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This New Pharrell and Camila Cabello Song Kinda Sounds Like Early N.E.R.D.

'Sangria Wine' has lots of the sparse hallmarks of Pharrell's earlier work.

by Lauren O'Neill
18 May 2018, 1:16pm

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There's pretty much no better or more guaranteed way to be the champion of any given party than putting early 2000s N.E.R.D. on the aux cord and hearing everyone yell when they hear the opening riff of "She Wants to Move." That's because N.E.R.D. – and particularly their In Search Of... and Fly or Die eras – are one of those things that are just objectively good, like days off work, or free food. The group crashed into the charts with an innovative, compelling sound that was all their own, lead by the keen ear and breathy voice of Pharrell Williams, and while they've been a fixture on and off, their most beloved work remains the stuff they made early on.

Which is why it's nice to hear Pharrell returning to that place on "Sangria Wine," a new track with Camila Cabello. It's got lots of N.E.R.D. tricks, like a hugely hooky but extremely simple chorus ("She do the sangria wine / Sangria wine / Moving side to side / Front and behind"), and prominent percussion which basically leads the track. Cabello sounds as beautiful and languid as she usually does, but it's Pharrell's vocal which also steals the show here: enunciating for his life, he moves between playfully stretching out words and sensually whispering them, and it makes for a listen that is exhilarating. Hear it above.

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