Album: N*E*R*D, Nothing (Universal)

Pharrell Williams explained in a recent interview that N*E*R*D's latest album is intended to reflect an era when "there's a lot of war... the economy sucks, [but] girls are still beautiful", which pretty much covers most of the ground a hip-hop/rock act like his should.

The serious side is most interestingly dealt with in the anti-war song "Help Me", a waltz-time lope with an angry Williams promising "I won't kill you, but I'll watch you die". Weirder still is "Life As A Fish", which harks back to the creation myth to outline man's inhumanity to fish. But it's the party anthems that most appeal, like "Hot-n-Fun" with its stalking bassline and funky morse-code buzz, "Perfect Defect" with its two-step groove of congas and brass fanfares, and the opener "Party People", whose effervescent charm spills over into the whole album.

DOWNLOAD THIS Party People; Perfect Defect; Hot-n-Fun; Help Me