Fly Or Die - N.E.R.D. [The Neptunes]
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Generally favorable reviews - based on 22 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 39 Ratings

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  • Summary: N.E.R.D., the rock-oriented trio of Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo (who also make up the in-demand hip-hop production team The Neptunes) and Shay, return with a highly-anticipated second album. Unlike their previous effort, 'Fly' finds Chad & Pharrell handling the instrumentation themselves.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 22
  2. Negative: 2 out of 22
  1. 100
    Fly Or Die has more in common with 10cc and XTC than it does Common.... Prog-pop album of the year. [Jun 2004, p.91]
  2. If rock is rap's new sonic sandbox, then N.E.R.D.'s crazy-strange second album, Fly Or Die, makes them the unlikely heirs to, of all people, Steely Dan. [2 Apr 2004, p.62]
  3. Williams has clearly approached 'Fly Or Die' as the kind of project where the central aim is to show us all how clever he is, and as he flits from musical style to style like a hungry pop bee, you're pounded into submission because HE IS JUST SO GODDAMN GOOD AT EVERYTHING.
  4. While Mr. Williams isn't much of a singer, "Fly or Die" has goofy charms to spare.
  5. They sound like they sincerely believe the greatest thing that ever happened to rock & roll is Sammy Hagar's solo career.
  6. 58
    In their eagerness to show off the range of their toolbox, they stumble. [May 2004, p.101]
  7. On their own, N.E.R.D. are the hip-hop Toto.

See all 22 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 29
  2. Negative: 3 out of 29
  1. annaj
    Apr 19, 2006
    verry good
  2. TikitaR
    Apr 20, 2004
    First of all THE NEPtunes are bangin 4real if they weren't why have they produced and made sooooooo many beats for other artist ask urself that. If they were as boogji-wack as others might say why are competeing labels willing to spend millions on the talents of a production trio 1.5 mill$ record deal more than what u simple wrongfully critical ppl have !!! USE UR HEADS Expand
  3. melo
    Mar 30, 2004
    Ok maybe it's not as good as In Search Of... but it's like michael jackson's Bad following thriller the album's still good and one of the most original albums out right now give them credit for trying something new and expanding their horizons instead of sticking to the same formula and coming out with the same album like a lot of people are doing now a days. keep it real NERD Expand
  4. SolarC
    Mar 26, 2004
    Overall the album is dope... not as strong as In Search of... but it's also a different approach since Pharrell and Chad actually play all of the instruments as opposed to Spymob. The result is a more simple and clean formula to each of their songs. I particularly enjoyed "Don't Worry About It", "Fly or Die", the lead single "She Wants to Move", "Breakout", "The Way She Dances", and "Chariot of Fire". A solid album overall but with the absence of vocals by Kelis that I had come to expect or a few verses from any of today's top hip hop artists make the album just short of their first project. Expand
  5. markf
    Apr 8, 2004
    There seems to be many reasons why this album is getting such mixed reviews: 1) it's not hip-hop; 2) it's too rock; 3) it's got too many guests who are "losers"; 4) the lyrics suck; 5) pharrell can't sing; 6) it doesn't sound like the last one (hell, the last one didn't even sound like the last one since there were two different versions of it); 7) it's too retro; 8) it doesn't sound how YOU want The Neptunes to sound; 9) blah, blah, blah. One should listen to what actually IS on the album instead of all the baggage that the critics/wannabe critics seem to be obsessing about. Nobody is going to mistake it for a guitar-ripping hard rock album, but for a straight-on funk/rock/pop album, it succeeds quite well. If you don't think that the highs are as high as "in search of...", OK, but the album plays better as a whole. Just because there are basically no raps is no reason to show prejudice against some solid Prince-inspired rock and funk and 60s-style pop. "Don't Worry About It" has some of the best backing vocals in recent memory. "Fly or Die" is a solid rock song even if Pharrell is "too old" to sing teenage lyrics. (Do these hip-hop-loving-only critics ever bad mouth immature, misogynistic lyrics or garbage-disposal-sounding raps in their genre of choice?) "Drill Sergeant" has been compared to The Beatles, but it's a dead ringer for XTC (true, that band was taking its cue from The Fab Four.) Overall, this album is full of songs that would make anyone with a soul who wasn't a rock-phobe want to shake their booty. God forbid that people ever be open to something that isn't exactly what they already know (or think they know) by heart. Expand
  6. RodB
    Mar 27, 2004
    Not as good as the previous album, but time may prove NERD right.
  7. RayW
    Aug 16, 2005
    Well Since you guys like Rock so much then why don't you make all rock music instead of being in rap video's fags and don't have gold teeth if your a rocker Expand

See all 29 User Reviews