Seeing Sounds


Generally favorable reviews - based on 19 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 19
  2. Negative: 0 out of 19
  1. In their hyperkinetic hands, even integrating an acoustic standup bass with electronic beats seems perfectly natural. [20 June 2008, p.66]
  2. A streamlined slab of silky, soul-soaked rock music, Seeing Sounds succeeds in capturing the best experiments on their first two albums while injecting new-school sequences into the mix.
  3. Production superstars The Neptunes get back to penning their own tunes – with highly impressive results.
  4. N.E.R.D.'s gonzo commitment to crossing genre boundaries in sometimes silly, nonsensical ways remains surprisingly tenable.
  5. Thematically starved, Seeing Sounds is nonetheless a sonic feast.
  6. What can be concluded at this point is that, minor lyrical complaints aside, they have crafted their most consistent album and one of the best genre-blurring club records since M.I.A.’s "Kala."
  7. N.E.R.D's third album, an "Anti Matter" suggestion that devotees "tilt your head back and close your eyes" and try Seeing Sounds, bangs frantic enough to entice one serious auditory seizure.
  8. Despite all the weight, those songs still have a way of seeming as easy and carefree as the moments when N.E.R.D. are simply bashing away (sometimes over agitated drum'n'bass), blowing off steam, and talking ridiculous nonsense. Whether taken as a diversion of throwaway fun or a deeper (or peculiar) look into what makes these men tick, the album succeeds.
  9. The Neptunes don't necessarily need guest MCs to make a great album of their own, but if they want their rhymes to keep up with the strength of their tunes, they need to dig a little deeper than this.
  10. To be fair, there aren't any real clunkers to be found on Seeing Sounds and lead single 'Everyone Nose (All the Girls Standing in Line for the Bathroom)' and album closer 'Laugh About It' are perfectly serviceable Neptunes tracks, but only two tunes, 'Spaz' and 'You Know What' are very visionary.
  11. While Seeing Sounds is a triumph of will, it is not quite a triumph.
  12. They undoubtedly still see sounds others only dream of, but sometimes that vision is a little clouded.
  13. While Seeing Sounds is a marginal improvement on N*E*R*D’s second album, and a massive leap forward from Pharrell’s damp-squib of a solo record, it doesn’t quite reach the heights of (either version of) their debut, let alone the pick of Pharrell and Chad’s production work for other people.
  14. A few club chants ("You jump around like you ADHD! ADHD! ADHD!") and heavy beats crop up throughout but, in the main, N*E*R*D ironically struggle to break out of their own defined anything-goes freedom on what's just a solid record.
  15. Blender
    Williams' rapping is thankfully peripheral and the music is a fantastic, distracting mess. [Aug 2008, p.90]
  16. You see, the first 5 songs set the album up to be a pure party album - which actually would have worked a lot better, with the last track being a comedown moment. But then, delusions of adequacy spring up and the LP ends up shooting off in different tangents, where musically it is solid (if entirely unchallenging), but lyrically/conceptually it do nothing for you.
  17. Like its unexpected stylistic kin My Morning Jacket's Evil Urges, Seeing Sounds finds its creators partaking in the subversively phallocentric narcissism of staring at their CD collections, confusing music listening with music understanding rather than enjoyment.
  18. You leave Seeing Sounds convinced that Williams and Hugo are no closer to their dream of inventing a successful R&B/rock hybrid.
  19. Keep trying N.E.R.D., you’re not even close to blowing us away here.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 29 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 9
  2. Negative: 2 out of 9
  1. Oct 17, 2010
    I like most things produced by The Neptunes, and this is no exception. I can listen to each song on it's own and enjoy it. This is one of theI like most things produced by The Neptunes, and this is no exception. I can listen to each song on it's own and enjoy it. This is one of the albums that will get a larger group of people interested in N.E.R.D., but doesn't necessarily disappoint with the sound they put out. Full Review »
  2. cMeezy
    Jun 15, 2008
    A really fun all-around listen. Some weaker tracks but some real dope bangers and smooth stuff thrown in.
  3. RobertF
    Jun 14, 2008
    This album is not as bad as the rating states, in fact windows and anti matter are crazy. This album is like the drunken master of rock.