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N.E.R.D's In Search Of...: A Tale of Two Versions
In 2001, N.E.R.D, the funk rock band formed by The Neptunes duo Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo, released their debut album In Search Of... in Europe. The album was a blend of hip hop and rock influences, featuring guest appearances by Kelis, Lee Harvey, Vita and Pusha T. The album received critical acclaim and spawned the singles \"Lapdance\", \"Rock Star\" and \"Provider\".
However, the album was not released in the U.S. until 2002, and it was not the same version as the European one. Instead of using digital-based production, N.E.R.D decided to re-record the album with live instruments, with the help of Spymob, a power pop band that they had signed to their Star Trak label. The result was a more organic and rock-oriented sound, with some changes in the tracklist and lyrics. The album also dropped the skits and the intro that were present in the original version.
Why did N.E.R.D make such a drastic change to their album According to Pharrell, they were not satisfied with how the electronic version sounded in their car speakers. They wanted to make an album that would sound good on any system, and that would capture the energy of their live performances. They also wanted to challenge themselves and their fans by creating something different from their usual Neptunes sound.
Both versions of In Search Of... have their own merits and fans. Some prefer the original version for its futuristic and experimental vibe, while others favor the re-recorded version for its raw and live feel. Some even like to mix and match tracks from both versions to create their own hybrid playlist. Whichever version you prefer, there is no denying that In Search Of... is a classic album that showcases N.E.R.D's versatility and creativity.
After the success of In Search Of..., N.E.R.D returned to the studio in 2003 to record their second album Fly or Die. Unlike their debut, which featured live backing by Spymob, Fly or Die was mostly self-produced by The Neptunes, with Pharrell playing drums and Chad playing guitar. The album also featured guest appearances by Lenny Kravitz and Questlove on the track \"Maybe\".
Fly or Die was released on March 23, 2004 and received mixed reviews from critics. Some praised the album's adventurous and eclectic sound, while others criticized its lack of cohesion and direction. The album spawned two singles: \"She Wants to Move\" and \"Maybe\". The former was a funky dance-rock anthem that became a hit in Europe and Australia, while the latter was a mellow pop-rock ballad that failed to chart in the U.S.
The album's title and theme were inspired by N.E.R.D's philosophy of life: either you adapt to the changing world or you perish. The album explored various topics such as adolescence, love, war, ecology and spirituality. Some of the standout tracks include \"Jump\", a bouncy pop song that encourages people to follow their dreams; \"Fly or Die\", a rock opera that depicts a dystopian future where humans have destroyed the planet; \"Wonderful Place\", a sentimental ode to nature and family; and \"Drill Sergeant\", a rebellious protest song against the Iraq War. ec8f644aee