North Texas Daily

Fresh Beats: Pharrell Williams, Rick Ross and more

Fresh Beats: Pharrell Williams, Rick Ross and more

Fresh Beats: Pharrell Williams, Rick Ross and more
March 25
01:31 2014

Nicholas Friedman // Staff Writer

Karen O & Ezra Koenig – “The Moon Song”

Serving as a perfect complement to Arcade Fire’s score for the film “Her,” this duet from Ezra Koenig (Vampire Weekend) and Karen O (Yeah Yeah Yeahs) blissfully takes the listener through the hearty love story prominent through the movie. While actors Joaquin Phoenix and Scarlett Johansson cover the version of the song in the film, the true passion and humanity of the song comes from its original recording.

Everything from the simple guitar plucking to the way the duo play off of each other’s vocal talents makes this track something unusual in the face of an already interesting and intricate film experience. Shedding all previous conceptions of these two based on the bands they are a part of brings forth a new appreciation for their music. The song wonderfully portrays the concept of love and distance. Fans of all genres should give this song a listen.

+ Wonderful complement to the film

+ Amazing duet from two unlikely candidates

+ Simple, yet effective

+ Pleasing to listen to multiple times

Rating: 5/5

Listen if you like: The Kooks, Imogen Heap, Regina Spektor

Pharrell – “Brand New” ft. Justin Timberlake

After a year full of Daft Punk (“Get Lucky”), Robin Thicke (“Blurred Lines”) and Despicable Me 2 (“Happy”), Pharrell continues producing hits  with the release of this track from his new album “G.I.R.L.,” featuring sonic superstar Justin Timberlake. While Pharrell’s vocal talents hold up well in previous outings, when put side by side with Timberlake’s it is hardly even a comparison. This leads to the one and maybe only problem with this track: Timberlake outshines Pharrell.

Even though Timberlake is mostly delegated to backing vocals and a duet during the chorus, you can hear the contrast almost immediately. Sure, Pharrell was most likely going for this when he made the track but it’s hard not to get lost in the song at this point. Still, Pharrell’s years of producer credits and knowledge of composition make this one of the strongest tracks on his new album, “G. I. R. L,” which continues to showcase his own vocal talent.

+ Pharrell and JT duet

+ Timberlake’s backing vocals are perfect

+ Wonderful production

– Timberlake outshines Pharrell

Rating: 4/5

Listen if you like: Justin Timberlake, Robin Thicke, Bruno Mars

Rick Ross – “Sanctified” ft. Kanye West & Big Sean

Fresh off of his new album “Mastermind,” Rick Ross released this track featuring G.O.O.D. Music artists Kanye West and Big Sean, highlighting that Ross is truly stepping up his game as both a rapper and a popular artist. With West as producer on the song, the sample of Betty Wright at the beginning seems all the more natural. Big Sean establishes that the track will be about women, clothes and money.

Kanye West and Rick Ross both have verses that serve to talk about what they’ve been doing with their last few years of fame, with West touching on people telling him what to do and how he doesn’t care. In contrast, Ross talks about finding a woman, which is perfect for him at this point. While the rap clichés are prominent, the song finds a way to shake things up and makes you want to put it on repeat, if only to hear the continued upward trend of West’s lyrics.

+ Kanye-produced

+ Kanye West’s verses continue to amaze

+ Rick Ross stepping his game up

–  No verse for Big Sean

Rating: 4/5

Listen if you like: Jay-Z, Meek Mill, Pusha T

Feature photo: Fresh Beats playlist on Spotify. Photo illustration by Nicholas Friedman / Staff Writer 

About Author

Nicholas Friedman

Nicholas Friedman

Nicholas Friedman is the Editor In Chief of the North Texas Daily. In addition, he's had his work published at The Dallas Morning News, GuideLive and the Denton Record-Chronicle.

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