Pop & Hiss

The L.A. Times music blog

« Previous Post | Pop & Hiss Home | Next Post »

Album review: Timbaland's 'Shock Value 2'

December 7, 2009 |  6:47 pm
Timbaland_shock_value240 On "Shock Value 2," Timbaland finally offers a rebuttal to rap's recent lyrical alcoholism. "Ease Off the Liquor" might be the aughts' first instance of a pop artist telling a drunken paramour to try a glass of water instead. But many of the same vices that plagued the first installment of "Shock Value" keep the second edition sodden as well: Tim's precise, micromanaged beats usually outshine his random collection of vocal collaborators.

For anyone who scratched their soul patch in confusion at the mega-producer’s outing with former Soundgarden and Audioslave frontman Chris Cornell, the cameo from Nickelback's Chad Kroeger on "Tomorrow in the Bottle" will feel oddly familiar. Not even the frequent Timbaland-tweaking prankster Trent Reznor could have dreamed a Miley Cyrus collaboration actually might happen -- yet it's here, and it might be the cheapest-sounding track in Timbaland's catalog.

He fares better when his past clients lend a hand. Justin Timberlake has a goofy good time on "Carry Out," and Nelly Furtado’s glassy-eyed lines on "Morning After Dark" are just loopy enough to work. The Australian rockers Jet add unexpected and woozy psych folk to "Timothy Where You Been."

For Timbaland fans pining for previous hits like Aaliyah's "Are You That Somebody?" or Furtado's "Say It Right," "Shock Value 2" is a weak cocktail.

--August Brown

"Shock Value 2"
Mosley Music/Interscope
Two stars (Out of four)


Album review: Chris Brown's "Graffiti"

Chicago Tribune: Clipse, 'Til' the Casket Drops'