Pharrell Williams, ‘G I R L’

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Aidin Vaziri | There’s a reason Pharrell Williams needs to wear such big hats – it’s the only way to contain all the genius musical ideas busting out of his head. The 40-year-old producer not only had a hand in two of last year’s biggest hits – Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky” and Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” – but also has been responsible for some of the biggest chart successes by Justin Timberlake, Jay-Z and Gwen Stefani. “G I R L” is Williams’ second solo album and boasts guests such as Miley Cyrus, Alicia Keys and Timberlake. None of them manage to match the host’s effortless charm on the Oscar-worthy single “Happy” or the symphonic disco jam “Gust of Wind,” on which he is once again backed by the Daft Punk robots. This isn’t necessarily a pop album, though, not with odd detours such as the understated “Lost Queen” or riff-heavy “Hunter.” This is the sound of Williams letting us peek under his dome.

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