I think it is always hard for producers to come out with an album, whether or not they are fronting as a band, which is consistent and shows finesse without trying to impress the listener or without showcasing their range of ability in order to collect more work/collaborations. I think that NERD/The Neptunes have achieved that here somewhat. For example, Timbaland's Shock Value was a blatant continuation of what he had been doing lately in the charts but also sought to show such dexterity of production that would afford bands like OneRepublic their first hit.
Seeing Sounds is also NERD's reunification project after their sophomore album. The single Everyone Nose is a banger, no doubt, and it is reminiscent in some ways of their first album In Search Of... which in interviews is what Pharrell said they were trying to achieve. I think that this album though will disappoint some people but requires a little bit of a listen. This album is very different to The Neptunes other projects like with Madonna on Hard Candy but at the same time maintains that distinctive "oh the Neptunes must have done this song" kind of sound that is attributed to them.
The production on this album is very strong with some really creative sounds in here. Some of the material manages to straddle the line of sounding familiar, if not retro, yet is strangely fresh and different to current radio airplay. For example "Windows" is Prince reminiscent vocally if not also in lead guitar. "Anti Matter" is another great track which deserves a single (I dare you not to bob your head) as well as "Spaz" which is a out there, luxurious groove track. The opening track "Time for Some Action" reminds me of the Busta Rhymes song "Gimme Some Mo" in the opening narrative and then moves into a great bass guitar and drums. "Love Bomb" kind of has that simplicity that "Provider" has on In Search Of... with a acoustic guitar and other instrumentation that comes and goes for effect.
If you enjoy the sound of instruments in your hip hop or music in general, then this is a return to instruments that are largely ignored by T-Pain etc.
This album is a very good driving in the summer, bbq on the grass, young album. I have seen some poor reviews of this album which I think reflects its lyrical content. The album is called Seeing Sounds and if NERD sought to focus more on production than lyrics, then it does what is says on the box. This album is worth buying if not first to listen to sample bits and download track by track. A solid four.