Album review

Missy Elliott - Under Construction

Is it possible for the astounding to become a routine? Elliott's fourth album of a miraculously productive career trounces all other hip hop and R&B releases in 2002 with unnerving nonchalance. Her preoccupations this time are sex (as usual), old-school hip hop and the deaths of Aaliyah and TLC's Lisa "Left-Eye" Lopes, while Timbaland mixes up Afrobeat, acid, playground voices and vintage rap samples to typically breathtaking effect. Yet there's a suspicion these pioneers are taking it rather easier than on last year's Miss E: the albums follow uncannily similar patterns, with Method Man and Ludacris guesting on tracks two and three for the second record running. When she's raised the stakes so high, anything less than the reinvention of music comes as a disappointment.

Rating: 3 / 10


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Editor's Letter

The return of The Aphex Twin, and Caustic Window


Last year, Warp Records embarked on a campaign for Boards Of Canada's "Tomorrow's Harvest" comeback that was notable for its obtuseness. Unmarked 12-inches were hidden in record stores, strings of numbers and inexplicable broadcasts were strewn enigmatically across the internet. At one point, I...