NERD : Maybe
Fashionable American people reinvent soft rock and get away with it...
It wouldn't be completely beyond the realms of probability to find out that MOR balladeer Billy Joel had a hand in this. After all, there's a tinkly piano, a smudge of rock guitar and a floating melody that dips in and out of each ear like some sort of confused bird intent on nibbling your brain. He didn't, of course, because Joel's The Uncoolest Person Ever and N.E.R.D are The Coolest People Ever, but the dividing line is incredibly thin (Lenny Kravitz is on guitar). It's another slice of fabulously odd, radio-friendly rock which, bearing in mind how famous N.E.R.D are for being R&B super-producers, is a huge middle-finger in the face of those who'd like to nail music down into easily marketable categories. A victory, then.
To read all our reviews first - days before they appear online - check out NME magazine, on sale every Wednesday