In Search of... (N.E.R.D album)

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In Search Of...
Studio album by N.E.R.D
Released August 6, 2001 (2001-08-06)
Length 61:34
Producer The Neptunes
N.E.R.D chronology
In Search of... (electronic)
In Search of... (rock)
Singles from In Search Of...
  1. "Lapdance"
    Released: May 21, 2001
  2. "Rock Star"
    Released: July 29, 2002
  3. "Provider"
    Released: 2002

In Search of... is the debut album released by N.E.R.D. The group originally released it in Europe in 2001, where Kelis' Neptunes-produced album Wanderland, was better received. Similarly to Kelis' early work, the original version of In Search of... juxtaposes hip-hop and rock influences and styles.

In 2002, the album was re-released worldwide with the electronic production backing replaced by backing provided by 1960s-style power pop band Spymob, giving the new version of the album more of a rock-oriented sound. The skits and the intro were also dropped, significantly shortening the play length.

2001 release[edit]

This electronic or digital version features drum machines and synthesizers as the backing tracks, with a sound more typical of the Neptunes. This version is a very rare collectors' item these days and features a different track listing (mostly ordering) along with skits at the end of 3 tracks, and an intro, which is, unusually, Track 2.[citation needed]

The three skits tell the story of N.E.R.D member Shay (featured on the cover) meeting two female high-school groupies in a locker room (in "Things are Getting Better"), ludicrously calling in an escort (in "Stay Together"), and taping her during sexual acts (indicated by sexual female moaning) at the end of "Tape You".

The album is named after the television show In Search of... hosted by Leonard Nimoy.[3]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo.

  1. "Lapdance" (featuring Lee Harvey and Vita) 3:33
  2. "Intro" 1:13
  3. "Things Are Getting Better" 4:55
  4. "Brain" 3:42
  5. "Provider" 4:24
  6. "Truth or Dare" (featuring Kelis and Pusha T) 4:51
  7. "Run to the Sun" 4:45
  8. "Stay Together" 6:52
  9. "Baby Doll" 3:44
  10. "Tape You" 7:41
  11. "Am I High" (featuring Malice) 5:00
  12. "Rock Star" 4:29
  13. "Bobby James" 6:23

2002 re-release[edit]

In Search of...
Studio album by N.E.R.D
Released March 12, 2002
Length 53:55
Producer The Neptunes
N.E.R.D chronology
In Search of... (electronic)
In Search of... (rock)
Fly or Die
Alternative cover
7243 8 11521 2 6/V2-11521

The 2002 release features the same songs (less the intro), with more of a rock-oriented sound, with the use of live drums and guitars, played by Spymob. After the making of this version, Chad learned to play the guitar, and have kept to this style, now mostly playing their own instruments. Pharrell has stated that as N.E.R.D was a different venture to his work with the Neptunes, it should also sound different, hence the decision to re-record the album.

This version is also shorter because it cut Shay's story provided by the skits. The change of tactics in the re-release also allowed the group to tour and play live as N.E.R.D more easily. It was released as an enhanced CD with extra CD-ROM material as well.

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Lapdance" 3:29
  2. "Things Are Getting Better" 4:15
  3. "Brain" 3:43
  4. "Provider" 4:18
  5. "Truth or Dare" 4:22
  6. "Tape You" 4:51
  7. "Run to the Sun" 4:51
  8. "Baby Doll" 3:43
  9. "Am I High" 4:48
  10. "Rock Star" 4:19
  11. "Bobby James" 6:11
  12. "Stay Together" 5:01
UK Bonus Track
  • "Rock Star (Nevins Classic Club Blaster)" 7:42


Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic (92/100; first version)[6]
(83/100; second version)[7]
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[8]
The A.V. Club (favorable) [10]
Robert Christgau A- [11]
Entertainment Weekly A- [12]
NME (8/10)[9]
Pitchfork Media (6.0/10) [13]
Q 4/5 stars[14]
Rolling Stone 4/5 stars[5]
Stylus A [15]
Spin 8/10[2]
  • Rolling Stone (8/2/01, p. 63) - 4 stars out of 5 - "The music is good....It's a crunch groove that's part Timbaland, part Afrika Bambaataa and part Star Trek on Ecstasy."
  • Spin (4/02, pp. 113–4) - 8 out of 10 - "Ace genre-mashing...the addition of a band [to their previously electronic album] makes the record weirder, punching up the rock that was merely implicit on the previous version. That's 'rock' as in rap rock, alt-rock and Paisley Park psych rock and even country rock."
  • Robert Christgau Grade: A- "...annoyingly catchy...They call themselves NERD because that's what they are- nerds at their worst. Sure they're clever, but they're also as shallow as Britney Spears, who I swear they're dumb enough to want to fuck." Later: Grade: A- "N.E.R.D.'s In Search of . . . , which I now love for the same reasons I panned it in July: Obscenely wealthy, obscenely catchy thugs-by-association rationalize their ethics and throw their dicks around, only they're consumed by doubt and hence honest enough to make themselves look like jerks."
  • Q magazine (8/01, p. 136) - 4 stars out of 5 - "A striking escape from mere genre....A swaggering, rock-friendly counterpoint to the likes of Outkast. And no less essential, either."
  • (4/02) - 7 out of 10 - "It's a musical experiment – a joyride for the Neptunes to go crazy on – and it works."
  • Uncut (9/01, p. 96) - 5 stars out of 5 - "They're on some kind of early Seventies cosmic/social conscience trip....This year's Stankonia."
  • Alternative Press (3/02, p. 86) - 7 out of 10 - "Alluring....bearing a surprising similarity to modern metal."
  • CMJ (3/11/02, p. 4) - "[The album] embodies an unbridled passion for music and for the aesthetics of pure sound....There's a bit of musical irony here, when happy, elementary grooves are undercut by a dirty, almost invasive, guitar licks."
  • Vibe (3/02, p. 172) - 3.5 discs out of 5 - "A complete departure, but with aural candy this flavorful, who cares?"
  • Mojo (April 2002, p. 112) - "Unique fusions of harmony-led AOR...Sly and Funkadelic, fragile singing and Eminemesque raps, conscious '70s soul, '80s synth-pop and Hendrix-esque rock."
  • NME (8/18/01, p. 47) - 8 out of 10 - "Awash with fuzzy-warm highs, hazy cosmic visions and exquisite ripples in the fabric of R&B as we know it."

Kludge included it on their list of best albums of 2002.[16] Q listed In Search of... (N.E.R.D album) as one of the best 50 albums of 2001.[17]

DVD-A release[edit]

In 2005, In Search of... was released as a 5.1 surround sound DVD-Audio edition.[18] This version is based on the 2002 release featuring slightly different mastering.


  1. ^ Hyden, Steve. "N.E.R.D.". Trouser Press. Retrieved January 16, 2014. 
  2. ^ a b Pappademas, Alex (April 2002). "Playing With Your Mind". Spin (New York): 113. Retrieved January 16, 2014. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ Kot, Greg (June 10, 2002). "N.E.R.D. plays the alienated Everyman". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved January 16, 2014. 
  5. ^ a b Walters, Barry (March 28, 2002). "Recordings: N.E.R.D., In Search Of..., 4 Stars". Rolling Stone (New York). Archived from the original on January 16, 2014. Retrieved January 16, 2014. 
  6. ^ Metacritic reviews on the First Version
  7. ^ Metacritic reviews on the Second Version
  8. ^ Allmusic review
  9. ^ NME review
  10. ^ The A.V. Club review
  11. ^ Robert Christgau review
  12. ^ Entertainment Weekly review
  13. ^ Pitchfork Media review
  14. ^ Q (London): 119. April 2002. Still a stunningly individual reinvention of hip hop and R&B, with great songs swimming in a murk of bizarre arrangements.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  15. ^ Stylus Magazine review
  16. ^ "The Best of 2002". Kludge. Archived from the original on July 22, 2004. Retrieved November 25, 2015. 
  17. ^ "The Best 50 Albums of 2001". Q. December 2001. pp. 60–65. 
  18. ^

External links[edit]

See also[edit]