2 CD DELUXE EDITIONMulti-platinum producer, prolific hit-maker, and sonic innovator Timbaland has announced that his third solo album, entitled Timbaland Presents Shock Value II, on Mosley Music Group/Blackground Records/Interscope Records. The album … see full wiki
Timbaland's 'Shock Value II' is nothing like the first release. The first Timbaland Presents Shock Value had a great variety of sounds and genres; it had a lot of surprise guest musicians and personalities throughout the album; it was fun and the songs were like nothing being played on the radio at the time. In short, it lived up to its title and was cutting edge, trail blazing. When Timbaland announced he was working on a follow-up and named some of the artist he was working with, I thought this was definitely going to rival the first album quality wise. 'Shock Value II' however does not live up to its predecessor. It features mediocre music that isn't at all spectacular, there aren't as many far-reaching collaborations (remember how the first featured a collabo between Timbaland and Elton John. This time around, the most far-reaching collabo is a weak one between Timbaland and Miley Cyrus). Really, I don't know what happened with this release. It's been in the works for over a year and when he first spoke about it at the start of the year, he boasted that this follow-up would feature collaborations with people like Gwen Stefani, Madonna, Lady Gaga, Beyoncé the Jonas Brothers. Yet ... none of those tracks seem to have made it to the final listing. Instead, he collaborates with Justin Timberlake (nothing at all new or quality like their past work), Katy Perry, Brandy, JoJo among others.
The Good: There are some catchy songs in this collection. The very pop-friendly "Lose Control" featuring JoJo works best on the album. While Timbaland is left as backup, this felt like a typical, fun, JoJo track with a catchy chorus and upbeat, addictive melody. Also, a few of the tracks does wonders for Brandy. She appears on two tracks, including "Meet in the Middle" and "Symphothy", billed as Bran'Nu. Brandy's alter ego Bran'Nu apparently is a rapper and while this may indeed shock some, she really shines on these tracks and is a bit unrecognizable. This to me was the same element or factor that made the first 'Shock Value' work; it was all about taking artists out of their usual genres and styles and making them try something new and stretch their artistic muscles. While there's no "Apologize" or "The Way I Are" on this second album, his collaborations with Chad Kroeger and Daughtry seemed to reach for that same level and quality. Neither comes close to breaking any new ground but it was fun hearing Daughtry both pulled into the pop/hip-hop realm.
The Bad: Perhaps if this had been named something differently and not billed as a sequel/follow-up to the ground breaking 'Shock Value', it would have been a lot better. After a few listens, I feel there's nothing shocking or entirely interesting about this album. None of the tracks really has the impact or punch that the first album's tracks had. They seem rather lazy and hurriedly-slapped together. This album was delayed numerous times and as seen with many delayed albums this year, instead of getting an awesome end-product, we're left with something incredibly mediocre. I'd be interested in some of the discarded tracks from this album. This album's tracks sound very similar in sound and composition, unlike the first album where every track felt different and a bit epic and inspired. Timbaland's been hyping the Miley Cyrus track as one of the best on the album. If "We Belong To the Music" is the best 'Shock Value II' has to offer, and his idea of some of his best work, he needs to either take a long break from the business or call it a day because that track and many others on this were simply lacking, uninspired, dull and not worth the money nor the wait.
In all, 'Shock Value II' is a bore. There's been a flood of music released this quarter and this is one of those albums I couldn't in good conscious recommend anyone spending their money on. It's not at all good like the first 'Shock Value' and only shows that as many have witnessed and stated over the past few years that Timbaland seems to have hit a creative slump. Pass on this release. If you are going to buy, consider buying this deluxe edition (Shock Value, Vol. 2) rather than the regular single disc edition because some of this releases' best tracks are only available on the deluxe version. This version isn't a big improvement over the single-disc release but the bonus tracks definitely add something to the album. Yes, it's a ploy by the record company and artist to get you to shell out a few extra dollars to get their best work but unfortunately, the single disc edition just isn't worth purchasing.
Listen To These: "Morning After Dark (featuring SoShy and Nelly Furtado)", "Symphony (featuring Attitude, Bran' Nu & D.O.E.), "Tomorrow In The Bottle (featuring Chad Kroeger & Sebastian)
Tracklisting: 1. Intro - Featuring DJ Felli Fel 2. Carry Out - Featuring Justin Timberlake 3. Lose Control - Featuring Jojo 4. Meet In Tha Middle - Featuring Bran' Nu 5. Say Something - Featuring Drake 6. Tomorrow In The Bottle - Featuring Chad Kroeger & Sebastian 5. We Belong To The Music - Featuring Miley Cyrus 6. Morning After Dark - Featuring Nelly Furtado & Soshy 7. If We Ever Meet Again - Featuring Katy Perry 8. Can You Feel It - Featuring Esthero & Sebastian 9. Ease Off The Liquor 10. Undertow - Featuring The Fray & Esthero 11. Timothy Where You Been - Featuring Jet
**Deluxe Edition Bonus Tracks** 1. Long Way Down - Featuring Daughtry 2. Marchin On - Featuring OneRepublic 3. The One I Love - Featuring Keri Hilson & D.O.E. 4. Symphony - Featuring Attitude/Bran' Nu/D.O.E.