Tuesday, September 25th, 2012

Missy Elliott ft. Timbaland – 9th Inning

Two outs already, no men on base, pop fly to center field…


Alfred Soto: With their last album a first-Bush-term artifact, all we can hope for are good beats, boasts, and attitude. This delivers – and not much more.

Brad Shoup: They’re treating the charts like LinkedIn: Missy’s updated her resume and Timbo’s sending out applications. No one knows better than these two that you can hit ’em wit da hee a thousand times in the past and it’s still the past. The snare raps have left the midrange; they nag instead of bang. Timbo throws an off-beat blat into the canned fanfare – does no one have the pocket change to hire the real thing? People take hugs now! – only to settle for frantic piano scales. This is an uncharacteristically crowded mix, and it reduces Missy to a single threat, repeated desperately. When she’s on, she raps, sings and dances in the span of three minutes. She’s not going legacy, so surely we don’t need a reintroduction?

Patrick St. Michel: Timbaland spends “9th Inning’s” hook bragging about how great Missy Elliott and himself are, including lines like “innovators/ground breaking.”  In the grand scheme of music, these claims are well earned, but within only the context of this song it is some really misplaced bluster.  “9th Inning” is an uneventful “eff the haters” number, the whole song loaded with vague shots at “haters” and those who don’t dabble in “real rap.”  Timbaland, never the best rapper, spends his verse slyly seeking employment for Lady Gaga.  Missy shows a few bursts of energy – her imitation of a gun is nice and goofy – but for the most part she sounds on set on autopilot here.

Iain Mew: The cartoon urgency of the sampled piano and schlocky strings don’t match up to the “Triple Threat” beat but stakes out its claims so much better that it’s the stronger track overall. Timbaland mostly stays out of the way but adds one of the best moments in the way he growls out “I can smell bullshit when it walk by”. Missy’s verses have a confidence and humour that goes through everything right to the asides: “I’m just saying”, “Don’t worry, I’ll wait” and the hanging up ending are all joyful.

Jonathan Bradley: The piano rolls are a little conventional for Tim; the snares stutter exactly as they should. If only he didn’t feel like he should contribute entire verses. That wasn’t acceptable on “The Way I Are” — and it didn’t have Missy on it.

Jonathan Bogart: Portentousness suits the two of them. I wouldn’t want to hear a whole record of it (but then I thought the same thing about Watch the Throne), but if anyone’s earned the right to roll up with knotted fanfares and mirthless laughter, it’s Missy and Tim.

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