Results for The Neptunes

interviews

John Cale

When John Cale first visited Sound Opinions in 2005 as part of our debut on public radio, he shocked us all by name-dropping "Snoop Dogg," "The Neptunes" and the "MPC." These influences have come to fruition on the Welshman's latest recording Shifty Adventures in Nookie Wood. And Jim and Greg were excited to have him come by the studios to perform the new material. Plus, there's no lack of things to talk about with Cale, considering his decades-long career that includes founding The Velvet Underground and producing music by the likes of Patti Smith and The Stooges.

Go to episode 363

Kelis

R&B singer/songwriter Kelis has been making music since her debut release in 1999…longer if you count her time at the "Fame" school (New York's LaGuardia High School of Music, Art & Performing Arts). But it wasn't until 2003's breakout hit "Milkshake," that Kelis really brought all the fans to the yard. That song, produced by Chad Hugo and Pharrell Williams of The Neptunes, went gold. But, Kelis' next step was surprising. She released 2006's Kelis Was Here and then took a big break…to go to culinary school! By this time she had married rapper Nas, and in 2009 they publicly announced their split while Kelis was 7 months pregnant with her son. All of that—motherhood, family and food—has made its way on to the new record, aptly titled Food. It's a focused reinvention of sounds, produced by TV on the Radio's Dave Sitek. Kelis stopped by our studio to performed songs from Food and talk about the pitfalls of stardom, her breakup with Nas, and how Jerk Ribs found its way into a song title.

Go to episode 454
reviews
The Sweet EscapeThe Sweet Escape available on iTunes

Gwen Stefani The Sweet Escape

Next up is a review of the second solo disc from Gwen Stefani. The No Doubt frontwoman's first attempt at solo success, Love.Angel.Music.Baby, sold over 3 million copies in 2004. Jim and Greg are certain that The Sweet Escape will also chart well, but they're not sure why. Jim describes this record as a“truly dreadful, dreadful, dreadful, despicable, abysmally bad album”that he “hates with the core of his being.” His main complaint is that he wishes Gwen would act her age. Mrs. Gavin Rossdale is now a mother, and he's certain she should have something more interesting to sing about than boys and Orange County. Greg agrees that this album is a snooze, but even wishes Stefani played more of a Lolita role; at least that would be interesting. He expected another fun, frothy pop record, but instead he is completely bored by most of the beats on this record, many courtesy of big names like The Neptunes and Swizz Beatz. Despite its nod to The Sound of Music, The Sweet Escape gets two big Trash Its.

JimGreg
Go to episode 58
In My MindIn My Mind available on iTunes

Pharrell In My Mind

The next album up for review is by superstar producer Pharrell. Pharrell Williams is best known as part of the production duo The Neptunes, who have crafted hits for everyone from Jay-Z to Justin Timberlake. He and partner Chad Hugo also recorded some of their own music as N.E.R.D. Now, Pharrell has branched out solo (or as solo as a hip-hop artist can be these days) with In My Mind. A quick glance at the number of hits credited to Pharrell might make this album seem like a no-brainer. But it festered without a release date for such a long time that it raised some eyebrows. And, after giving the record a listen, Jim and Greg can say that those suspicions were not unwarranted. Greg explains that for someone who makes his living creating innovative beats and catchy hooks, the lack of such a sound on this record was shocking. Jim agrees, and neither critic thinks that Williams has the chops or personality to be a solo star. Kanye West, a producer who actually managed this feat, collaborates with Pharrell on "Number One," but it's a dreadful showing from both artists. In My Mind gets a Trash It — and Sound Opinions wonders if Chad is the genius to look out for after all.

JimGreg
Go to episode 35
Kelis Was HereKelis Was Here available on iTunes

Kelis Kelis Was Here

Kelis scored a big hit with her 2003 single "Milkshake," and this week she tries to do it again. Kelis Was Here is the R&B singer's first album since splitting from former collaborators The Neptunes and marrying rapper Nas. Our hosts are split on their opinions. Jim is happy to see Kelis working with a variety of producers, including Scott Storch and Will.I.Am, and is glad that her sexual self-empowerment remains intact. The album earns a Buy It from him. Greg finds this record to be pretty generic, though, contending that all of the producers have buffed her personality out. He describes Kelis Was Here as“milkshake leftovers,”and only gives it a Burn It.

JimGreg
Go to episode 39
Hell Hath No FuryHell Hath No Fury available on iTunes

The Clipse Hell Hath No Fury

After a four-year drought stemming from a record label deal mishap, sibling rapper duo The Clipse have finally released their second album, Hell Hath No Fury. The Clipse come from Virginia Beach, the same town as Timbaland, Missy Elliot and The Neptunes. (In fact, super-producing pair The Neptunes are friends with rappers Malice and Pusha T and produced the Clipse album.) Both Jim and Greg feel the album covers much of the same old clichéd gangsta rap territory, but does so with a tremendous amount of artful, novelistic detail. Jim compares it to the literary precision of Ghostface Killah's Fishscale. The sound of the album is dark, brooding, futuristic and inventive. Both Jim and Greg feel the album's production redeems the Neptunes for previous lackluster efforts (namely Pharrell Williams' In My Mind, which made this year's Turkey Shoot). Greg boldly proclaims that Hell Hath No Fury is one of the best albums of the year. That's a double Buy It.

JimGreg
Go to episode 53