Following up the first successful installment of the Shock Value series, hit-making producer Timbaland presents his new collection, Shock Value II. The 16-track LP includes new collaborations with the biggest names in pop, rock and hip hop music, featuring Miley Cyrus and Drake along with previous collaborators OneRepublic, Justin Timberlake and Keri Hilson. While the previous effort of Shock Value brought the artists out of their comfort zones with sleek and addictive results, many of Timbaland’s collaborators on Shock Value II sound out of place with most of the songs on the new set sounding like misses rather than hits.
Among the collaborations that work on the new set is track, “If We Ever Meet Again,” with pop rocker Katy Perry. Instead of straying too far from her usual sound, Timbaland layers gentle guitar strumming and synthesizers over his off-the-wall club production. Perry’s deep sultry vocals compliment the delicacy of track about unrequited love without being masked behind Auto-tune or buried under busy beats like many of the tracks on this album. Though the little love ditty conveys a softer side of Timbaland, it still has the wallop in it to tear up the dance floors.
On the track “Say Something,” Timbaland delivers another potential club hit with rapper Drake. The song’s slow tempo and sexy electronic sound along with Drake’s smooth rhymes and charming vocals make this track seductive and alluring. Girls will no doubt melt on the spot upon hearing this track.
The rest of the album fails to match the pop masterpieces of “The Way I Are” and “Give it to Me” from the first Shock Value, instead offering bizarre songs of Justin Timberlake comparing fast food to sex on “Carry Out” and Timbaland buying into the whole Twilight franchise on the track “Morning After Dark” with Nelly Furtado and newcomer SoShy. Even more out of the place is the Miley Cyrus track, “We Belong to the Music,” where the Disney pop tart sings of partying “like there’s no curfew” making this song sound more like a preteen anthem than an actual club banger.
Instead of staying true to his innovative club roots, Timbaland panders to the commercial masses instead of the party goers on Shock Value II. The only shock about this album is how today’s biggest artists have turned out their most unflattering tracks.