much one of those times.
MAJOR LAZER – “AEROSOL CAN” featuring Pharrell Williams
Pharrell is not exactly collaboration shy, working with just about everybody you could care to mention, but what makes him stand out a bit is that he’s also not afraid to mix it up with other producers. He worked alongside Zimmer on some of the songs for his latest solo album, co-produced songs with Timbaland for Beyonce, and here works with dancefloor kings Major Lazer as a featured vocalist. Oddly, this sounds WAY more like some Pharrell would’ve produced back in his days with The Neptunes, and even has some click-clack similarities to Gwen Stefani’s song “Yummy”. Still though, Aerosol Can has got to be one of the most addictive, earworm-y songs of 2014 to date. We defy you not to have a little boogie when this comes on.
PHARRELL WILLIAMS – “MARILYN MONROE”
The opening song of his G I R L album, and soon to be the second single, Marilyn Monroe is very much Pharrell putting Pharrell back front and centre. Opening with a wall of strings, provided once again by Hans Zimmer, before getting into the song properly, as Pharrell sings about all the famous girls in history who don’t compare to the current love of his life. It’s a different sound to anyone who only know Pharrell as being “Happy”, but it’s still far more accessible than his previous foray into solo artistry. Does anyone even remember “Can I Have It Like That” from back in 2005? Nope. Keep up the good work, P!