The Best of N.E.R.D

In Neptunes productions, Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo juice pop and hip-hop with nickel-plated hooks, but with N.E.R.D, the Virginia Beach natives go further, adding drummer Shae Haley and his often martial funk. Drawing mostly from their two Virgin albums, this set compiles hits, B sides and remixes for a demonstration of genre shakes, sonic spectacle and fun. On "Baby Doll" and "She Wants to Move," N.E.R.D are tuneful and carnal, rhythmic and painterly; on tricky jams like "Lapdance" and "Truth or Dare," they table conventional lyrics and song behavior for fierce aural theater. In the N.E.R.D lab, Williams and crew seize pop, smash it, then let their imaginations roam.

Listen to "She Wants to Move":

Gallery: Random Notes, Rock's Hottest Photos

From The Archives Issue 1124: February 17, 2011
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