G I R L by Pharrell Williams (Album of the Week)

pharrell-williams-girl-album-coverArtist: Pharrell Williams

Year: 2013

Details: 10 songs; 47 minutes

Who’s Choice: Deliberate Obfuscation

This week’s pick was not directly linked to the fact that I have been trying to lose weight, but it went well with my concept of eating better and moving more. Lordy me! This album is a make-you-want-to-happy-dance fest!

Not surprisingly, Dan and I are back to agreeing on this one (but he is not going to let go of his misguided attack on Damien Jurado). Poppy fun sunshine is hard to resist. Yesterday, while we were both working in the kitchen, we had GIRL on shuffle. We probably listened to the whole album three or four times and busted some middle-aged moves across the kitchen floor. I like this album a bunch!

To start out with, if you haven’t experienced the 24 Hours of Happy video, you really should do so. It gives a taste of the infectious ebulliencey of Pharrell Williams.


24 Hours of Happy 

Despite that gem, many of the songs on this album are not children’s movie material. For the most part, he is singing about one or another girl and what he wants to be doing with her. In Gush we find out that even though his mama didn’t raise him to be that way, he has a fire that has been lit and he wants to get dirty. In another, the hunter of him is coming out and he is on the prowl. In Marilyn Monroe, he laments to his diary that he can’t help it – he’s found the one who is everything he wants – he just wants a different girl. Some of the lyrics are so corny, but fit so well.

There is lots of fancy production on this album and lots of guest joining in with him. You hear throwbacks to Prince and the BeeGees. There is more hand clapping than your average album. Daft Punk and strings fill out Gust of Wind. Miley Cyrus and Alicia Keys both show up. The best is when Justin Timberlake shares vocals with him on Brand New. Their twinning falsettos joyously tell their love that they woke up feeling brand new “like the tags still on me.” Anyone who isn’t shimmying and smiling during this song should have a joy transplant. 

I suppose there is a sexism criticism that could be targeted on some of these songs, but there is a good spirit to the whole album that erases the desire to look for faults. 

Next up: Symphonica, by George Michael

george M


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