Gwen Stefani and Pharrell Williams have teamed up again. After penning hits together in the past like "Hollaback Girl," coaching together on this past season of The Voice and teaming up for 2014's insane Stefani single "Spark the Fire," another new track from the dynamic duo has arrived on U.S. shores today (Dec. 31). From the soundtrack to the forthcoming animated movie Paddington, the single "Shine" has now arrived online.
Though Paddington (obviously a film based on the famous Paddington Bear) has already been released in England, the film and its soundtrack have yet to arrive in the States, leaving "Shine" as a big mystery to fans of Stefani, Pharrell and a certain hat-wearing bear.
"Shine" fails to live up to Pharrell's last animated film soundtrack single, "Happy," by a long shot. Instead of crazy, happy beats and earwormmy hand claps, "Shine" slows things down. The honking of a horn and a crawling beat help to move this song along.
For a family-friendly feature such as Paddington, "Shine" features lyrics that talk about life as a bear and working together as a team, which Stefani sings with a bit of an oddly harsh tone.
"One thing about me / I'll be there for the team / I'll do anything to protect my people's dreams / And if the earth just finds me wandering around / You know my soul will rise up and keep on shining," Stefani sings in the opening verse.
The chorus eventually gets really piercing high, though that could be owned up to the tinny quality of the leaked version of "Shine."
Without the pep of "Happy" or the inane catchiness of new Stefani singles like "Spark the Fire" or "Baby Don't Lie," this song just isn't up to stuff.
Listen to Stefani and Pharell's "Shine" below, via Stereogum: