Timbaland – Timbaland Presents Shock Value
Interscope Records (4/3/07)
Pop / Rap
I have this one friend; let’s call him “Danny the Choadface”. Danny the Choadface is pretty damned good at pool. In fact, we’ve been playing pool for several years, and over the years Danny the Choadface has made some really good shots and won a shitload of money from people. Sometimes, though, Danny the Choadface gets really overly confident and either tries something way too fancy or just unexpectedly chokes and ends up falling flat on his face and looking like a big dope.
After listening to Shock Value, I can say that Danny the Choadface and Timbaland are very much alike.
“Give It to Me” is basically Nelly Furtado’s “Promiscuous”, and it even features her, and has Timbaland doing that singing-but-purposely-singing-badly thing, too. Why not just call it “Promiscuous Part II”? Because everyone knows it is. Even Timbaland himself. He’s just hoping that you won’t notice it. Who does he think he is, seriously? Insulting your intelligence like that. You’d better not let him get away with that.
As if that weren’t bad enough, “Release” (featuring Justin Timberlake) is f*cking “SexyBack Part II”. You may think I’m just talking shit, but seriously, it’s got the same exact beat and even has the little “yeah” thing thrown in there for good measure. If “SexyBack” were never recorded, it might be acceptable, but alas, it was, and it’s not. Absolutely deplorable.
He must really like that “yeah” thing, too, because it shows up over and over again, like that guy in the Mortal Kombat games that would pop up out of nowhere and shout “Toasty!”
“Bounce” (featuring Timberlakeâ€”this time trying to sound like Snoop Dogg or something like that(?)â€”along with Missy Elliott and Dr. Dre) is a slow, droning ditty that ends up being a fustercluck that makes one want to ram one’s head through the nearest window. 50 Cent makes the obligatory cameo on “Come & Get Me”, while Magoo shows up on “Board Meeting”, as he apparently needed money for some groceries. That’s awfully nice of Timbaland… not forgetting about his little homey.
“Fantasy”, featuring someone by the name of Money, sounds like a slightly meatier version of “Glamorous”, by The Girl Who Wrecked The Black Eyed Peas, but much like the original, it wasn’t anything to write home about. “Scream” has a live mambo band feel to it, and is one of the better songs on the album. He should have just gotten Shakira for the vocals and called it a day, though, as the two no-name singers were cookie-cutter R&B singers that pretty much ruined the mambo vibe.
Word on the street is that Timbaland is doing some work with Duran Duran, and decided with much of the second half of the album to show that he can work with rock bands. Anyone can work with rock bands… the trick is to make it sound good. “Time”, with New Wave throwback outfit She Wants Revenge is actually not too shabby, as Tim’s synth complements their style. “Apologize”, with OneRepublic, also works in a Robin Thicke sort of way. “Throw It on Me” (featuring The Hives) however, was a different story. It’s actually got to be the singer from The Hives only, because there’s no music other than what sounds like the beats from “Promiscuous” and “SexyBack” combined. What a mess.
And speaking of messes, “One and Only” (featuring Fall Out Boy) is the musical equivalent of what one would get if one decided put ketchup on ice creamâ€”it’s definitely a noticeable combination of the two elements, but after having some, one realizes that it was just a terrible idea in the first place. Elton John plays piano on “2 Man Show”, though I was interested in seeing what he could have done vocally for Timbaland.
I see what he was trying to do, by taking the production helm and jamming out with an A-list of musicians from all different genres. But it ends up sounding so manufactured that any passion that was supposed to be conveyed gets lost in the shuffle. Instead of trying to parade his production skills on one album, he should just fade into the background and produce music on other artists’ albums. And speaking of production skills, he does better than I could do, but even I’d realize that not every single song needs that damned bass drum. In the end, Shock Value winds up being an overblown compilation that, while very smoothly polished and produced, falls flat just like Danny the Choadface.
[Editor’s Note: Bambi Weavil respectfully begs to differ with the views and opinions voiced in this review. For an alternate take on Timbaland Presents Shock Value, see the 5/29/07 review, right here.]