Fly or Die
For those situations where there is only one CD player and listening preference split between rock and hip-hop, ‘Fly or Die’ is the perfect listening compromise. As the bastard rock love-child of hip-hop superstars the Neptunes, N.E.R.D’s ‘Fly or Die’ doesn’t fly as a true rock album; rock-reggae or lounge-rock fits better.
Playing all the instruments themselves, the guitar riffs, bass lines and drumming aren’t hard enough for this album to be rock.
In addition, the vocals and harmonies of the Neptune’s Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo are just too damn good to belong on a rock album. Rock vocals have a raspy quality and edge that N.E.R.D is incapable of.
Overall, ‘Fly or Die’ soars a little on the random side with tracks ranging from ‘Drill Sergeant,’ a hipper, tambourine-less sounding Partridge Family-esque song, to the uber-cool track ‘Jump,’ featuring Joel Madden and Benji Madden of Good Charlotte.
While ‘Fly or Die’ may not be my first choice when reaching for a rock album, it is what it is