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A summer hit in the middle of winter...,
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This review is from: Happy (from Despicable Me 2) (MP3 Download)
Curtis Mayfield gets the Andre 3000 ‘Hey Ya!’ treatment with maybe smatterings of K-Os' 'Sunday Morning'. At least that’s how I would describe Pharrell Williams’ brilliantly infectious single ‘Happy’ (from the ‘Despicable Me 2’ OST) to the uninitiated. It has also been justifiably compared to Motown/Northern Soul. 2013 was good to the perennially youthful Mr Williams. His solo singing career has been established in earnest thanks to his collaborations with Daft Punk, Robin Thicke and now ‘Happy', which was unfortunately pipped to the UK Christmas number one post by this year’s X-Factor clone. Still, long after they become yet another casualty of over-hype ‘Happy’ will be swimming around our craniums.
I confess I’ve always been ambivalent about Williams; impressed by his nearly twenty-year musical back catalogue but put off somewhat by his apparent smugness. And then there's the small issue of him running around with half-naked women (literally) in his videos. ‘Happy’ however calls for at least a temporary cooling of hostilities. Like ‘Get Lucky’ it’s a slow burner. Nothing remarkable happens until the Gospel-influenced harmonies kick in on the ingeniously simple refrain and bridge. These soulful, lyrically-executed chords account for much of the track’s appeal. The ground-breaking (if a little grandiose) ‘First Ever 24-hour Music Video’ concept can’t hurt either. Twenty-four 60 minute clips featuring members of the public and celebrities improvising moves to the track in various locations, has no doubt helped secure its classic status.
A would-be summer hit released in the dead of the Northern Hemisphere’s winter? Well, this optimistic number is fitting as we usher in the New Year. Leaving aside the randomness of the lyrics, I defy anyone not to instantly be in good spirits after hearing ‘Happy’, throwing yourself around the room in fits of joy.