N*E*R*D Seeing Sounds

After an entirely mediocre second N*E*R*D disc and subsequent dead-on-arrival solo set, it seemed that celebrity-seeking Neptunes front-man Pharrell Williams was approaching washed-up status. Apparently heeding the critics’ call, Williams and company return with Seeing Sounds, a creative feat that erases all thoughts of the crew’s diminishing prowess. Drawing from a rejuvenated sonic and stylistic palette, and (smartly) calling back Spymob members Eric Fawcett and Brent Paschke to shore up guitars and drums, the trio inject their previous attempts at a rock-based sound with greater energy and authenticity on cuts like "Windows” and the old school-flavoured "Kill Joy.” Next, they add true imagination to the current snap-hop trend by blowing it up with electric guitars and a biting drum & bass backbeat on "Anti Matter,” while "Laugh About It” delivers ample amounts of classic dance and electric funk grooves. With focused vocals, catchy hooks and spot-on mid-track breakdowns, N*E*R*D return in shining form. (Universal)