Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club. Because No News is Bad News.

CD Review: N.E.R.D. 

Nothing (Star Trak, LLC)

On their fourth album, N.E.R.D. replace most of the rock elements found on their earlier records with more cohesive R&B sounds. It gives them a sturdier base for more experimental tracks and helps cover up the trio's occasional lyrical and vocal weaknesses. But Nothing isn't a boundary-redefining revolution, just a clever collection of poppy R&B music that offers a few pleasant surprises. "Help Me" starts off as an unassuming ballad before an unexpected and dazzling blast of horns sends things into the stratosphere, reframing the song's entire perspective by adding tension to everything that follows. And even though Pharrell and crew do a passable Gorillaz imitation with distorted keyboards in "God Bless Us All," Nothing is more at home on the dance floor. N.E.R.D. channel De La Soul's deadpan raps in "Hot and Fun" and clearly want to be starting something with "Party People," which borrows its horns from Michael Jackson. Matthew Wilkening

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at news@clevescene.com.

Cleveland Scene works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Cleveland and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Cleveland's true free press free.

Read the Digital Print Issue

October 21, 2020

View more issues

Most Popular

No recently-read stories.

Visit the archives…

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Calendar

Staff Pick Events

  • Open Turntable Tuesday @ The Winchester

    • Tuesdays

© 2020 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 505-8199
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.


Website powered by Foundation