Album more value than shock
Shock Value II, producer/rapper Timbaland’s newest album released in late 2009, shows his producing prowess with a 13-track release featuring contributing artists such as Justin Timberlake, Drake and Katy Perry.
The end result is an overall good album, despite some questionable collaboration choices.
This isn’t the first time Timbaland (real name Timothy Mosley) has collaborated with others. Along with 2007’s Timbaland Presents Shock Value, he has produced for artists such as Missy Elliot and Nelly Furtado. He was also part of a rap duo named Timbaland and Magoo.
One of the good points of the album is the production behind it. As Timbaland is a producer, that shouldn’t be surprising. What is surprising is the wide range of rhythms present.
For example, the song “Ease Off the Liquor” begins with a techno beat, moves into a small break in the middle of the song with a jungle beat and then transitions into a Latin vibe for the latter half of the song. It should be noted that this is the only song where no contributor was credited.
For the other songs on the album, the beats fit the style of the respective artist on the track.
Another good point is that the majority of the songs were up-tempo. With the exception of the last track, “Timothy Where You Been,” there are no slow songs on the album.
A negative issue with Shock Value II involves some of the collaborations that may have the listener ask why they’re on the album. As mentioned earlier, the songs fit the artists, and the concept works for their benefit, but it falls flat in some cases.
The songs “We Belong to the Music” with Miley Cyrus and “If We Ever Meet Again” with Katy Perry are prime examples of where it doesn’t work. The former has a pop beat in the song, and the latter contains a pop/rock hybrid beat. Their styles would work fine on their respective albums but feels out of place on something that primarily consists of bass heavy songs.
Another negative lies with the lyrical ability of Timbaland on this release. He doesn’t show the extent of his lyrical skill, except on the songs “Say Something” and “Timothy Where You Been.”
Some songs that should be sampled before buying the album would be “Say Something” featuring Drake, “Morning After Dark” featuring Nelly Furtado and “Ease Off the Liquor.” These songs are the three strongest on Shock Value II and they provide a good feel for what the album has to offer. “Say Something” has the contributor that brings the most to the table, “Morning After Dark” is another collaboration between Timbaland and Furtado that is good but not as strong as their 2006 collaboration on the song “Promiscuous.” “Ease Off the Liquor” shows off what Timbaland can produce when he’s not fitting a beat to a particular artist.
Overall, Shock Value II is a strong album. Even with a lack of decent rhymes from Timbaland and some out-of-place artists and styles, the production and the high energy of the songs outweigh the negatives.