Music Review: Timbaland's "Shock Value 2"

12/07/2009 Posted by Admin

By our guest blogger, Sanela Djokovic

According to Timbaland, the follow-up to the 16-time platinum album "Shock Value," "Shock Value 2," is simply a vehicle to showcase the artistic forces of his collaborators. Timbaland surpasses that goal with "Shock Value 2," creating music that not only compliments the artists featured, but also raises their game.

Once again, Timbaland has gathered some of the biggest names in the music industry for this project--Justin Timberlake, Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry and Drake, just to name a few. Each of the tracks featuring these particular artists has the potential to become enormous hits. "Crazy Girl" and "Carry Out" can carry on the Timberlake/Timberland reunion alone. "Carry Out" is less impressive, based on the lyrical content, which compares women to take-out, but I don’t know how many listeners will mind.

"We Belong to the Music" pairs Timbaland with an unlikely partner--Miley Cyrus. The song is much more Mileyn than Timbaland. In fact, at times it comes off as a sequel to "Party in the USA." Timbaland also provides Katy Perry with a rousing chorus in "If We Ever Meet Again." And its not surprising that he would pair up with Drake, who has blazed a trail of hits this year. The beat on "Say Something" is driving and the rhymes are smooth. It likely will be one of the album’s most successful tracks.

Although the superstars are living up to their names, the most notable songs feature artists like JoJo, The Fray, Esthero and Jet. JoJo gets in on the action with "Lose Control," which is delightful and leaping from the very moment it starts. Also, just like Timbaland did with One Republic’s "Apologize," he takes two songs and brings aboard two bands that have a lot of heart, thus breathing new life into them. On "Timothy, Where Have You Been," Jet provides an intro and chorus interjected between Timbaland’s biographical storytelling. Timbaland’s life story is sometimes engaging, but other times it is nothing but self-praise, almost taking away from the lovely, vocally pleasing call to "Timothy" that Jet lends. "Undertow," which features The Fray and Canadian singer/songwriter Esthero, is definitely a highlight and maybe the most seamless collaboration, particularly since the Fray’s haunting and contemplative tone is never drowned out by Timbaland’s efforts.

The most tremendous achievement Timbaland can lay claim to is that although his vision is beat-driven, he never compromises the identity of the artists working with him. He plays with chemistry, supplying some crazy elements for them to work with, and "Shock Value 2" is a testament to that.

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