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Timbaland Presents: Shock Value-Timbaland

(Interscope)

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The most important music-maker of the past decade might be a hip-hop/R&B producer, Timbaland, who has gifted us with Aaliyah's "Are You That Somebody?" and Missy Elliott's "Get Ur Freak On." And yet none of the five albums Timbaland's released under his own name are must-owns. Timbaland may be the James Brown of his era, but he'll need his own Star Time-style box set to make a definitive case. Timbaland's musical genius needs the force of personality and vocal/conceptual content that a compelling frontperson can bring, which is why he's made his strongest records with Missy Elliott, Justin Timberlake, Aaliyah, and Bubba Sparxxx. Elliott and Timberlake make appearances on this guest-star-laden long-player but on tracks that would be filler on their own best albums. ("Give It to Me," "Throw It on Me") — Chris Herrington

Grade: B

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