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Missy Elliott - The Cookbook


Review: Jack Foley

SELF-PROCLAIMED hip-hop queen Missy Elliott returns with her sixth studio album amid a tidal wave of hype and enough self-confidence to give Eminem a run for his money.

The self-assuredness is justified, however, given the overall quality of the long-player.

The Cookbook boasts the perfect ingredients - sassy beats, well-judged samples and a smattering of guest vocalists who reflect the cutting edge of the current hip-hop movement.

Reigning supreme over proceedings, however, is Elliott herself and her lust for embracing every musical form possible remains insatiable as the album takes in everything from R&B, grime and soul to diwaali rhythms and dancehall/ragga.

The formula for success is effectively mixed in the first single, Lose Control, a sassy dance-floor booty-shaker that features vocals from Elliott, Ciara and Fatman Scoop, as well as a sample of Juan Atkin's cybotron electro classic, Clear.

If that doesn't loosen you up sufficiently, then tracks like We Run This definitely will.

Featuring a delicious sample of the Sugar Hill Gang's version of Apache, the track is an absolute monster - the main course of a banquet that's well worth feeding upon.

Irresistable Delicious, featuring Slick Rick, is an old-school fusion of breaks and scratches that goes down a treat.

While the Motown vibe surrounding My Struggles is given added sass by the presence of Mary J Blige and her moody, oh-so distinct vocals. Put together, the artists sound tailor made for each other.

Missy even veers into Janet Jackson territory for the X-rated Melt Down, an ode to her man's 'magic stick' that's designed to make you blush.

Can't Stop is another groove-laden monster, an example of Missy at her downright funkiest that compensates for some of the more sentimental R&B moments, such as 4 My Man and Remember When (rare moments when the album misfires).

Yet with Vybez Cartel and MIA cropping up on the final track, Bad Man, Missy Elliott ensures that her dessert is served with a strong chaser that's designed to leave you breathless.

So while you might not like everything on the menu, dining out with Missy Elliott's Cookbook remains a five-star experience.

 

Track listing:
1. Joy feat Mike Jones
2. Partytime
3. Irresistable Delicious feat Slick Rick
4. Lose Control feat Fatman Scoop & Ciara
5. My Struggles feat Mary J Blige & Grand Puba
6. Melt Down
7. On & On feat Pharrell Williams
8. We Run This
9. Remember When
10. 4 My Man
11. Can't stop
12. Teary Eyed
13. Mommy
14. Click Clack
15. Time & Time Again
16. Bad Man

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