Not Enough Electricity

Shock Value (Interscope Records)

By Kory Wilcoxson

You can't fault Timbaland for making Shock Value. After the success this man has had producing just about every hit song in the last few years, he can rap the menu from Panda Express and people would buy it. Unfortunately, Shock Value hardly lives up to its name.

Timbaland packs the album to overflowing with more guest appearances than a week's worth of Conan. All the visitors - from Justin Timberlake (who shows up on three songs) to Dr. Dre to Elton John - are merely bit players next to Timbaland's beats and on that front, he doesn't disappoint. His trademark has been mold-breaking rhythms (I still get all jiggy when I hear Missy Elliott's "Get Your Freak On") and he continues to explore uncharted musical territory on Shock Value.

And then people open their mouths. Timberlake spouts a downright silly (but supposed to be sexy) chorus on "Bounce," and apart from Elliott's appearance on that same song, the rhymes (including those by Timbaland) are strictly minor league.

The last five tracks on the album are collaborations with alt-rocks bands like Fall Out Boy and the Hives. While the sound is a nice change from the previous vapid boast-fests, Timbaland and the bands seem to bring out the most mediocre in each other. Even a musical force like Timbaland is allowed a clunker like Shock Value; the surprise is how shockingly average it is.

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