7/03/2006

N.E.R.D. - In Search Of... (original version)

(Click on the picture to download.)

This record has a somewhat dodgy release history. If I remember correctly, the first version of this album was never given an official US release and was only available in Europe for a couple of months. But obviously promo cds of this version were sent out to US media, because there were a couple of reviews. Most of them were less than positive (though in Europe the record was quite acclaimed), and at the end of 2001 N.E.R.D. decided to re-record the whole album. This new version with different arrangements, added live instrumentation by funk rockers Spymob and a slightly different track order eventually got a worldwide release in 2002.

While some critics hailed the second version as a masterpiece, others deemed it a failure. And of course, there was much discussion weather the purely electronic version was superior to the final product. Well, now you can make up your own mind, because here are both versions. Personally, I'd say that both records are neither masterpieces nor failures. There's enough intruiging and inventive music to be found on either version, but I think they're both also seriously flawed. First of all, Pharrell simply isn't the greatest vocalist out there (and though in the meantime he's considerably grown as an mc, I still find his strained falsetto singing a bit unpleasant). Also, the smugness of the Pharrell-persona tends to be quite grating, especially when he thinks he has something smart to say. I'd actually advise you to utterly ignore the often quite cringeworthy lyrics.

I tend to prefer the first version though, simply because I find Spymob's approach to funk rock quite hamfisted. On the harder, funkier tracks they tend to sound like some sub-Limp Bizkits band, often ruining a fine contemporary update of Prince's shiny, sleazily slick Parade-era avant-funk. On the other hand, the slower tracks are actually helped by the live instrumentation, gaining a nice late seventies/early eighties funk ballad-feel. Still, both versions also contain their fair amount of filler as well as a some of the best work the Neptunes ever did.

12 comments:

Tommy B. said...

I couldnt agree with you more about the first version being a lot more appealing to the ears as apposed to the second version. Many thanks for the post!

TB

Anonymous said...

Dude thanks for having this download available!!! I've been listening to the 2002 version for years now and never knew that this version existed. Thanks!!!

WillyTee said...

I have been lookin for the 1st version forever!! thanks so much, I'm really looking forward to checking it out

C$ said...

This is one of my Favorite CD's of ALL time ...I remeber getting a demo Cd in 200 before it came out with the uncut lapdance video on it....it was the coolest shit i ver heard and seen N>E>RD!!!!!

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Paul said...

Is this version with the live band? I am looking for the live band version.

duffster said...

Fan-fucking-tastic, been looking for this version and it seems I can't buy it, so glad to see it here :)

Mixxula said...

Thanxx for the original...

Reelife said...

TY! I, like a lot of people, didn't know that a "liver" version of this album existed! Thanks for the post! This is why I love the internet, because 10 yrs ago I would have never found this cd. Thanks again!

Anonymous said...

could u please reload this up to zippyshare

because stupid mediafire has blocked your downloadable files ??

please get back to me @ funkstasbeats@outlook.com

Jay said...

Thank you so much. It's pretty hard to find this elsewhere.

rose said...

Thank you so much!! This is so hard to find you can't buy it anywhere. Love n.e.r.d so this is a real treat!!! :))