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Missy Elliott – The Cookbook

My wife likes Missy Elliott’s earlier work. On a recent road trip, she picked up this album in the hopes that it would please her the way the other records had. Unfortunately, it did not. Hearing the album all the way through myself, in the car on our way home, I’d have to agree that this was a weaker effort. I am not an expert, by any means, but still even I could tell.

It’s apparent that Elliott is rather happy in her life these days and that’s awesome. But it’s affecting her lyrical judgement. Where before she had some piss and vinegar about her, and things of some weight and merit to say, now she seems content to talk ad nauseum about this happiness and to let the dissing and seriousness be piled on as an afterthought.

Hey, I’m not one for knocking somebody’s being happy. I mean, you go, girl! And expecting an artist to keep making the same record over and over isn’t logical (and if they do it’s pretty sad, for the artist). But the same argument holds true here as it did for Ani DiFranco’s early 00’s work, in that it is definitely possible to feel that joy a bit too much, until that vital edge is sanded down too far and rendered dull.

That said, the song about the guy’s “magic stick” cracked me up no end, and there’s a good dis of Sisqo. But that’s not enough to make an album worthwhile. Next time, maybe.

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