.

Hear Pharrell's Optimistic 'Girl' Bonus Track 'Smile'

The song appears on Japanese editions of the album

Pharrell Williams performs in Los Angeles.
Kevin Winter/Getty Images for NARAS
April 30, 2014 1:05 PM ET

Pharrell Williams' Japanese fans who bought the rapper and singer's latest album, Girl, got a treat in the form of a buoyant, optimistic bonus track, "Smile," which has just made its way online. Nearly as hypnotic as the singer's ubiquitous "Happy," the R&B pop number "Smile" boasts a catchy piano hook, a clicky hip-hop beat and, of course, Pharrell's golden vocal cords singing about how happy he is to be a dad and proclaiming that he doesn't have any fear, "because 'F.E.A.R.' stands for 'false evidence of appearing real.'"

Buffalo Stance: Pharrell's Style Icons From Hat to Toe

Pharrell has been in a heady mood lately. Last week, the pop star posted a "social book," Inspiration, online and asked his fans to guess which words were missing from its pages. Those who are able to divine the pop star's Mad Libs proclivities get credit in the book when it gets a physical printing.

He has also revealed the origins of "Happy," saying that Cee Lo Green had originally wanted to record the song. "He sounded amazing on it," Pharrell told Howard Stern. But ultimately some unnamed Wizard of Oz–like music-industry string-pullers decided that the track would not belong to Cee Lo. "He burns my version," Pharrell said. "But. . . how do I say this diplomatically? The powers that be at the time did not see it fit for him. Some folks on his team just felt that the priority should be on [Cee Lo's] album at the time [2012's Cee Lo's Magic Moment], so they elected not to do that song."

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

prev
Music Main Next

blog comments powered by Disqus
Around the Web
Powered By ZergNet
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.

X

We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“Nightshift”

The Commodores | 1984

The year after soul legends Marvin Gaye and Jackie Wilson died, songwriter Dennis Lambert asked members of the Commodores to give him a tape of ideas. "And the one from Walter Orange has this wonderful bass line," said co-writer Franne Golde. "Plus the lyric, 'Marvin, he was a friend of mine' ... Within 10 minutes, we had decided it should be something like a modern R&B version of 'Rock 'n' Roll Heaven,' and I just said, 'Nightshift.'" This tribute to the recently deceased musicians was the band's only hit without Lionel Richie, who had left for a solo career.

More Song Stories entries »
 
www.expandtheroom.com