NERD is the band that Williams and Hugo formed in 1999 with another old friend, Shay Haley, as a side-project from their Neptunes work. No One Ever Really Dies is their first album in seven years. The calibre of the guests attests to Williams’s standing. But its bitty feel, with lots of moving parts failing to cohere in a satisfying manner, suggests a degradation of his renaissance-man powers.“Lemon” has an irresistibly bouncy ping-pong beat and scene-stealing rap from Rihanna, sounding at once insouciant and authoritative, but the song itself is underwritten. “Voilà” resembles “Happy’s ” avant-pop sibling, a repetitive psychedelic funk outing in which Williams hammers away at an upbeat message of self-fulfilment with rappers Gucci Mane and Wale.