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    Timbaland Presents Shock Value

    Dressed to the ‘T’ in the latest fashion, accessorized with million dollar jewelry dangling from his neck, it may seem that Timbaland is just another rapper trying to fit in with his peers. But a follower is one of the few things Timbaland is not.

    A recent recipient of BET’s producer of the year award, Timbaland has gone from small town hero to Hollywood’s main man. If you want a hit record, or simply a number one song on Billboards top 100, then Timbaland is your guy.

    In April 2007, Timbaland released his latest album ‘Timbaland Presents Shock Value,’ featuring a plethora of artists ranging from hip-hop legends Dr. Dre and Missy Elliot, to pop-rock bands, The Hives and Fall Out Boy. Piano legend Elton John even makes a guest appearance!

    While jam-packed with hit singles, this album seems to serve as more of a promotional tool for new and upcoming artists and a gathering place for established artists to collaborate together, than a solo album.

    ‘Shock Value’ features several no name artists who Timbaland generously lends a hand to, giving them each a shot at glory. Sebastian, Magoo and Money all appear as guests on the album, who would have otherwise remained nameless.’ In addition to promoting his struggling friends, he follows in the footsteps of Telib Kweli, brining the elite in the music business together for a chance to collaborate in the same studio.

    ‘Bounce,’ the fifth track, unites the underground beat of Dre with the unmistakable sass of Missy, bringing in Timberlake’s sex-enticing vocals for the chorus. ‘Come Get Me,’ featuring 50 and Tony Yayo, follows in a similar style, with Timbaland mixing a beat that sounds strangely familiar to a countless number of other 50 songs.

    The latter half of the album stirs up a whirlwind of controversy for old school Tim fans who are not at all happy that the R&B producer is trying to broaden his horizons by introducing the world of rock to the bass blaring beat of hip hop. To anger fans more, Timbaland even saved three slots in a row (Tracks 13-15) for his rock guests!

    ‘Throw it On Me’ features The Hives, a garage rock band who are notorious for wearing matching outfits when they perform, occasionally moving about in a formation to spell out their name. The band lays down guitar riffs and vocals, while Tim adds a fast tempo hip hop beat to the track. Tim’s harsh lyrics and The Hives’ funky style blend well together, creating a melody that is shockingly appealing to both rock and hip hop fans.

    To the disappointment of some fans, the same can be said about the next track on the album featuring dark wave band, She Wants Revenge. ‘Time’ is an exciting mix between indie rock and hip-hop that, although never attempted before, will leave you feigning for more.

    Unfortunately, the magic stops here. Fall Out Boy’s guest appearance on the next track, ‘One and Only,’ is an irritating imitation of every other pop-rock song that Pete Wentz has managed to whore all over the radio. Lead vocalist, Patrick Stump, whines throughout the entirety of the song, ‘Wipe that smile off your f***ing face,’ repeating the lyrics over and over again enough times to make you want to reach through the stereo and wipe the smile off his face.

    ‘One and Only’ is a gentle reminder of why some artists should never venture outside the safety of their own genre. Yes, the album is about five months old, but only two singles (‘Give it to Me’ and ‘The Way I Are’) out of a possible seven, have been released.

    Look out for ‘Release,’ featuring Timbaland’s comrade Timberlake, which will make its premiere debut on Madden NFL 2008. Keep an ear open for ‘Miscommunication’ featuring Keri Hilson, and don’t forget to keep fingers crossed that ‘One and Only’ never makes it to the air.

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