Album: N.E.R.D, Nothing (Polydor / Star Trak)

If you thought Pharrell had jumped the shark, Nothing will come as something of a shock.

From the ebullient synclavier funk and lez-porn scenarios of opener "Party People" to a closing track, "The Man", which overtly calls for revolution, this is a significant return to form. Taking in 1970s MOR and 1960s psychedelic soul, and packed with political anger, lust and philosophical musings, it's the best N.E.R.D album since In Search of... Against all expectations, the forces which once powered them have been recharged, and turned up to 11.