Timbaland and Magoo Under Construction II

It is one of life’s great mysteries — up there with the Caramilk secret and, um, the existence of God — why the otherwise brilliant Tim Mosely continues to schlep Magoo around like an albatross around his neck. What, did he like save you from a pack of vampires or something when y’all were kids? The beats themselves are still future-forward — albeit not as much as the LP this album purports to follow up — filled with leftfield samples and dub-heavy drum programming that are actually more complex and catchier than Timba’s work on Missy’s latest. He offers everything from the dancehall skittishness of "Naughty Eye II” to the sub-continental Hindi-funk of "Indian Flute” to the brain-melting bass of old-school updater "Cop That Shit.” But this ain’t an instrumental album. Whenever Missy, Bubba Sparxxx, Beenie Man or even Wyclef Jean appear, the songs notably spark up. Even Tim’s rapping is alright — though he oversells himself on the take-me-seriously-as-MC plea "Don’t Make Me Take It There” — but then Magoo lets loose his monotonous rhymes and the whole experience is cheapened. Time for a new partner, Timmy. Seriously. (Blackground)