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N*E*R*D -Rock Star
N*E*R*D
N*E*R*D
N*E*R*D
Virgin
I have obviously herd a whole load of Neptunes stuff and know that they are one of the hottest production duos about at the moment. So when I found out that they were part of this Nerd project I thought we were in for a treat. The cover is really unusual in that it is a picture of a cuddly Teddy bear wearing sunglasses with an orange ribbon round its neck. What is that all about? The only clue that belies the true contents of the record is that the bear is wearing a cap embroidered with the words 'Rock Star'. Over the past five years Pharrell Williams (BMI songwriter of the year) and Chad Hugo collectively know as the Neptunes have provided beats for the likes of Mary J, Jay-Z and Usher amongst a whole host of other big names, but NERD is their own thing and is a platform for them to explore a variety of musical influences that might not get to see the light of day under their more usual duties. This is sure to do well as it has big label backing and is going to appeal to a wide audience, not just those Hip Hoppers who listen out for the Neptunes, but also Skaters and Rock heads too.

The lead single Rock Star seems to be quite a radical departure from what we are used to, with it's heavy distorted Rock guitar and live instrumentation played by Spymob. Opening with the Jason Nevins Remix, it is a harder version, but he has largely given it the same re-working he gave Run-DMC and he won't win any prizes for this one. The kick drum is repetitively used on every beat of the bar in a house stylee and this version is all together more bass intensive. The original radio edit is more satisfying, but has to be listened to as a rock song and therefore certain allowances have to be made. With its more live drums and room for different elements to stand out in the mix it is less busy on your ears. The same distorted guitar stabs and melody are utilised throughout, accompanied by the same sung vocal and shouted chorus that sounds like it is conducted through a megaphone. The CD closes with Rock Star (formerly 'Rock Star - Poser') version which again is just a longer version of the radio edit.

I have herd some of the rest of the album and remain enthusiastic about it's contents, however, my enthusiasm has been tempered by this particular track which didn't really hit the right notes for me. We are definitely in the days of the growth of the Super Producer as someone whose records people will purchase regardless, and the Neptunes fall into that category. I just hope the people who buy this aren't disappointed. 

Contact: Virgin, Kensal House, 553 -579 Harrow Rd, London W10 4RH.  
Tel: +44 (0) 208 964 6307 :: www.n-e-r-d.com

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