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2013 was the year in which Pharrell Williams produced the two biggest pop tracks of the year. Not only were they immensely popular in terms of downloads, they also stormed radio playlists worldwide and effectively propelled Pharrell back into the limelight after a few years in the relative pop wilderness. As such, it was only a matter of time until he began working on his own material once again, and when the time came, he did it with ease. Indeed, 'Happy' has become another transatlantic hit, solidifying Pharrell's position as man of the moment, and his new record G I R L is fantastic.

From the earliest possible moment, it is clear that G I R L is all about girls. But these aren't creepy, sexually-fuelled songs of lust - these are celebratory and complimentary songs that are full to the brim of catchy hooks and innovative production. Album opener 'Marilyn Monroe' sees Williams list various iconic women through history before deeming them incomparable to his 'different girl' whilst 'Hunter' sees Pharrell deliver his trademark falsetto vocals over one of the most infectious disco productions of recent times. This is an infectiously joyful record - a selection of tracks that can't help but evoke a smile.

The list of contributors on this record makes for a eye-wateringly attractive list of contemporary superstars, and each is used to their full potential - a testament to Pharrell's years as a producer for some of the biggest pop hits. Miley Cyrus adds an much needed female vocal to 'Come Get It Bae', Alicia Keys oozes soul on the bouncy 'Know Who You Are', and Justin Timberlake positively shines on the phenomenal 'Brand New' - a joyous, samba-fused celebration of happiness. Here's hoping for more collaborations between the two in the future - they really work perfectly together. Even JoJo makes an appearance on Lost Queen's hidden section - and she sounds fantastic.

Then again, it's not all about the contributors as Pharrell shines throughout. His vocals are effortless, his productions are flawless and his ability to give older sounds a contemporary twist is admirable. Whilst obvious highlights include the aforementioned Justin Timberlake collaboration and the infectious, worldwide hit 'Happy', there really isn't a single dud on G I R L. At a push, 'Gush' is rather too explicit against the rest of the relatively clean, family-friendly record, but this is a minuscule gripe against what else is a brilliant record.

Every so often, a record comes along that reaffirms faith in pop as a genre. After all, whilst it is often unfairly dismissed as commercial fodder, some of the most influential and ground-breaking records of the last fifty years have come from pop artists. Like Janet Jackson's Control and Madonna's Ray of Light before it, here is a record that should act as a shining light of how pop music should be done. After all, it's not too long, but not too short; it's fun without being transparent and it's got its feet firmly rooted in the sounds of the past without sounding like a weak tribute. In short, it's great.