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This Is Not a Test

Missy Elliot

Release Date: 11.25.03
Record label: Elektra/Asylum
Genre(s): Rap, Hip-Hop, R&B, etc.

40 Music-Critic Score
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Closed for Repairs
by: nick evans


After arguably the most critically and commercially successful album of her career, last year’s Under Construction, Missy Elliot has unfortunately taken a turn for the worse. In the shortest album turn-around of her career, she seems to have somehow thrown together 15 tracks of re-hashed, recycled material that tends to run together all too often.


Missy Elliot is the unofficial queen of originality in hip hop, with each album creating a completely unique formula all to itself. She has defied gravity with her groundbreaking music videos and a flow that no one could touch. That formula somehow stopped with this album. It feels more like Under Construction ‘s ugly bastard child, if anything. Missy tries to put creativity to the maximum by having guests almost every track, (the nails-to-chalkboard-annoying Elephant Man to Monica) but ends up falling flat most of the time. “Pass that Dutch”, the first single, fizzled at radio; but she takes the song with such boldness as if she was the first person ever to use the dancehall beat. “Spelling Bee”, while clever, has a painfully annoying hook and chorus.


“Toyz”, Missy’s ode to masturbation, proves that she (not Britney) has the most fun with herself out of any female musician out today. Over a fuzzy 70’s disco beat, she claims that “every girl must have a toy/the way it make you feel”… The song, to say the least, definitely woke me from my dozing off from the first 8 tracks. I tried hard to like this album. I really, really did. If you are looking for the wacky, original beats, you are better off with Timbaland and Magoo’s Under Construction part II, which really matches up to the greatness of the first. It is a bit much to ask of her to out-do herself with every single album, and it would have made a very good debut album. We just have grown to expect too much from her, and because of that, her spotless reputation has become a bit tarnished with me. But there’s really no need to panic. Missy is a musical genius, and geniuses do have their ups and downs. 06-Jan-2004 5:10 PM