Wednesday, October 31, 2007


So, sometime over the summer, Pharrell Williams went into the studio with James Poyser and Ahmir "?uestlove" Thompson to re-record his 2006 solo album, In My Mind, with live instruments. The result was Out Of My Mind by Pharrell & The Yessirs, a major improvement on its predecessor, even though the songs are essentially the same. The label decided not to release it since In My Mind was such a flop, so we're all left with a bootleg of it. I can't blame Interscope though. As a big Neptunes fan, I was thoroughly disappointed with In My Mind and too much money stood to be lost in promoting a remake of what was already a weak album.

But as was the case with N.E.R.D.'s In Search Of..., there is a sense of discovery and vibrant new intensity to the songs and life is found where it was previously thought to be dull. While I still rate Out Of My Mind a 6 out of 10 (I'd give In My Mind a 4), the reimagining of some of the previous songs are definitely worthwhile, even if you were as bored with In My Mind as I was. The standout for me is "I Really Like You Girl", which was also a standout on In My Mind, but was relegated to the same track as the Jay-Z collaboration, "Young Girl". Why the best song on the album would share the same track with another song is beyond me, but that mistake is rectified as "I Really Like You Girl" gets its own track and the Stevie Wonder-isms that were hinted at before are magnified with the use of live instruments. "I Really Like You Girl" is a flashback to urban radio in the year 1984 and boasts a hook so shimmery and sunny that you had to wonder why it was never released as a single, or at least as its own track.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Pics from ESG's last show

I was at ESG's last show a few weeks ago at The Abbey Pub. They headlined that night's Estrojam, which has been one of the best musical events in Chicago for a few years now. Even if it was only one original member still touring, I was still on the verge of tears. I never thought that I would get the chance to see ESG live, much less, be present for their last show. Here are some pics.