Missy Elliott - "I'm Better" feat. Lamb (Singles Going Steady)

This music video further confirms how adept Missy Elliott is at synthesizing fashion, song, and dance to make potent artistic statements.

Andrew Paschal: Following the exuberance and bombast of "WTF" and "Pep Rally", "I'm Better" takes a dark and skeletal turn, making for the most classic Missy offering yet of her comeback. Supported by a menacing, minimal three-note motif, the track expertly applies and then withdraws the bass and electronics to create a sense of dynamism. Lamb's laid-back delivery and carefree lyrics feel oddly ambiguous or even deceptive in the context of the song as a whole; he comes across like a mysterious character yet to reveal all of his cards. What's more, the music video just further confirms how adept Missy Elliott is at synthesizing fashion, song, and dance to make potent artistic statements. [9/10]

Adriane Pontecorvo: The musical production here is sparse, the visuals flamboyantly futuristic, and the juxtaposition crucial to enjoying this track fully. There’s no one element of this video that holds up without the others; the choreography, the neon lights, the over-the-top styling, and the simplicity of both music and lyrics culminate in the truth of the title: Missy Elliott is better, capable of making a bold statement with hardly anything but her voice taking center stage. [7/10]

Chris Ingalls: Missy continues to eke out singles instead of complete albums and this track, while a relatively slight thing, is a nice snack while waiting for more. Working with frequent collaborator Lamb, the groove is sparse and modern, providing a nice jittery beat that serves the video’s unique choreography well. Now where’s that follow-up to The Cookbook? [7/10]

Paul Carr: Elliott does what she has done since her peak Timbaland period in that she follows trends without sounding like she is directly aping them. The low-key, deep and grimy beats recall the more minimal stylings of the Internet for example. However, her flow is still as razor sharp as ever as she starts slowly but builds up a head of steam as her fires get stoked. That said, it could do without the flirtation with Auto-Tune. As it stands, it is a solid track that shows that Elliott can change her style to fit the time. [7/10]

SCORE: 7.50

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