April 12, 2007

Hit Maker Continues to Awe

Print More

Although the rapper/producer has been producing number one hits since the late 90s, Timbaland has recently exploded in popularity with such hugely successful songs as “Promiscuous,” and “SexyBack,” to name a few. Working closely with popular artists like Nelly Furtado, Justin Timberlake, the Pussycat Dolls, Timbaland has carved a name for himself with his original and highly unusual beats.
His latest album, Shock Value, has the same pulsating rhythm, driving beats and futuristic sounds reminiscent of his work with Justin Timberlake’s album, FutureSex/LoveSounds. Timbaland’s latest solo album is an eclectic mix of dance tracks, rap and rock that will satiate any music lover’s desire for hypnotic beats and catchy lyrics. Similarly, Shock Value demonstrates the rapper’s penchant for working with other highly talented individuals, ranging from Elton John to Dr. Dre to Fall Out Boy.
The first single on the album is “Give It to Me,” which features Nelly Furtado and Justin Timberlake — Timbaland evidently continues with more of a good thing by working on another track with the two artists.
The song’s strong beat is juxtaposed against lighter, rhythmic cadences creating a general trance. The rapper’s characteristically deep voice and smooth rhymes are harnessed within boastful lyrics. Timbaland asserts that “I get half a mil’ for my beats/ you get a couple grand,” which is supposedly targeted at the famous producer Scott Storch.
Although Timbaland is an incredibly talented rapper and beat maker, his tendency to compile songs with other recording artists takes away from his abilities as a star in his own right. Nearly every track on Shock Value features another artist, which is no shock at all. His self-proclaimed “solo” album has only one track in which he has no feature guests. The leading single, “Oh Timbaland,” is slightly darker than his other songs but no less intoxicating, although the piano rhythm that is introduced brings to mind the same hook in Talib Kweli’s “Get By.”
Another track to look for on Shock Value is “The Way I Are,” which features Keri Hilson and D.O.E. The driving rhythm and pounding cadence makes this a perfect dance song for a club. The vocals of Hilson perfectly offset the smooth rhymes of Timbaland.
Timbaland includes international flavor with “Bombay,” which pays homage to Bollywood. The Panjabi Hit Squad, a group known for “urban Asian fusion,” was so taken by the song that they had an exclusive world preview on their radio station. The undulating female vocals are both entrancing and alluring. Timbaland puts a distinctly hip hop spin on “Bombay,” which results in a fascinating synthesis of Indian and urban-American hip hop music.
Although he does not divert from his tried and true methods of creating hits, Timbaland’s Shock Value does not disappoint the fan who has come to expect a certain aesthetic from the rapper and producer. The album is rife with tracks that exhibit the rhythmic genius of Timbaland, which is a mesmerizing and impressive interplay between rhythm and attention-grabbing beats.