Digital Spy

Search Digital Spy
9

Music Review

Timbaland: 'Shock Value II'

By
Timbaland: 'Shock Value II'
Released on Monday, Dec 7 2009

Rewind two years and Timothy Zachery Mosley, better known as producer extraordinaire Timbaland, was top of the hip-hop pops. Responsible for giving Nelly Furtado some bite ('Maneater'), Justin Timberlake a touch of urban class ('Cry Me A River') and 50 Cent some extra swagger ('Ayo Technology'), Mr. Mosley decided - after a failed first attempt back in 1998 - that it was time to tread the boards again as a solo artiste. Aided in no small part by the host of A-listers who owed him a favour, his bold and beat-heavy Shock Value LP stormed into the US top five, shifting an impressive four million copies across the globe.

As if lost in a musical time warp ever since, follow-up Shock Value II is - as the title indicates - a return to the same combination of sharp beats and zappy hooks that served him nicely on his previous effort. Timbaland dips into his usual bag of production tricks here and many of the supporting cast dutifully return, but never does this quite reach the same excitement levels as its predecessor. Still, moments like 'Carry Out', where Justin Timberlake flaunts his ego ("Is it full of myself to want you full of me?") over icy-cold beats, and the militaristic, hypnotic 'Meet In The Middle' are pretty irresistible, while Nelly Furtado taps into her feisty side again on lead single 'Morning After Dark'.

Elsewhere, Timbaland proves that he isn't short of a catchy pop hook or tasty collaborator - 'Lose Control' gives JoJo a surprisingly effective urban makeover and Katy Perry brings a rocky injection to 'If We Meet Again'. However, the spark is abruptly snuffed out when he drafts in Nickelback's Chad Kroeger for 'Tomorrow In A Bottle' and Miley Cyrus begins wailing inanely - "Come on and party like there ain't no curfew!" - on 'We Belong To The Music'. By the time we get to acoustic-led tracks with OneRepublic ('Marching On') and The Fray ('Undertow'), it feels as though Tim's trying so hard to impress us with his pimped-up SUV that he's driven the thing off the road.

The result? A disparate, disjointed collection of songs that feels like less than the sum of its parts. Where Shock Value was fresh and innovative, much of the sequel could pass for leftovers from its predecessor. Timbaland might still know the essential workings of a hit record, but he now seems to be lagging behind rivals like David Guetta and will.iam when it comes to driving the urban pop genre forward.

You May Like

Comments

Loading...