Pharrell Lanscilo Williams (born April 5, 1973) is an American singer, songwriter, record producer, fashion designer, and entrepreneur. Alongside close friend Chad Hugo, he formed the hip hop and R&B production duo The Neptunes in the early 1990s, with whom he has produced songs for various recording artists. In 1999, he became the lead vocalist of the band N.E.R.D., which he formed with Hugo and Shay Haley. Williams released his debut solo album, In My Mind, in 2006. In 2013, he was featured on the song “Blurred Lines” with Robin Thicke and T.I., and his song “Happy” was the lead single for the soundtrack of the film Despicable Me 2. In the same year, he was featured on Daft Punk’s single “Get Lucky”, which won Record of the Year and Best Pop Duo/Group Performance at the 56th Grammy Awards. His second album, Girl, was released in 2014. Williams has received numerous accolades and nominations. He has won 13 Grammy Awards, including three for Producer of the Year, Non-Classical (one as a member of The Neptunes). He is also a two-time Academy Award nominee: in 2014 for Best Original Song, for “Happy” (from Despicable Me 2); and in 2017 for Best Picture, as a producer of Hidden Figures. Here are all of Pharrell Williams’s albums ranked.
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3. Hidden Figures, 2016
What I’ve always liked about Pharrell is how diverse he is with music. One minute he’s producing, next minute he’s doing synth-rock with his band N.E.R.D, then the next he’s rapping with Future or T.I. and next thing you know he’s singing songs like ‘Happy’.”
2. In My Mind, 2006
“This album while a bit long at times, is filled with great track after great track. Pharrell’s production has always been considered top tier but what was questioned at the time was his ability to carry a whole album by himself. His work with N*E*R*D and The Neptunes already showed that he could work well in group scenarios, but a solo album would be a different undertaking. When this album came out it was panned critically and still is bash on some online forums to this day. I didn’t know about the criticism going into the album and was blown away on the first listen. With tracks like “How Does It Feel?” and “Best Friend” right out of the gate showing Pharrell at the peak of his lyricism. The catchiness on the majority is thanks to the great meshing of the production and witty one-liners. Songs like “You Can Do It Too” show how much of an influence he was on a lot of today’s artists like Tyler, the Creator, and even a little TPAB-era Kendrick Lamar.”
1. G I R L, 2014
“This effectively sounds like a lost Bruno Mars album, funk side of pop-soul with great production. Unfortunately, Pharrell Williams is not all that great as a vocalist, and the album ends up being a bit too safe for its own good. It’s still solid as a pop record.”