Thursday, August 19, 2010
GET IT, PHARRELL WILLIAMS: Doing Big Things With Despicable Me
Mari and my nephew, Miles, were bored silly yesterday so I agreed to take them to the movies. The flick of choice: Despicable Me, starring Steve Carell. It's about an evil, thick-headed villain who hatches a sinister plot to steal the moon, only to have three cutie pie, cookie-selling orphan girls turn his cement heart into total mush.
It was a cute plot—reasonably funny. But what really got my attention was the music. There was just this surprising flavor running all up and through the score—bouncy, space-age tracks with delicious beats that gave a keen edge to what was clearly kiddie fare. I tell you, every time I heard a song, I'd turn to Mari and Miles and say, "Wow, that song sounds kinda hot!" I couldn't be sure, but two vocal offerings sounded so much like Pharrell and Justin Timberlake that I insisted we stick around to see who wrote the score and picked the musical tracks to what turned out to be a pretty cute movie.
Sure enough, big and bold up on the screen, Pharrell Williams' name popped up in the credits as the artist who provided the score, soundtrack and overall musical direction of the movie. The song we were bouncing to during the credits, "My Life," was written by Pharrell and performed by Robin Thicke (sounding just like JT).
How hot is that?
I've long been a fan of Pharrell and his N.E.R.D. crew, just because it seems he/they don't get stuck in conventions; there's always an aura of whimsy to the music—fresh, inviting, spicy, spacey. A lot like the kids. Which is why Pharrell's guiding the score and soundtrack for Despicable Me made total sense.
Even more, his star turn as the musical master behind a mainstream, big-release children's movie is downright inspiring. Mari, Miles and I talked all day long about how cool it is that Pharrell, a rapper, songwriter, and producer, didn't let other people's stereotypes of hip hop artists limit him—that his gift opened the door to his being able to stomp all up into a space traditionally dominated by white men. That talent, and that bravado, speaks to Pharrell's ability to cross all genres, all bounds.
To steal the moon.
Go 'head, Pharrell!
This song, My Life, was written and produced by Pharrell and performed by Robin Thicke for the Despicable Me soundtrack. To hear some of the other music on the soundtrack, check out these Despicable Me videos on YouTube or, do like I did, and buy the soundtrack on iTunes or Amazon for the kiddies. Mari, Miles and Lila LOVE it, especially the title track, "Despicable Me," and "Fun, Fun, Fun," "Prettiest Girls," and the SUPER CUTE "The Unicorn Song."