30 March 2007

Timbaland / Shock Value / Interscope [2007]

Timbaland
"Timbaland Presents: Shock Value"
Choice cuts: "Oh Timbaland," "Bounce," "2 Man Show"

Fresh off a mind-blowing 2006 for Timbaland productions (heard of Justin Timberlake, Nelly Furtado or The Pussycat Dolls?) "Shock Value" is a lesson in striking while the iron is hot. Tim's beats are scorching, as usual, with brazen synth, machine-gun high-hats and syncopated rhythms that pop and lock in traditional Timbaland fashion.

A who's who of now and then, "Shock Value" knows no genre boundaries. Guests include Fall Out Boy and Elton John, as well as muse Missy Elliot, Dr. Dre and JTim. A modern-day conductor with a low, rolling voice, Tim chooses where and when to shine the spotlight and usually succeeds in capturing the brightest moment, whether it be his own unique arrangements - like the handclaps and quick guitar lead on "Oh Timbaland" - or the contributions of his scene-stealing cohorts - as in the searing Missy verse on "Bounce."

What the new generation of "Promiscuous Girls" (most of whom are not yet of legal age) fails to realize is that Timbaland was churning out hits (remember Ginuwine?) when they were still decorating Barbie's Dream House. Presenting stop-and-go club bangers ("Release" is a "SexyBack" remix in disguise) with a pinch of the smooth ("Fantasy" and "Scream" recall Furtado's "Say It Right"), the result is a 17-track tutorial that could be called "How to Take Over the Radio ver. 2007."

- Joe Coscarelli

Go, Go, Go, Go

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