Pomegranate

“Pomegranate” is the first solid crossover between deadmau5 and The Neptunes.

In the music industry, producers can be considered the geniuses behind one’s favorite songs. They’re responsible for the earworms that keep people tapping their feet for days after one listens to a catchy song. In the world of hip-hop and funk, Virginia Beach duo The Neptunes, composed of Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo, have seen more success in mastering the art of infectious tunes than any of their peers.

Their Billboard dominance throughout the majority of the early-to-mid-2000s is proof. Over in the electronic genre, iconic DJ deadmau5 is a titan amongst producers, with his six Grammy nominations being one of the many justifications for his legend status.

Both deadmau5 and The Neptunes have been less than active in recent years, with the electronic DJ releasing less original music and the duo participating in their own separate ventures. However, that all changed on May 20, when these music stars joined forces for the first time ever to return with a new single, “Pomegranate.”

The song opens with a brief spacey beat paired with Pharrell harmonizing, along with a falsetto-charged “Sparkle for me,” which serves as the refrain. Not too long after, the funky electronic production takes command and Pharrell’s confident, infectious singing voice pairs with the beat nicely. Just like his beats with Chad Hugo, Pharrell’s voice has undoubtedly withstood the test of time.

Deadmau5’s house music influence is riddled throughout this track, namely the shimmering bright synths backing up the 808 kick drums. These synths give the song a much needed hypnotic quality that makes it hard not to put the song on repeat. There are also several instances when Pharrell’s voice becomes heavily robotized, almost as if deadmau5’s sound is taking hold of the entire track. The glittering chord embellishments, along with the electronic buzzing notes that appear in the background, provide a constant treat for listeners who enjoy house elements in their music.

Focusing more on Pharrell’s voice and lyrics on this track, he doesn’t miss a beat on this one. He remains confident and melodic throughout its duration, never attempting to overtake the instrumental he, Hugo and deadmau5 created together. His delivery never grows tiresome or repetitive, with the second verse starting with a melodic switch up as Pharrell asks, “What’s the reason why we should do this tonight? Spend the night, spend the night, Spend the night, spend the night.” Lines delving into the sweet sensations of love and attraction make up this song. It’s nothing incredibly well-crafted or necessarily lyrical, but considering that this track’s main draw is the production behind it, it doesn’t take away from the listening experience all that much.

“Pomegranate” can safely be referred to as the first solid crossover between deadmau5 and The Neptunes. Neither of them betray the sound that first put them in the spotlight. The track itself is an agreeably funky tune that’s hard to disagree with, and the vocals generally match the tone of the song well.

Electronic music has always had a computerized, atmospheric quality to it, and it’s great to see it combine well with the bounciness and kick of a Neptunes song after all this time. Generally, this is a pleasant track that succeeds in its mission to give listeners an eclectic, groovy song to move and dance to.

Contact Julian Denizard at denizajs@dukes.jmu.edu. For more on the culture, arts and lifestyle of the JMU and Harrisonburg communities, follow the culture desk on Twitter @Breeze