Music

Timbaland and Magoo: Under Construction Part II

Joshunda Sanders

Timbaland and Magoo

Under Construction Part II

Label: Universal
US Release Date: 2003-11-18
UK Release Date: 2003-11-24
Amazon
iTunes

If Timbaland was a lesser producer, Under Construction Part II would be a decent offering. But the hyper-creative, laid-back super producer out of Virginia has made his name by lending an element of surprise to what used to be a basic formula for hip-hop production. Instead of sampling, he prefers heavy bass and disparate elements like baby coos and the sound of his own voice on a track to make it memorable. Unlike Kanye West, Timbaland (nee Tim Mosley) is not as hot behind a mic as he is behind the boards, but his homegirl Missy Elliott is bodacious enough to make up for that on this album and his other works -- in fact, a lot of the musicians Timbaland has worked with complement his behind-the-scenes style very well.

Although he confessed, in a recent New York Times magazine piece to believing he's only made a handful of classics during his entire career (most of them made while the late great Aaliyah was still alive), there's no denying that Timbaland has changed music with his style. But this newest album doesn't exactly show off the skills that made him addictive when he started banging out hits for rap heavyweights like Jay-Z and Nas or good R&B additions Ginuwine and Tweet.

All Under Construction Part II really does is make you wish he included some of these songs at the end of Missy's album of the same title (this is supposedly a continuation of Under Construction). He gets props for trying out his lyricism, even if it doesn't match the fluidity of his music. But the presence of mush-mouth aspirant Magoo, an MC whose smug voice makes him the least interesting man on wax since Pras from the Fugees, undercuts the potential of a lot of these songs.

Luckily, he's a beast when it comes to the beats, as he notes on "That Sh** Ain't Gonna Work", but the chubby-faced enigmatic producer comes off sounding a lot like he's the geeky class clown vs. the hot popular kid on the playground. (Along the same lines, it's not hard to imagine that he keeps Magoo around the studio to make himself feel sexier on a track.)

"Shenanigans", featuring Bubba Sparxxx, and "Don't Make Me Take It There", featuring Frank Lee White, are decent tracks; the latter is a pseudo rant from Timbaland asking that he stop being compared to others and a masturbatory verse offered by White giving Timbaland the praise he deserves for changing music forever. Other standouts on the album follow a predictable formula. "Naughty Eye" and "Indian Flute" prove he knows how to navigate the diwali riddims and reggae beats equally well. "N 2 Da Music", featuring Brandy, is a great club track, as is "Naughty Eye II", featuring Beenie Man. But musically, one of the best offerings from Timbaland here is "Insane", the only song that seems to combine depth of lyrics and melodic complexity. Candice "Gy" Nelson sounds a lot like Aaliyah here, so she adds a haunting quality to Timbaland's description of his personal troubles.

The music on Under Construction Part II almost makes up for a lot of the vapid lyrical content, relegating this second pairing of Timbaland and Magoo to ear candy status: it all sounds delicious and might even make a good snack, but it's not satisfying to anyone looking to fill an empty stomach.


Music

Books

Film

Recent
Music

Colombia's Simón Mejía Plugs Into the Natural World on 'Mirla'

Bomba Estéreo founder Simón Mejía electrifies nature for a different kind of jungle music on his debut solo album, Mirla.

Music

The Flaming Lips Reimagine Tom Petty's Life in Oklahoma on 'American Head'

The Flaming Lips' American Head is a trip, a journey to the past that one doesn't want to return to but never wants to forget.

Music

Tim Bowness of No-Man Discusses Thematic Ambition Amongst Social Division

With the release of his seventh solo album, Late Night Laments, Tim Bowness explores global tensions and considers how musicians can best foster mutual understanding in times of social unrest.

Music

Angel Olsen Creates a 'Whole New Mess'

No one would call Angel Olsen's Whole New Mess a pretty album. It's much too stark. But there's something riveting about the way Olsen coos to herself that's soft and comforting.

Music

Masma Dream World Go Global and Trippy on "Sundown Forest" (premiere)

Dancer, healer, musician Devi Mambouka shares the trippy "Sundown Forest", which takes listeners deep into the subconscious and onto a healing path.

Music

Alright Alright's "Don't Worry" Is an Ode for Unity in Troubling Times (premiere)

Alright Alright's "Don't Worry" is a gentle, prayerful tune that depicts the heart of their upcoming album, Crucible.

Music

'What a Fantastic Death Abyss': David Bowie's 'Outside' at 25

David Bowie's Outside signaled the end of him as a slick pop star and his reintroduction as a ragged-edged arty agitator.

Music

Dream Folk's Wolf & Moon Awaken the Senses with "Eyes Closed" (premiere)

Berlin's Wolf & Moon are an indie folk duo with a dream pop streak. "Eyes Closed" highlights this aspect as the act create a deep sense of atmosphere and mood with the most minimal of tools.

Television

Ranking the Seasons of 'The Wire'

Years after its conclusion, The Wire continues to top best-of-TV lists. With each season's unique story arc, each viewer is likely to have favorites.

Film

Paul Reni's Silent Film 'The Man Who Laughs' Is Serious Cinema

There's so much tragedy present, so many skullduggeries afoot, and so many cruel and vindictive characters in attendance that a sad and heartbreaking ending seems to be an obvious given in Paul Reni's silent film, The Man Who Laughs.

Film

What 'O Brother, Where Art Thou?' Gets Right (and Wrong) About America

Telling the tale of the cyclops through the lens of high and low culture, in O'Brother, Where Art Thou? the Coens hammer home a fatalistic criticism about the ways that commerce, violence, and cosmetic Christianity prevail in American society .

Music

The Grahams Tell Their Daughter "Don't Give Your Heart Away" (premiere)

The Grahams' sweet-sounding "Don't Give Your Heart Away" is rooted in struggle, inspired by the couples' complicated journey leading up to their daughter's birth.

Music

Gloom Balloon Deliver an Uplifting Video for "All My Feelings For You" (premiere)

Gloom Balloon's Patrick Tape Fleming considers what making a music video during a pandemic might involve because, well, he made one. Could Fellini come up with this plot twist?

Music

Brian Cullman Gets Bluesy with "Someday Miss You" (premiere)

Brian Cullman's "Someday Miss You" taps into American roots music, carries it across the Atlantic and back for a sound that is both of the past and present.

Music

IDLES Have Some Words for Fans and Critics on 'Ultra Mono'

On their new album, Ultra Mono, IDLES tackle both the troubling world around them and the dissenters that want to bring them down.

Music

Napalm Death Return With Their Most Vital Album in Decades

Grindcore institution Napalm Death finally reconcile their experimental side with their ultra-harsh roots on Throes of Joy in the Jaws of Defeatism.

Film

NYFF: 'Notturno' Looks Passively at the Chaos in the Middle East

Gianfranco Rosi's expansive documentary, Notturno, is far too remote for its burningly immediate subject matter.

Music

The Avett Brothers Go Back-to-Basics with 'The Third Gleam'

For their latest EP, The Third Gleam, the Avett Brothers leave everything behind but their songs and a couple of acoustic guitars, a bass, and a banjo.


Reviews
Collapse Expand Reviews



Features
Collapse Expand Features

PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.