Missy Elliott This Is Not A Test! Review

Released 2003.  

BBC Review

Missy fans will not be disappointed. Five albums deep and she is still one of the most...

Buki Bakare 2003

Back with another hot one, Missy Elliot isn't about to let the grass grow even an inch under her feet, with her 5th album entitled This Is Not A Test.

Following on from last year's homage to the old skool, Under Construction, this time around our favourite flamboyant female has switched it up a little. Here you will find the standard Missy club bangers, old skool rap and R&B joints, and even a few self-produced ballads.

In true "Misdemeanour" style she's once again teamed up with her long-time beat wizard buddy, Timbaland. His signature off the wall production provides an essential part of the dynamic duo's quirky "anything goes sound".

No Missy album would be complete without the extensive guest appearances. This year's roster includes: Mary J Blige, Jay Z (again) Nelly and R.Kelly, as well as enlisting the latest recruits from the "currently hot to work with" list. i.e. Fabolous and Elephant Man.

First up is the lead single "Pass the Dutch" with a futuristic beat that isn't too dissimilar from last years "Work It". This is trademark Missy in full effect; one sure to tear up any dance floor, alongside the rhymic Neptunes sounding "Wake Up" featuring Jay Z, where Missy drops some positive lyrics about the current state of hip hop.

She then travels back in time with tracks like "Let It Bump", where she takes on a Roxanne Shante persona to roc the mic, and "Spelling Bee", an ode to K- Solo's original track.

While Tim excuses himself from the studio Missy bravely takes a stab at some ballads, but with distinctively mediocre vocals and even more mediocre production, "Dats What Im Talking About", and "I'm Not Perfect" are somewhat questionable.

Missy fans will not be disappointed. Five albums deep and she is still one of the most innovative females in the game. Only she could rap so candidly and stylishly about the wonder of sex toys and hair weaves!

Although I'm beginning to question how long this standardized Missy/Timbaland formula can last, for the moment I guess if it ain't broke why would you even want to fix it? My advice; reserve another space in that CD collection...

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