Friday, April 13, 2007

We review Shock Value

So Shock Value has been out for a minute and all of The Chronicles team has had a listen and wanted to give their own personal reviews on the album. We also encourage each of you to give your reviews in the comment section now that we've all had a chance to really listen to it. Enjoy the reviews:

J Boogie
Tim definitely delivers a solid album on his 5th time offering. He's put his drums away and hit us with the synths though it doesn't always work. The techy "Release" doesn't really do it for me yet "The Way I Are" is perfect example of this "new" style from Tim. I have to say first time I heard the album, I didn't like it not even a little. It all sounded too electric, too poppy for me. The rock tracks I felt were just there for the sake of the whole "hipster" coolness of music as of late. Yet as I continued, the album slowly started festering in my head and that's when I started to appreciate it.

Highlights of the album are definitely "Bombay" with Tim never seeming to miss on his "Indian" tracks and Amar's voice is hypnotic over the beat. Danja reminds us why he's becoming a force to recon with on "Miscommunication". Sebastian brings the HEAT on the Resident Evil sampled track "Kill Yourself" I know how much everyone loves "Bounce" and true it is ol' school Timmy but I find it a bit boring until the end when Tim gives us all a lesson on how to make a beat out of a damn hiccup!

I would have loved to hear more of D.O.E who definitely proves his skills on "The Way I Are" The stars of the album are definitely Keri Hilson and Jim Beanz. Keri's incredible vocals constantly change from track to track showing her range and depth and Beanz is an amazing vocal arranger (see the end of "Bombay") Great to see Attitude get some much needed shine and I look forward to his and Sebastian's albums out hopefully sometime this year. I felt like it was almost too many guest stars and not enough music, I wanted to hear longer beats.

Overall a solid album but I just kept thinking Tim could do better and that's when I heard the bonus tracks "Come Around" and "Hello" ahhhhh now there's the Timmy I know and love. I'm hoping Tim decides to remix 1 or 2 of the tracks off the album because honestly when is the last time you heard a good Timbaland remix? "Maneater"? Solid album 3.5 out of 5

"Shock Value" didn't live up to my ridiculously high expectations. I thought it was too oversimplified. The good tracks were excellent, and the bad tracks were horrible. Overall, though, the album is satisfying. Certainly not Tim's best, but definitely not his worst.

BEST: "Give It to Me", "The Way I Are", "Bombay", "Scream", "Miscommunication"
DELETE: "Come and Get Me", "Fantasy", "Throw It on Me", "2 Man Show", "Oh Timbaland"

Big A
Actually there isn't a lot to criticize on Timbaland's career. He's a legend and pioneer. I'm not just a fan, I call myself a stan. And who I am to criticize people? I'm Big A! And I'll do nothing else now but criticizing "Shock Value" on my lil review. I praise Tim everyday, so I'll keep my positive feedback short now. My fav's are "The Way I Are" (which is the only track to me with a shock value), "Bombay", "Kill Yourself" (actually only the beat) and "Scream". Tim flipped the sample (Nina Simone's "Sinnerman" ) on the Intro in a nice way. No doubt about that. But especially from Tim I expected some fresh, unique shit nobody heard before. Why messing with a sample that Kanye West used already? There's nothing wrong going "pop", but nobody is forcing you to dumb down for the audience. Now that Tim is at the peak of his success and has the worldwide attention he deserves, he and his collabo partners should have come harder lyric wise on this album to show us what they got. Especially since Tim was complaining recently about lack of lyricism.

One or two tracks with real lyrics, a real message wouldn't have hurt, instead of wasting room for album fillers like "Fantasy" (which sounds like a copy of Ciara's "Promise"). Nicole Scherzinger might be a nice bonus promoting an album, but I doubt Tim really knows what he did putting Keri and her on one track. Listen to "Scream" and stop how much time you need to find who did what and why(!) on this track. A healthy ego is a good thing, but why showing off soooo much? On "Give It To Me" Tim gets 500k a beat, on "Come & Get Me" 250k, how much now? That's just one of the things I'm talking about. It's just not necessary saying it over and over. Just
let the music speak in future. Four tracks have a play time under 3 minutes. Sad. Political calculations, not enough inspiration or simply cheating the customers? I'll leave it like that. One more time Tim showed me that he saves the best material for his clients. That sounds like compensation in my ears! I expect a lot more heat this year. "2 Man Show": sure it's just the Outro a few might say now. But damn, you have Elton John in the booth and you come out with this? It's just a waste of a nice beat. Go and listen so many times until you agree with me on that. And as a site note: Am I the only one who thinks that a few of the tracks are sometimes a bit overloaded with vocals/effects?

Where to begin? Shock Value is a record that's been on constant repeat since it leaked, but writing about it didn't cross my mind until this morning.In order to understand where I'm comin from, I feel there's a couple things you need to know about me as a fan.

One is how I feel about a Timbo album in general. When an artist releases an compilation album, I look for cohesiveness, songwriting, production and a whole list of factors that combine to make a good LP. Timbaland records don't matter that way, they are compilations of brand new material, and hour and change of all-new Timmy beats/lyrical content, album flow and theme are all irrelevant.

Next, my view of Timbo as a MC. General consensus says Tim need to be quiet and let other people do the talking. Me? I love Tim the rapper. No one flows better than him on his own beats, subject matter? Psshhhh Tim could rap about havin' a picnic under cherry blossoms or slangin' rocks w/ the Clipse in VA, lyrics don't matter, it's his delivery.

Now I can tell Timmy was havin' fun on this album, it's energetic, filled with party tracks and even the boastful "don't be bitin' my beats" songs don't sound aggressive or bitter like they have come off a couple times in the past. The last Tim & Mag album came out while Tim was goin thru the UNDER CONSTRUCTION stripped down production phase. Since MANEATER and PROMISCUOUS w/ Nelly Furtado dropped last year, Tim been milkin the pop/techno/r&b vibe. A majority of the tracks here fit into that category. Standouts are THE WAY I ARE, Danja's amazing MISCOMMUNICATION and SCREAM. In case anyone is pining for the "old" Timbo, he gives what I consider that vintage sound on OH TIMBALAND and 2 MAN SHOW (which I consider intros and outros respectively). BOARDMEETING (nice) and bonus track COME AROUND (greatness) also have that classic Tim vibe, as does the underwhelming GIVE IT TO ME.

The "rock" segment is my least favorite not because of Timmy, and if they were Timstrus I could deal w/ em, but the voices on She Wants Revenge and Fall out Boy kill me, not a fan. THROW IT ON ME has grown on me surprisingly, and APOLOGIZE is an already dope track, given a nice makeover, that while not superior to the original breathes new life into it for a belated remix.

Finally, there's a trio of Hip Hop joints. COME AND GET ME ft. some of the G-Unit is the only time I've found myself enjoyin' listenin to Tony Yayo, Tim does G-Unit better than the Aftermath staff does. BOUNCE is standard Timmy fare beatwise, but Tim's standard is what another producer would kill to reach, the end is crazy and it's good to hear Missy back. I'm also lovin KILL YOURSELF, one of those moments where Timmy steers his music the opposite way, makes it sound different from the stuff he's been dropping lately.

Someone said that their initial reaction to this was similar to when they first heard Under Construction part 2. I feel the same way, in that the album didn't grab me on every track at first listen, but now I cant take it out the cd player anymore, I love it. Not my fave Tim project but I do rate it over TIM'S BIO (which I also love). My fave four tracks are WAY I ARE, MISCOMMUNICATION, KILL YOURSELF and COME AROUND.


  1. nice reviews thx! its good and very interesting to read reviews from timbaland fans/stans about shock value ;)

  2. here goes mine....

    i must admit that i did listen to the leaked version but i still bought the album

    i actually enjoyed the album off the bat mainly becuz we havent had any timbo cd in like 4 years. But soon after i got off the new cd high, i quickly started to pay attention 2 detail. As i listened further, i really started critiquing the album. i started to focus on the ones hat really grabbed me which is the same few... Miscommunication (keri killed the song, Danja murdered the beat) Scream (nicole is expendable) Bounce (a fuckin hiccup tim?!!?? lol) Bombay (Tim's verse was dope) and Way I Are

    After continuously listening 2 the album,those other tracks become a lil stale to the ears. Tim jus barely put enough in "Give It to Me" to make it even a filler like the rest. The only rock song that stays well is "Apologize"... and wut was the point of putting Petey Pablo at the end of the "One & Only?" That seem to be a theme throughout... wasted vocals.

    But dont get me wrong IM A HUGE TIM FAN!!! this is the best offering from timbo hands down but its definitely not was to be expected. but thats the greatest thing about this is that timbo can STILL get betta while othas struggle jus to hang to the Kings coattails... ;-)

  3. I heard the album and its refreshing to hear the new Timbo sound. The rock tracks are growing into me but the best of Tim's tracks is definitely the Indian-sampled ones of Bombay and Come Around. Its distinctively Timbo sound.


  4. I honestly think he shouldn't have released this album. I think it puts a big dent in the quality of the material he's released over the last year or so. I'm surprised so many people like "Bombay". I really think it's a poor track. The Elton track is an embarrassing waste of space, outro or not. After the initial excitement of hearing new Tim tracks wore off, so did most of my positive feelings toward this album. The majority of the songs have NO staying power for me. The more I listen, the more "Shock Value" sounds like a rough blueprint of an album rather than an actual album. I especially dislike the mostly bored, uninspired, and empty lyrics. I've mentioned the sound quality before, and I'll mention it again. Awful. After listening to "Shock Value" the last time, I put on a different CD and immediately realized how aurally fatiguing "Shock Value" was. Listening to something else was like taking a weight off my brain.

    On a lighter note, I'm really excited to hear Keri's upcoming album now. If "Miscommunication" is any indication, I'm gonna love it.


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