Timbaland -- Timbaland Presents Shock Value (Blackground/Interscope)

If his new effort, Shock Value, is any indication, superstar producer Timbaland's entry into the mainstream has emboldened him. Though all original material, the guests and stylistic mash-ups giv

 
TIMBALAND — TIMBALAND PRESENTS SHOCK VALUE



If his new effort, Shock Value, is any indication, superstar producer Timbaland's entry into the mainstream has emboldened him. Though all original material, the guests and stylistic mash-ups give the record a schizoid mixtape vibe. Timbaland might have the most distinctive style of any producer, Hip Hop or otherwise, with a sound epitomized by his skittish, cicada-beats and minimalist atmospherics. Though he rode on his laurels (initially earned from his work with Missy Elliott) for a while, Tim emerges with a (mostly) fresh outlook on Shock Value. The Nelly Furtado/Justin Timberlake track, "Give It To Me," is a throwback to both of those artist's last Tim-produced albums, but elsewhere, he taps some new ground. The new disc reconfigures the dancefloor with bangers like the dirging, fuzzy "Bounce," the live-band "Oh Timbaland" (on which he samples Nina Simone and shows he's more skilled than your average producer/rapper) and surprising collaborations with Rock bands The Hives, She Wants Revenge, Fall Out Boy and Elton John. Those experiments recall Puff Daddy's attempts at a Rock sound — in other words, nothing special (though the She Wants Revenge partnership on "Time" is strangely alluring). The club-ready sound Tim crafts mixes '80s synths and Dance music tricks with more futuristic beats. Unlike Pharrell's dreadful solo disc, In My Mind, Timbaland shows that to make a "retro" sound viable, you have to offer something new with the old. (Mike Breen) Grade: B

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