Before it was even released, "Get Lucky," the first single from Daft Punk's forthcoming album "Random Access Memories," set the world on fire. From the fan edits of the track to the sixty second commercial from Saturday Night Live to the album teaser from Coachella, "Get Lucky" generated more than ten million impressions before being released last week and immediately topping the charts. No one was probably more thrilled about this than Pharrell Williams.
Williams hasn't had a hit record in almost ten years. "Hollaback Girl" was the last home run from Pharrell as an artist or producer. People have asserted that his mojo is gone, that he's no longer "relevant" in an industry that leaps onto the next big hit maker like switching a ringtone. On paper, the naysayers look absolutely right.
Daft Punk's perennial popularity aside, the whole notion of this record sort of defies convention: I mean, what A&R exec in his right mind would green light a straight-ahead disco record featuring a sixty-year-old disco icon, and a guy who's last hit was two years before Obama said "Yes We Can." Nonetheless Daft Punk's "Get Lucky" exists in a magical place where redemption is a ridiculously catchy refrain, a little vocoder action and a lot of that famous French attention to detail.
The success of "Get Lucky" aside, though, you have to wonder where Pharrell went wrong. Before joining forces with Daft Punk, his best days appeared to be behind him. Why? Well, it's literally a toss-up. At worst, his music is polarizing. At best, he's turned in some of the most singularly brilliant production of the last twenty years.
Keep reading for a look at Pharrell's ten greatest misses