First Things Last: Listen to a mix that proves Pharrell frequently uses the same song intro

While we sometimes wish every song can start out like MC5’s classic garage rock banger “Kick Out The Jams,” we do appreciate some versatility and variety in our pop stars. It seems our current pop music maestro Pharrell has a familiar trick he uses to kick off into his infectious ear candy, and UK blog Discopop Directory has called the “Happy” star out on it.

Discopop Directory gives Pharrell some necessary props at first, calling him “one of the most consistent producers/composers in the business, racking up hits for everyone from Beyonce to Britney to Justin to Jay-Z and, more recently, himself.”

No argument there. But then DD goes for the jugular.

“But here’s the thing: He’s rubbish at writing intros,” the site warns. “Take a listen to his new album, GIRL, and seven of the 10 tracks start exactly the same way. He takes the first beat of the first bar, loops it four times, then goes straight into the song.


“It’s not a bad technique,” they write, “for one thing, you get to the melody quicker, and that is a sure-fire way of making your song memorable and radio friendly — but when it’s used to such a ridiculous extent, it starts to lose its effect. Looking back through Pharrell’s production catalogue, both by himself and with the Neptunes, it turns out he’s been employing the trick since his first hit in 1993 – SWV’s Right Here. Here’s a short mix that proves it.”

Discopop Directory threw together a 13 track Pharrell mix that features his own hits, as well as tracks he wrote for Kelis, Snoop, and of course, Robin Thicke.

They all start the same. Check it.

Here are the songs featured by Discopop Directory:

The 13 songs in the mix are:
1) SWV – Right Here
2) Jay-Z – Frontin’
3) Kelis – Milkshake
4) Snoop Dogg – Drop It Like Its Hot
5) Robin Thicke – Blurred Lines
6) Shakira – Why Wait
7) Frank Ocean – Sweet Life (this one is especially lazy)
8) Pharrell Williams – Brand New
9) Paloma Faith – Can’t Rely On You
10) Pharrell Williams – Happy
11) Pharrell Williams – Hunter
12) Jay-Z – I Wish
13) Pharrell Williams – Gust Of Wind