Timbaland
Timbaland Presents Shock Value


3.5
great

Review

by Daniel Incognito EMERITUS
April 4th, 2007 | 39 replies | 12,493 views


Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist


At any point in time there always appears to be one or two artists at the very pinnacle of pop culture fame. In recent years artists such as Britney Spears, Eminem, Justin Timberlake and the Black Eyed Peas have achieved notoriety that seemingly exceeds the top of the charts. Modern artists may never quite match Beatlemania, but the essence is still the same today. The fame is often fleeting, and the fall from grace harsh (as the Spice Girls would testify). Yet whilst the furor lasts, these most notorious artists make the pop world what it is, a market built on short term satisfaction.

2006 was a year in which artists such as the Pussycat Dolls, Nelly Furtado and Justin Timberlake extended themselves out above the pack. They made themselves icons of pop culture, even if only for a moment. Behind a shockingly large amount of 2006’s biggest hits was a man perhaps ready to declare himself as 2007’s king. His goal for 2007 was quite simply to do just that, to “take over top-40 radio.”
It would take a man of strong stature to do so, and as the cover of his album Shock Value indicates, Timbaland is the man for the job. Many will look at his goals as unreachable, and see him as a modern day musical version of Icarus. Whether or not he is overextending himself in collaborating with artists from all ends of the musical spectrum is irrelevant. He may burn out quickly, but in the pop music market it is the short term that matters. To put it simply, that Timbaland, he’s so hot right now.

Musical milestones and inventions are often incredibly hard to spot. When a new genre pops up, it is not created in the mind of one, but rather emerges through a series of gradual developments. Timbaland certainly wasn’t the first to use sampling of music, and as much as his work on songs like My Love by Justin Timberlake and Promiscous by Nelly Furtado felt fresh, innovative and new. It doesn’t take much searching to see they’re just another step in the general direction of pop music. The first song on the album Oh Timbaland uses a sample of Nina Simone’s Sinnerman to create his very own mondegreen, with her full-toned vocals appearing to ooze “Oh Timbaland, where you going to run to?”
Nina Simone may not have had Timbaland in mind whilst, but nevertheless the song highlights the slick production of the album, at least in some songs. Much of the album does seem to be a cumulation of the lessons Timbaland has learnt in his many years in the industry, with much of the album drawing from his past work. But revolutionary? Certainly not.

The farthest Timbaland extends from his bread and butter is in the last half dozen tracks. Just looking at the collaborating artists for the last few tracks, it is easy to see that his intention was to penetrate into the world of rock. Time stands as one of the highlights of the ‘rock’ section of the album, and the album in general. Timbaland puts the vocalist of post-punk revival band She Wants Revenge to great use, adding an artificial effect to his already low monotonous drawl. The mix between Timbaland’s sound and the band’s is mixed nicely, switching back and forth between hip-hop beats and an electronic post-punk chorus. At times Timbaland seems to lose sight of his background as in the Fall Out Boy collaboration One & Only, which never captures the essence of either Fall Out Boy or Timbaland. Perhaps his best ‘rock’ effort is the collaboration with Elton John which finds a nice blend of the piano man and Timbaland, highlighting the musical strengths of both men. Elton’s piano and silky female vocals act as the melody, with Timbaland guiding the direction of the piece.

The style Timbaland developed with artists Justin Timberlake and Nelly Furtado under his wing has a strong presence within the album with songs like Way I Are sharing a similar electronic sound to Timberlake’s My Love. The pulsating synth melody throughout the song is as irresistible as its My Love counterpart, and a sure fire way to get everybody on the dance floor. The vocals of the song are provided by Timbaland’s latest protégé, Keri Hilson. Her plush R&B vocals fit into Timbaland’s construction perfectly, never allowing the strong melody to dominate her vocals, but instead matching it in terms of lure. Hilson seems ready to break into the top of the charts, with Timbaland’s guidance. She provides Timbaland with a very talented tool in his arsenal, and one that is probably more suited to his desired sound than Nelly Furtado. In Scream and Miscommunication she displays an intoxicating mix of talented R&B vocals with intelligence, personality and poise. Shes proves in Shock Value that she is somebody to watch out for in the future.

Of the songs that lean more towards gangster rap, Kill Yourself is one of the strongest. The beat never overshadows the male vocalists, with its simplicity giving the vocals more strength. Timbaland’s meaty beats do have a tendency to overwhelm the vocals in some of the songs, and at times it does feel like a shouting match between vocals and the beat like in Missy Elliott’s section in Bounce. Surprisingly however, even with a bold and brash beat in Come & Get Me, rapper 50 Cent offers one of his finest commercial rapping performances, and seems to feed off of the bulging beat. Not exactly a common occurrence with Fiddy. As a whole though Timbaland’s gangster rap influenced section offers some tasty morsels, but nothing substantial enough to entertain in the long term.

Timbaland brought a heck of a lot of big names to the table with Shock Value, and whilst that may be enough to make Shock Value go platinum, but not enough to etch his name into the minds of mainstream music consumers. Timbaland delivers a solid effort in songs such as Way I Are, Apologize, 2 Man Show and Oh Timbaland, Too often the songs feel devoid of inspiration, products of a formula. Timbaland’s production is likewise a mixed affair, sometimes showing clever touches, but occasionally making bland production decisions or overwhelming the guest vocals. Timbaland may still end up claiming 2007 as his own, but Shock Value will only be backing evidence, rather than the landmark album that propelled his name to the top of the pop world.



Recent reviews by this author
Daft Punk Random Access MemoriesOmar S Just Ask the Lonely
Maceo Plex Life IndexPaul Kalkbrenner Icke Wieder
Gold Panda Lucky ShinerFlying Lotus L.A. EP 3 X 3
user ratings (140)
Chart.
2.8
good
other reviews of this album
Sam Knight (2.5)
Timbaland runs dry ground....

Jonathan Kroening (3)
What initially appears to be a convoluted mess of featuring artists upon closer examination is revea...


Comments:Add a Comment 
pulseczar
April 4th 2007



2385 Comments


I thought you liked this more. Nice work as usual. This review just reminded me how much I love that new Nelly Furtado single.

Liberi Fatali
Emeritus
April 4th 2007



1588 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

My opinion of it dropped.

But nevertheless there are a few stunning songs on this.

trustxdialect
April 4th 2007



1502 Comments


I liked this more than I thought I would.

At times Timbaland seems to lose sight of his background as in the Fall Out Boy collaboration One & Only, which never captures the essence of either Fall Out Boy or Timbaland.

Basically. I hated this track at first, but it's a grower. It's so annoying/catchy. Great review.

Jom
Staff Reviewer
April 4th 2007



2658 Comments


I was wondering when you were going to submit this. Ace review as is to be expected - the writing was on the wall if your excerpts you showed us were any indication.

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
April 4th 2007



17920 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

hmm i heard this was a really disappointing album. i might check it out.

The Jungler
April 4th 2007



4827 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

This is pretty disappointing. Timbaland is a good producer but I don't really like his voice much. Loose and Future Sex are both better.
The She Wants Revenge track is really awesome.

Tyler
Emeritus
April 4th 2007



7926 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I loved it at first, but now yeah, not as much.

The Jungler
April 4th 2007



4827 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Somewhere between a 2.5 or a 3 for me I think.
I hope MIA and Bjork's CDs are better than this.

The Jungler
April 4th 2007



4827 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

No way.
Loose is awesome. Best Timbaland related album I've heard.

Liberi Fatali
Emeritus
April 4th 2007



1588 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

but I don't really like his voice much.

It isn't as though his voice takes up very much of the album though to be fair.

I hope MIA and Bjork's CDs are better than this.

And Keri Hilton. Keep an eye out for her album later this year.


2muchket!
April 8th 2007



900 Comments


Good producer don't get me wrong but this isn't so good

Donkey
May 7th 2007



152 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

just seems like the same stuff. I lost interest in the album and couldn't get back into after about the 4th song.

AtavanHalen
September 16th 2007



17927 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I absolutely love this record. Very good review also!

FukuiSan
September 20th 2007



179 Comments


This is the most boring album I've listened to all year.

Liberi Fatali
Emeritus
October 16th 2007



1588 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I think its credit to Timbaland that 6 or so months after its release, the singles from it are still being released. And good ones at that.

StreetlightRock
Emeritus
January 6th 2008



3765 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Except for the bit where he y'know, created the whole song.

Digging: Caribou - Our Love

Liberi Fatali
Emeritus
January 6th 2008



1588 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I despise this, particularly Apologize as far as I'm concerned he doesn't do anything in the song. Last time I checked real music producers like Rick Rubin didn't release songs under their names and take credit for the band playing the actual song.

Who gives a toss, if it sounds good, then its good.This Message Edited On 01.06.08

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
January 6th 2008



15728 Comments


Redannihalation is having a rough day.

Digging: Alvvays - Alvvays

plane
Staff Reviewer
January 6th 2008



6092 Comments


Apologize is a really bad song.

Liberi Fatali
Emeritus
January 6th 2008



1588 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I can dig it personally, not the highlight of the album, and I don't find myself going back to listen to it. But quite decent nonetheless.



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2014 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy