A new solo album delivers for the hit maker
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One of 2013’s greatest musical diversions was the two-horse race for the title of song of the summer–a designation that has acquired a surprising amount of significance. While lead artists Robin Thicke and Daft Punk surely benefited from the battle, the contest’s true victor was the only person to appear on both songs: singer-rapper-producer extraordinaire Pharrell Williams, winking and grinning his way through the flirty pop-soul of “Blurred Lines” and vocally floating over the shiny, funky riffs of “Get Lucky” (not to mention his presence on another Daft Punk track, “Lose Yourself to Dance”). The two blockbuster hits were the tentpoles supporting a larger creative renaissance for Williams, whose influence on music returned to levels he last glimpsed a decade ago as half of the groundbreaking production duo the Neptunes.