Forget Justin Timberlake and Destiny's Child -- Timbaland and Pharrell Are Back!
As for Destiny's Child, Bey, Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams hooked up with Pharrell Williams, that other superstar producer from Virginia, for "Nuclear," a new song that'll appear on their soon-to-be-released compilation album Love Songs. Just like Timberlake's "Suit & Tie," it's got an old-school dance feel, with Williams's trademark, sinewy synthesizers and drum machines wrapping itself the ladies' ethereal, honey-soaked harmony. And that's another thing I'm finding quite appealing about these two tracks: not only is it long-overdue new material from two of the biggest pop stars of the last decade, it also has its two producers basically going back to the signature sound that made them in-demand producers in the first place.
Both Timbaland and Williams (who used to produce hit music with Chad Hugo under the name The Neptunes) have basically become the old fogies of the pop producing scene, often getting overshadowed by all these younger cats and their throttling beats. Over the years, both seemed to let go of their respective, r&b-infused styles in favor of creating more aggressively orchestrated dance-pop. (Especially Timbaland, whose string of assailing club bangers made us refer to him once as "the Jerry Bruckheimer of pop.") But it seems these tunes have them returning to their smooth synth stylings, which we're quite OK with.
So, while we should welcome back Timberlake and Destiny's Child to the pop-musical fold, we should also give Timbaland and Williams some love for thankfully getting back to their roots -- and making us longtime fans thankful that they did it.